Johnnies Creek is the classic class IV-IV+ creek in Alabama. The lower section from Canyon Rim Road (CR 275) to the Little River is the most frequently run creek in Little River Canyon. It runs more often then the other canyon creeks and seems to be everyone's favorite. It is solid class IV-IV+ creeking with one class V and plenty of undercuts and sieves spread throughout the run. It's continuous from start to finish, but its length and easy shuttle make multiple runs per day the norm. The rapids are difficult to scout, and having someone take you down the first time is a blessing. All rapids are runnable, although Gorilla Constrictor is often walked. Several injuries have occurred here.
This 10' cascade can be scouted from the parking lot prior to putting on. Run at right of center, over the peaked wave, down the slide, and off the kicker for a sweet boof.
Directly after Entrance Falls comes a rapid that derives its name from the pinning potential that exists in the left line. At low to medium flows most folks run the far right slot down under the cliff then rejoining the main current below. At higher flows (over +2") the pinning potential of the left line is minimized.
After a couple of easy boulder rapids comes Boogie Right. From the pool above most people run a little to the left of the big boulder off a 4-foot slide (w/ a stickly hole at high water) and then ferry all the way to the right and boogie down the remainder of the rapid.
After a few more non-descript rapids comes a 3' pour-over into a boiling cauldron. The hole can be sticky and the alcove in the rock on river left (the cave) can make retrieving the boats of swimmers very difficult. Run it slightly right of center with some speed and a good boof.
After another small pool comes a rapid that can only be run on the far left. The center and right of this rapid are all sieves and drops onto rock. Run a left banking turn (avoid being pushed right when landing) and then punch the pour-over as you emerge between two large boulders.
Run this one far right through the slot and boof the 4' diagonal ledge onto the Conveyor Belt.
A walk for a lot of folks, Gorilla Constrictor is a large, multi-tiered waterfall that has dished out its share of injuries. The line is on river right and if you're considering running it you'd better have the scouting skills to easily recognize it. At the bottom is a small pool before it feeds into several sieves. At normal levels most of the water is going into the sieves, but as the water rises it is possible to run left of the sieves to exit the pool.
Similar to the final move in the previous rapid, this one requires boaters to start against the cliff on the right then move left at the end to avoid a rock in the channel. At levels over 0" it is fairly easy to make the move and finish left. Running tight against the right cliff is also possible, but it ends in a surprisingly sticky hole and the washout against the right cliff is badly undercut. At low levels it is possible to catch the eddy on river left and wheel-chair over the rocks into the pool below.
At moderate levels this drop can be run left or right, but either way you want to finish in the center with a fun 2' boof. At high levels the whole rapid can be run right down the center.
The normal line on the final rapid is a left to right move on river left. The normal line down the left has gathered wood often so be on the lookout after high water. The river right is an unstable jumble of rock that changes frequently and is very shallow at normal levels.
The rapid here called "Ditch Bitch" used to be very different and alot of fun. It was one of the funnest rapids to alot of boaters. A earthquake back in 02 or 03 i cant remember exactly when, but it changed the rapid at the exit. Travis Swinford from Rome, and I were the first down after the quake.We were very surprised when we found it changed. We actually filmed it with a old handycam. But this run does often change with heavy rain. Especially near the bottom. Funny thing is on here the rapid below the changed rapid, is named earthquake....
The paddler's gauge is painted on the river right bridge piling. -3" to +3" are the normal preferred levels, especially if you are driving very far for this run. However, locals run it much lower (down to around -6") and much higher (up to around +6").
For the USGS gauges look for over 2000 CFS on the UGSG Little River at Blue Pond Gauge. These have proved very reliable as a good indicator gauges.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Pin potential in 2 out of 3
Johnnie's creek put-in falls
Charlie finishing GC
Canoe Running Put-In Waterfall
Last drop on Johnnies Creek
(RM) Near the confluence
(AG)Charlie Mix finishing Johnnies Last Drop
(RM) Left Bank
(RM) Slot after Johnnies Creek Falls
(RM) The Little Slide - Todd
(RM) Johnnies Creek Falls
(RM) Bastard #2
(RM) Earthquake - Milt
(RM) Earthquake - Todd
(RM) The Big Slide - Todd
Dave Branham runs the final drop of Bastard on Johnnies Creek, AL
(AG)How "Cave Left" gets it's name
(AG) The Conveyor Belt on Johnnies Creek AL
(AG)Dustin Bunch in Boogie Right on Johnnies Creek, AL
(AG)Adam Petrillo runs the sneak on the right at Two Out Of Three
(AG)John Eskew runs Earthquake on Johnnies Creek, AL
(AG)Dustin Bunch runs the sneak on Ditch Bitch
(AG) Adam Petrillo on The Big Slide
(DB)John Eskew on The Big Slide
(AG) Dustin Bunch entering Cave Left
(DB) Adam Goshorn runs Right Slot
(DB) John Eskew exiting Left Bank
(DB) Adam Goshorn drops into The Ditch
(AG) Dustin Bunch on The Little Slide
(RM) The Little Slide
(RM) The Big Slide
(RM) Cliff Right
(RM) Gorilla Constrictor
(RM) Stylin' Johnnies Creek Falls
jiri against the wall
the big slide
Looking up at Gorilla Constrictor
looking up at Gorilla
Last drop of gorilla
last drop of gorilla costrictor
sliding out of gorilla costrictor
Johnnies Creek Put-In
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
AW has been in touch with True Adventure Sports, who have acquired access rights at the Mill Hole put in for Johnnies Creek. We are pleased to share an update the we worked with TAS to share with the paddling community.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!