Johnnies Creek - 3. Canyon Rim Road to Canyon Mouth Park (Lower)


Johnnies Creek, Alabama, US

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3. Canyon Rim Road to Canyon Mouth Park (Lower) (Lower)

Usual Difficulty IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 1.02 Miles
Avg. Gradient 288 fpm

(AG) Adam Petrillo on The Big Slide


(AG) Adam Petrillo on The Big Slide
Photo of Adam Petrillo by Adam Goshorn taken 12/12/04 @ -4

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
LITTLE RIVER NEAR BLUE POND AL
usgs-02399200 1200 - 5000 cfs IV(V) 00h36m 93.3 cfs (too low)


River Description

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.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-12-29 22:09:22

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Entrance FallsIII+Putin Waterfall Photo
0.1Two Out Of ThreeIVHazard Photo
0.1Boogie RightIII+Photo
0.2Cave LeftIII+Photo
0.2Left BankIVPhoto
0.3Right SlotIII+Photo
0.3The Conveyor BeltIIPhoto
0.4The Big SlideIVWaterfall Photo
0.4Gorilla Constrictor5.0Portage Hazard Waterfall Photo
0.5The Little SlideIVWaterfall Photo
0.6Cliff Right a.k.a. The DitchIVPhoto
0.6Meltdown a.k.a. Ditch BitchIVWaterfall Photo
0.7EarthquakeIVPhoto
0.8Boulder ChokeIVPhoto
0.9BastardIV+Hazard Photo
1.0Last DropIII+Photo
1.0Confluence with the Little River
1.4Canyon Mouth ParkTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Entrance Falls (Class III+)

(RM) Stylin' Johnnies Creek Falls

(RM) Stylin' Johnnies Creek Falls
Photo of Jeremy Orr by Rob Maxwell @ -3

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.



Two Out Of Three (Class IV, Mile 0.1)

(AG)Adam Petrillo runs the sneak on the right at Two Out Of Three

(AG)Adam Petrillo runs the sneak on the right at Two Out Of Three
Photo of Adam Petrillo by Adam Goshorn taken 12/15/04 @ -3"

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.



Boogie Right (Class III+, Mile 0.1)

(AG)Dustin Bunch in Boogie Right on Johnnies Creek, AL

(AG)Dustin Bunch in Boogie Right on Johnnies Creek, AL
Photo of Dustin Bunch by Adam Goshorn taken 12/15/04 @ -4

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.



Cave Left (Class III+, Mile 0.2)

(AG) Dustin Bunch entering Cave Left

(AG) Dustin Bunch entering Cave Left
Photo of Dustin Bunch by Adam Goshorn taken 12/10/04 @ 0"

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.



Left Bank (Class IV, Mile 0.2)

(DB) John Eskew exiting Left Bank

(DB) John Eskew exiting Left Bank
Photo of John Eskew by Dustin Bunch taken 12/12/04 @ -4

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.



Right Slot (Class III+, Mile 0.3)

(DB) Adam Goshorn runs Right Slot

(DB) Adam Goshorn runs Right Slot
Photo of Adam Goshorn by Dustin Bunch taken 12/12/04 @ -4

Run this one far right through the slot and boof the 4' diagonal ledge onto the Conveyor Belt.



The Conveyor Belt (Class II, Mile 0.3)

(AG) The Conveyor Belt on Johnnies Creek AL

(AG) The Conveyor Belt on Johnnies Creek AL
Photo of The Conveyor Belt by Adam Goshorn @ -3"

The Conveyor Belt is a low angle slide that leads out of the previous drop and right into The Big Slide

The Big Slide (Class IV, Mile 0.4)

(DB)John Eskew on The Big Slide

(DB)John Eskew on The Big Slide
Photo of John Eskew by Dustin Bunch taken 12/12/04 @ -4"

A huge (but hard to mess up) 25' cascade/slide that is usually run left or left of center. As it levels out keep heading left, finishing down to the biggest pool on the run. At really high water, lines right of center open up, but it is such a wide section of the creek that most mortals are on other creeks when Johnnies is running that high.

Gorilla Constrictor (Class 5.0, Mile 0.4)

(RM) Gorilla Constrictor

(RM) Gorilla Constrictor
Photo of Jason Banks by Rob Maxwell @ -3

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.



The Little Slide (Class IV, Mile 0.5)

(AG) Dustin Bunch on The Little Slide

(AG) Dustin Bunch on The Little Slide
Photo of Dustin Bunch by Adam Goshorn taken 12/12/04 @ -4

After Gorilla Constrictor paddlers will find themselves on a low angle slide that snakes its way downstream, ending in a 10 foot 45 degree angled slide. At levels over 0" the final hole can be quite sticky.

Cliff Right a.k.a. The Ditch (Class IV, Mile 0.6)

(DB) Adam Goshorn drops into The Ditch

(DB) Adam Goshorn drops into The Ditch
Photo of Adam Goshorn by Dustin Bunch taken 12/12/04 @ -4

After a 4' boof on the right paddlers will try to work their way as far left as possible before dropping into the ditch and slamming against the cliff on the right. This rapid seems to flip a lot of paddlers against the cliff, but just ride it out and roll up in the pool.

Meltdown a.k.a. Ditch Bitch (Class IV, Mile 0.6)

(AG)Dustin Bunch runs the sneak on Ditch Bitch

(AG)Dustin Bunch runs the sneak on Ditch Bitch
Photo of Dustin Bunch by Adam Goshorn taken 12/15/04 @ -3"

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.



Earthquake (Class IV, Mile 0.7)

(AG)John Eskew runs Earthquake on Johnnies Creek, AL

(AG)John Eskew runs Earthquake on Johnnies Creek, AL
Photo of John Eskew by Adam Goshorn taken 12/15/04 @ -3"

Unlike many of the drops on Johnnies, this rapid actually has several possible lines (if the water is above 0"). The cleanest and most common is to start left with left angle and slide left around the pinning boulder to punch the final hole.

Boulder Choke (Class IV, Mile 0.8)

(RM) Near the confluence

(RM) Near the confluence
Photo by Rob Maxwell @ -3"

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.



Bastard (Class IV+, Mile 0.9)

Dave Branham runs the final drop of Bastard on Johnnies Creek, AL

Dave Branham runs the final drop of Bastard on Johnnies Creek, AL
Photo of Dave Branham by Mark D'Agostino taken 3-21-2000 @ -1"

Enter this one right of center with right angle and stay right all the way through. The final drop feels similar to Seven Foot Falls on the Chattooga. Beware of the eddy on river right after the final drop, those driving hard right often find themselves in a hard to escape eddy that feeds back into the hole.

Last Drop (Class III+, Mile 1.0)

(AG)Charlie Mix finishing Johnnies Last Drop

(AG)Charlie Mix finishing Johnnies Last Drop
Photo of Charlie Mix by Adam Goshorn taken Spring 06 @ -4

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.




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