Johnnies Creek, Alabama, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||288 fpm|
|LITTLE RIVER NEAR BLUE POND AL|
|usgs-02399200||1200 - 5000 cfs||IV(V)||01h09m||185 cfs (too low)|
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.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.1||Two Out Of Three||IV|
|0.3||The Conveyor Belt||II|
|0.4||The Big Slide||IV|
|0.5||The Little Slide||IV|
|0.6||Cliff Right a.k.a. The Ditch||IV|
|0.6||Meltdown a.k.a. Ditch Bitch||IV|
|1.0||Confluence with the Little River|
|1.4||Canyon Mouth Park|
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.