Elk (Carter County) - Big Falls to Poga Rd

Elk (Carter County), Tennessee, US


Big Falls to Poga Rd (Twisting Falls Gorge)

Usual Difficulty IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 100 fpm
Max Gradient 280 fpm

Nate at Big Falls

Nate at Big Falls
Photo of Nathan Helms

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Elk River at Big Falls
virtual-10481 250 - 700 cfs IV-V(V+) -10h05m 171.79 cfs (too low)

River Description

Waterfalls; see this stream also in the North Carolina inventory.

Clay Wright contributed on 2002-03-06 02:57:09 :
Big Falls at top has been run, with cut head and a broken back (oc-1) but several clean ones. Some flat, but good rapids, one chunky double ledge, Twisting Falls portage (narrow and high, but not sketch) then a 10-15' and a ramping 33'er which is sweet! Long shuttle the only drawback to this cool run.

There are many good drops on here. There is about 2 miles of flatwater after big falls, before you get into the rapids. The first is a nice double drop, then a couple of nasty ledge holes, then a manky sieved out boulder jumble that often has many strainers, preventing passage. Best walked on the right.

Some more class 3 brings you to the big drops. There are about 8-10 of them, some dropping up to 25 feet or so. They are all ledge/slide combinations, none of which are really difficult, but some have some beatdown potential. Most are class 4-4+ with maybe one or two being easy fives. Then it chills, the scenery picks up and nice bedrock class 3 picks up.

Be on the lookout for a gorging up and some gradient downstream, because the portage is coming. Get out and walk on the left. It is a little scary, but to portage without going all the way up and over the mountain, which would suck horribly, one must scoot along a raised ledge right above the class 6 waterfall. Just go slow and be carefull.

Slide back in for a sticky 6 foot ledge hole with a wall just downstream backing it up. It bends to the left and goes down a corridor before turning back right and falling off a 15 footer and then a 35 footer. After this the run peters out for a mile before you reach the takeout. Awesome run.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-12-21 14:13:34


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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