Hornbeck's Creek - Emery's Rd. to Rte. 209

Hornbeck's Creek, Pennsylvania, US


Emery's Rd. to Rte. 209

Usual Difficulty IV-V+ (for normal flows)
Length 1.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 242 fpm
Max Gradient 370 fpm

Ben Dunham on Bobby's Falls

Ben Dunham on Bobby's Falls

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Bush Kill at Shoemakers, PA
usgs-01439500 2.60 - 6.00 ft IV-V+ 01h02m 1.63 ft (too low)

River Description

Check out this video of Hornbecks Creek on You Tube!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUHG-ig6GpI

According to Stephen Wright, this steep bit, which drops into the Delaware Water Gap, has "15 large, cascading drops in a beautiful canyon of about a mile." On March 27, 2002, it was the scene of a nasty accident, as Bobby "ZoneDogg" Miller slammed his head into the rock shelf at the bottom of the first drop. The impact knocked him unconscious; his fellow paddlers were skilled and on the scene right away, and as of this writing (3/28/02), his prognosis is good. Click here for Wright's description of the accident in Boater Talk. 


Wright says they had a great time, but I think it goes without saying that you'd better be very skilled in steep creekin if you're contemplating this one.

Steve has kindly contributed the following description:

Shortly after the put-in is Bobby's Falls, a cascading falls that drops about 25 feet in roughly 20 feet of river. Then is Left-Turn, which is a steep slide into a pillow created by a wall that the water slams into, which then diverts the paddler left into the main runnout channel. Next is Let the Good Times Roll. It's a spectacular drop of 20 feel of a straight-forward steep slide into a deep pool.
Next is Twist and Shout, which is a series of close slides that twist and turn into the pool before Goliath Falls. Goliath Falls drops a total of more than 50', and has yet to be run to my knowledge. There were a few possible lines down, but all involved falling 15+ feet onto rocks, so we walked it.
The next major Rapid is Slot Machine, which I was the only one to run (it falls a total of 15-20 feet). As the slide begins, the water slopes left into a tiny channel which eventually drops into a boat-width slot which stays terribly narrow against a vertical rock-wall for 10 feet.
Next are a few "smaller" 10-15' clean cascades which lead to Sliding-Board Falls. This drops VERY steeply 20+ feet into a deep pool. A rock on the river right diverts some water, and trees in the landing pool were hazards.
Next are several other large slides (last chance to get out) before Entrance (a 20' steep cascade) which runs right into David's Falls. David's Falls is a multi-pitched steep slide dropping a total of 40-50 feet into a deep pool! It's GORGEOUS!!!
The river mellows out after this for the mile run-out, which is choked with strainers. We elected to simply carry back up to the put-in.
This creek is very steep and in a spectacular canyon. Expect to do a LOT of scouting.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-04-19 20:02:26


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Rapid Descriptions

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