Bull Run - Bull Run to Cheat River

Bull Run, West Virginia, US


Bull Run to Cheat River (The Bull)

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 400 fpm
Max Gradient 400 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03070500 7.50 - 10.00 ft V+ 00h15m 4.82 ft (too low)

River Description

For a recent video of Bull Run featuring the ZoneDogg, check out this link.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ7F2gDvo5A&feature=related

This one was described by Zone Doggy Dogg in the Jan/Feb. 2001 American Whitewater. He says that a good part of the last mile goes at a 500'/mile pace. Screaming craziness! He describes a good number of rapids which must be scouted and/or portaged due to undercuts and/or logjams. Enjoy it if you must...

The map shows a full 2.8-mile run, mostly along the road. However, if you wish for the intense experience, you can do as Zone Doggy Dogg did, and just take in the last mile of SIK drops.

Check out this video (620k) of Zone Doggy Dogg running Matador rapid, borrowed with permission from ZoneDogg.com. Enjoy!

This run is a tiny and steep stream for the hardcore paddler. It starts out extremely steep with some incredible drops then slows its pace from incredibly steep to just steep before picking up again near the end of the run. The drops come at you fast, the eddies are small, the undercuts are gnarly, and trees are always a constant danger (You mess with the Bull, you get the HORNS!). However, for the hardcore creeker, there are few streams this good!

Putin where the creek starts to drop away from the road. The first rapid is a long slide that steepens and drops onto a slab that slants towards a cave on the left. Hard right angle and a good boof is needed to avoid this room of doom. After a short slow stretch, the creek goes off an 8 foot ledge best run on the left. Get out and scout after this.

Brutus is next and is a very steep series of tight obstructed drops. It starts with an easy approach drop leading into a 6 foot boof with a menacing undercut below on the right. The run goes over another drop that leads into a cascade best descended on the right heading back left. Immediately below this, get out of the creek and scout because the Matador, one of the biggest runable rapids in the state of West Virginia is next.

The Matador is a very impressive rapid and is one of the coolest series of drops I've ever run. It is a series of three 5-6 foot ledges that twist and turn their way to the lip of a broken lipped 25 foot waterfall into a shallow pool. The approach drops are fun leading you onto the slide approaching the falls. There is a nasty undercut shelf sticking out of the left bank as you come to the lip of the falls that threatens to ruin your line up for the falls. The junky lip of the falls is difficult to set up for but should be descended on the far left, where it catches a secondary shelf. A flat or close to flat landing is a must. If aced, the Matador can provide a feeling of euphoria like few other rapids in West Virginia can offer!

Below the Matador, there has been some rearranging of the creekbed that eliminated a couple cool drops and has created several manky drops/sieves. Be careful in this section.

For the next half mile, the creek slows its pace somewhat but is still steep and obstructed. There is one burly drop where the creek heads left and falls back to the right off a 6-8 foot ledge followed by a narrow slot.

As you approach the Cheat, you will come to the Horn of the Bull. This begins as a 10 foot narrow cascade that sends you into a 5 foot drop onto a wide shallow slide. The slide ends in a junky 20 foot falls into a shallow landing pool. Most people walk this. Right below this is a slide that slams into a nasty dugout undercut rock on the right at the bottom. It isn't a bad idea to walk this either. A few more steep boulder drops will carry you to the Cheat.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-04-13 13:44:15


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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 10 2011 (2835 days ago)
Jkfallin (152844)
I hiked down the and scouted it out a low water in February 2011, Lots of drops with wood,
especially the first few drops. The drop below the Matador still has a good deal of wood and
probably should be portaged.
August 23 2005 (4859 days ago)
Jay SeilerDetails
Referring to the drop with the log that could pin a boater...We called that one "Blind
Betty" let me know if you like that name-we ran it in february of '05 and again in march
through the left slot-the drop really sneaks up on you-i might head down in there and check it out
for myself to see if that log is still there-i dont remember seeing it- but it was late and we were
March 19 2003 (5748 days ago)
Gordon DaltonDetails
There are 2 big logs in the 2nd (or 3rd) rapid before the confluence with the Cheat. One of the
logs is no problem, but the other is at water level and would definitely pin a boater. It would
probably NOT be visible at higher levels. This is the tight, tricky little rapid with a slot on
left, and a pillow pushing you to the right against an overhanging rock - exactly where the log is
now. There is a small cairn in midriver at the drop, but it may last long.

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