Red Run - Ford along FS 13 road to confluence of Dry Fork

Red Run, West Virginia, US


Ford along FS 13 road to confluence of Dry Fork

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 300 fpm
Max Gradient 400 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03065000 4000 - 20000 cfs V+ 00h36m 356 cfs (too low)

River Description

Red Run is the toughest regularly run creek in the Canaan Valley area. The creek is very small and steep with only tiny eddies to rest in. There are several nasty sieves and undercuts mixed in with continuous steep drops, making this a very difficult run. Trees are also a constant problem on this run. The gnarly drops start early in the run and continue all the way till the end. Make sure you bring your "A" game when you venture down into this canyon.
The first 3/4 mile of the creek is made up of continuous small rapids. Soon, the riverbed will steepen and start heading down some slides. After a particularly long and fairly steep slide, you know you are into the good section.

Goliath- This 3 part rapid is right below the long slide. It starts with a 10 foot falls onto a twisty slide that banks off a nasty boulder before making a sharp right turn off a 5 foot ledge. The second part is a tight boulder drop leading into a very narrow slot/pillow followed by an 8 foot ledge. The third part is a steep series of ledges run down the left.

Not far below Goliath, there is an 8 foot sloping ledge into an undercut. Make sure you drive left. The creek continues down tons of steep boulder drops for the next mile or so until you reach Red Run Falls.

Red Run Falls- This is a slide into a 20+ foot falls onto rocks. It has been run intentionally on the left but is definitely not recommended. Portage on the right.

Below the falls, paddle left under an overhanging cliff. You'll go back into a cave and it will be very dark. There is a Class 2 rapid in the cave that brings you out under a trickling waterfall.
The next section is perhaps the toughest on the run. The boulder drops get very steep and the moves get pretty challenging. Several 8 foot ledges with sketchy landing zones are faced before the creek splits on an island.

S**t Your Pants- When you see the island split, get out and scout. The right side of the island starts with a 5 foot boof. Afterwards, the channels converge and more than half the flow drops into a horrible sieve on the left. A little bit leaks out to the right, where you want to be. The sieve is runable (I've run it intentionally several times) but it is not recommended. Portage on the right.

From here to the end, the creek continues dropping down more steep boulder drops and slots. The easy slide at the Rt. 72 bridge gives little indication of the mayhem that lies upstream. Continue down the Dry Fork and takeout at the Otter Creek Parking Lot.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2002-07-17 11:01:46


Dropping Red Run Falls

Detail Trip Report  Dropping Red Run Falls  Red Run, WV(121.58KB .jpeg)

Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

This little stream takes a lot of rain to get going. If it rains hard and the Dry Fork of the Cheat looks to be rising over 4000 cfs, Red Run might be up. The Blackwater at Davis, when it is over 1000 cfs and rising is another good indicator. There is a gauge at the putin just above the ford on the right bank. 1.5 on the gauge is minimum but still a lot of fun. Above 2 feet (which is very rare), would be rather juicy down in the steep sections.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03065000 4000 - 20000 cfs V+ 00h36m 356 cfs (too low)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
0 -4000 cfs extremely Low-barely Low V+
4000 -20000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable V+

Report - Reports of Red Run Ford along FS 13 road to confluence of Dry Fork and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
Red Run [WV] Dropping Red Run Falls n/a JB Seay



User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 16 2012 (2437 days ago)
Joseph HatcherDetails
Directions: When going out 32 the "Pub Road 13" is near "Canaan Heights" and is called Canaan Loop
Road and there is a sign on 32. Drive till you see a big sign that says Red Run fishing area. This
is the start of Red Run but keep driving another mile or two till you come to a Ford that you could
drive across Red Run this is the put-in. Keep in mind there is a gate on Pub Road 13 and it is
closed in the winter! Chris Heim and I ran this on 5/15 and it took us 6 hours. There are lots of
trees. Had to portage three times before the Falls and many more after. This does not count the
times we were able to get out and move the wood to run the rapids also I think my neck is sore from
all the tree ducking. All the big drops were clean and good to go. Its a classic!
June 12 2011 (2776 days ago)
x (1)
Two groups ran the creek this past weekend. All the main drops are currently good to go (and super
fun). THANK YOU to the very kind soul who has been cutting wood in there!!! Keep in mind that the
creek still has lots of unstable wood near water level and every high water episode moves them
around. All of us who love this run should be helping to keep it clear.
Update 6/11/11 Ran approximately the first half at a fairly low flow (1.6-1.5). Wood in a few
spots, leading to 2 portages. Right above Pumpkin Spitter, and one earlier above that.
June 2 2006 (4612 days ago)
Stewart CaldwellDetails
Todd Richendollar and Jay Moffat ran it sometime this spring, and both of them said they wouldn't
go back unless they knew someone had been in there to clean it out. Wood has always been an issue
in Red Run, but apparently it's worse now than it has been in a while.
April 11 2004 (5394 days ago)
Robert MillerDetails
I ran Red Run on April 8 at a good level. The gauge at the ford read 1.7 on the downside of the
gauge and 2.0 on the upside (the water flowing around the gauge drops). This was a great level for
the run.
There were a lot of trees in the run but that seems to be par for the course on this creek. We were
able to run every major rapid though.


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.

General Nonmember Message

 Ford along FS 13 road to confluence of Dry Fork, Red Run West Virginia, US (mobile)