Santeetlah, North Carolina, US
1. FR 81c Bridge to Forest Service Gate (Upper)
||V (for normal flows)
The HallwayPhoto of Nathan Helms by Alex Ransom taken 09/01/01
The Upper Santeetlah is a beautiful place with pockets of large old growth trees (some of
which are in the river), pristine water, and beautiful rapids. At the putin, on forest road
81c the river is very small before the tributaries have a chance to come together. There
is a flat pice of cement at the base of the river left bridge support on forest road 81c .
This is a good visual gage. Look for the water to be level or above the down stream side
of this cement slab for a good run. For the first 1/2 mile the river is small with boulder
rapids. Within the first 1/2-3/4 mile there is a 3' diameter hemlock across the entire river.
Portage this on river right. The river then enters a section of bedrock rapids. The rapids
in this section all have the same character, they start on river left and slide to river right.
This section ends with a narrow 100' long side. After this long slide there is an 18' drop
(scout this one), and then a 10' drop. The river continues in a drop pool format for 3 or 4
more rapids before changing into long continous boulder rapids similar to the West Prong.
There are a few more slides in this section before the takeout at the forest service
gate. It is best to takeout about 100 yards down stream of the gate to avoid crawling
through the rhododendron. You cannot see the road from the river so it is best to make a
visual reference of where you car is parked. If this gate is locked you can either hike up
from the gate or go to the top of the Cherohala Skyway and hike down forest road 81. As
of April 2002 there was a lot of wood in the river so watch out.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2003-01-15 11:17:57