Chinquapin Creek, Alabama, US
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||475 fpm|
|Max Gradient||475 fpm|
|LITTLE RIVER NEAR BLUE POND AL|
|usgs-02399200||4500 - 10000 cfs||V||00h36m||482 cfs (too low)|
Brad Hinds: "I am pretty sure we did the first descent of Chinquapin Creek in 1995. We ran everything but one drop were it sieved out after the second drop which was a bouncy slide."
Chinquapin is the biggest (and only runnable) tributary flowing into Little River Canyon between Bear and Johnnies Creeks. It is short and steep, dropping about 350 feet in about 0.7 miles before dumping into the Little River just upstream of Powell Trail. It is extremely steep non-stop action featuring endless slide series seperated by cascades and waterfalls.
There is a painted gauge on the downstream side of the bridge at the put-in. After scraping down it at 4" I would say that 6" is probally a better minimum. Another good indicator is that if Johnnies Creek is over 0" and still rising fast, Chinquapin may be going. The creek is much more narrow at the put in bridge than some other places on the creek. At lower levels this results in the water being great in some rapids and very low in others. If it looks fast and juice'n at the put-it, the rest of the run should be good to go. If the put-in looks scrapy, don't bother.
Take-out options include Powell Trail or Canyon Mouth Park
If your short on time, daylight, or just looking to get on another run; I suggest using Powell Trail as a take-out. Its not far downstream from where Chinquapin hits Little River and is a quick (less than a mile) hike up the hill. Powell Trail also makes for a quick shuttle to retreive cars and get on with you day.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Put In Bridge|
|0.0||First Falls a.k.a. Ankle Breaker||5.1|
|0.0||First Slide Series||IV|
|0.0||First Slide Series (part 2)||IV|
|0.3||Curtain Falls a.k.a. Looking Glass Falls||IV+|
|0.3||Behind the Curtain||5.0|
|0.3||Taste the Rainbow a.k.a.The Big Slide||IV+|
|0.5||Fuzzy Bunny Slippers||5.0|
|0.5||Boulder Slide Series||IV+|
|0.6||Captin Happy a.k.a.Last Drop||IV|
|0.7||Unnammed Boulder Stuff||IV|
|0.7||Confluence with Little River|
The first falls is a 20 foot drop with a bad shelf at the bottom that has broken ankles in the past. To run it clean you need pretty high water to clear the shelf.
Below the first falls is the first of many typical slide series that make up this run.
The downstream view from the first slide series.
After some slides the next distinct drop is Anvil, a steep cascade which mostly lands on a big boulder. Depending on the level you can run right or left, but its best if run on the left. Watch out for a stomping hole in the runout at higher levels.
Here the creek falls into a slot between two house sized boulders and drops about 20 feet into a very shallow landing. Its basicly a sieve, but has been run a few times. Most portage it and the portage on the right is best.
This one calls for a big boof into a fairly shallow pool. The exit of the pool is behind the curtain of the falls on river left.
This is the exit move from the previous pool. The move involves paddling behind the curtain of the entrance falls and boofing over a large flake of rock. Keep your bow left to avoid pinning as you head down a small slide before heading onto the big slide.
This big twisting slide drops about 30 feet.
This boundy slide is just a little way below the big slide.
This large boulder pile has multiple cascading lines to choose from at good water and multiple ways to tweak your back and/or break your boat at low water.
This is the last ledge drop before a short stretch of boulder boogie water to the confluence with the little river. Currently a large log requires running this one on the left.
This unnammed boulder drop near the end has several pin spots at lower levels.