This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV(V)
Length 6 Miles
Flow Range 600 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 54 minutes ago 212 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/27/2015 10:43 pm

River Description

The upper run on Yahoola has two short gorges. The rapids consist primarily of boulder pile drops and ledges. The primary danger on this run is strainers. Back in the mid 90's there were lots unrunnable drops due to the trees.

frank boston:
2005-06-03 20:16:06
Me and a group of friends have been hiking in and clearing some of the rapids out. A lot of the lower gorge is clean and runnable. With a little more work the complete gorge will be runnable with the exception of the first two major drops and one rapid at the end of the narrows. I have not seen these rapids clean of wood and don't think anyone has run them, yet.

Here is a brief description of the gorge. Starts off with a bang, get out after the first class II drop and portage King Kong a 12 to 15 footer that leads into Godzilla a boulder clog sieve that has not been run but looks runnable with enough water. Both of these are class V+.

Put in the short pool below and run Pinball a class IV or portage on river right. Run a few class II drops and then comes Caveman, a class III+ double drop with what looks like a cave on river left. Round the bend is a deep calm pool with huge boulders surrounding it, locals call this the Hole but its the calm before the storm.

Get out and scout on river right. This is the entrance to the Narrows. First drop is Entrance, a class III ledge that leads right into Commitment, a class IV 5-7 footer with a must boof or major meltdown factor. Next comes Split Decision a class III+ drop with a rock in the middle splitting the flow, run left or right and then punch thru the sticky hole at the bottom. Paddle thru a short calm pool and run Rock on Water, a class III+ drop with a boulder on river left that looks to be floating on water.

Next is Turtle Rock an easy class III but catch the eddy at the bottom fast and get out and scout the next drop called Pink Floyd, a yet to be run class V rapid with two different routes. You can run The Wall on river left or Darkside of the Moon on river right if there is enough water. Pink Floyd marks the end of the Narrows. The gorge opens up a little with short calm sections and some class II-III drops and then comes Almo a class IV-V drop of 4-6 foot that use to be a 7 foot log jam drop that my friend Almo helped me clear. I have not run this one since it has been cleaned.

A few more small drops and then Zoom Floom a tight class III+ slide with no room for error.Some more class II drops and then Yahoola Falls a class IV+ double drop with an elbow turn between them. The first drop is an 8-10 foot slide with the elbow and a rock called the Anvil at the bottom.If you make the turn paddle hard to get thru the hole at the bottom of the 4-6 foot second drop. There is a small pourover hole right below here that is a fun playhole.

This marks the end of the gorge and National Forest land. One more rapid below here worth mentioning is Syrup Mill Shoals a long class III shoals with new house below it on the left. This is private property so dont get out. About 1 mile of flatwater before you come to a concrete culvert bridge.This is the take out, Duffy Grizzle Rd.

The put-in is the bridge on Walnut Valley Drive. There is a rough gage on the river left downstream side.A paint mark on the concrete wall marks a good level and the concrete ledge below this is a bare minimum with some drops that sieve out at this level.

This is a great creek that not too many people know about. Hope to see another group of paddlers on this one soon. There is a short put-in and takeout on NF land with no shuttle but a steep takeout trail about 1/4 of a mile long that takes out all of the flatwater above and below the gorge.FS rd. 281, go to end of rd. left side of ridge is the put-in trail right side is the takeout trail. Good Luck.

Rapid Descriptions


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joe stubbs
5 years ago

Just paddled this section at a low level; Chestatee was running about 600 cfs. Cow pastures at put-in and take-out, but nice granite gorge in between them. Ran everything, but the first big one (V): first drop ok, but runs right into next drop, tight squeeze to mangy landing, had wood in the landing area, too.Did not run the last big one, more wood, in the main flow. Many trees bank to bank, several we had to carry around, most of those were in flat water. Definitely go back with more water; short drive from Atl.

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Wes Shelnutt
13 years ago

First of all, "Yahoola resized" is deffinitely not on Yahoola Creek. We paddled the Yahoola Monday morning--right after Godzilla at the beginning, there's a large tree down. We were already out of our boats (and you should be, too), so we went ahead and walked around the last part of the rapid. This wood is new--it wasn't in there a few weeks ago; the rapid is really fun without wood, though. There are a lot of new trees down, so watch out for them--most were avoidable, though.

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13 years ago

Jeff Jones

I haven't run all the creek but I do paddle and I own the property starting at the bridge past the shoals (first small drops) as well. I am paddle friendly and would like to help anyway I can. I work at home so anyone who needs info on water levels or directions, me. or 706-864-0864

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Rick Bellows
14 years ago

New Streamkeeper: Rick Bellows,

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Matt Jordan
15 years ago

Jennifer Morris, Baker Davenport(?) and I ran this 7-12-05. The level was about 2" above the concrete shelf on the river-left, downstream side of the bridge. I couldn't find the paint mark that is supposed to be optimal. There are some great rapids on this strech, unfortunately I'd say we only ran about half of them. The rest were clogged with wood. This run is a diamond in the rough. Frank, give me a call next time y'all go down there to clean out wood. I'm in the Dahlonega phone book.

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frank boston
15 years ago

A group of three paddlers successfully paddled the lower portion of the gorge in the Summer of 2003.The creek was choked with trees.<br />
Myself with two different groups has run the section three times.It takes at least three inches of rain to even make this run possible.

Gage Descriptions

Visual. Look for the Chestatee to be high.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, dies

Charlie Walbridge

Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!


joe stubbs


Rick Bellows


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1204572 04/27/15 joe stubbs class upgrade
1204559 04/27/15 joe stubbs fix put-in take out
1193425 01/23/06 Rick Bellows n/a