Eastatoe Creek -2, Lower Gorge - Mill Creek to Dug Mountain Access

Eastatoe Creek -2, Lower Gorge, South Carolina, US


Mill Creek to Dug Mountain Access (Lower Eastatoe)

Usual Difficulty II-III(V) (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 60 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Kayak Killer - Lower Eastatoe

Kayak Killer - Lower Eastatoe
Photo by Kevin Miller taken 05/06/03

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02186699 75 - 10000 cfs II-III(V) 6y70d22h04m 44 cfs (too low)

River Description

Directions:  From Keowee Toxaway State Park, go north on SC11.  In about 3.5 miles, turn left on Roy F Jones Hwy.  The take-out is about 1.2 miles down this road at the Dug Mountain Access Area, after passing over the bridge over Eastatoee Creek.

Shuttle Directions:  Continue down Roy F Jones Hwy until it ends.  Turn right on Cleo Chapman Hwy.  Eventually, Cleo Chapman Hwy will parallel the river.  After passing over Mill Creek, Mill Creek Rd enters from the left.  Park in the road right-of-way between Cleo Chapman Hwy and Eastatoe Creek.

Local boater Brett Dalton has this to say "At the end of the valley "proper" (about 1/2 mile below Mill Creek and Mill Creek Road on Cleo Chapman Highway), the river enters the lower gorge. It begins with a pretty good bang when the water is up. There is one very constricted undercut slide that could be a killer in a kayak. Higher water is much better at this rapid. However at very high levels the water constricts against an undercut rock wall and shoots straight up in the air for 15 or 20 feet. At high water there are very few boulders or technical maneuvers required. Of course it is narrow and requires frequent maneuvering, just no must make ferries or anything. (After the first rapid this run is a nonstop flush of class III whitewater. There is one large slide but the remainder of the run is wave trains and big holes. Will Reeves describing a high water run).

This excitement continues for several miles until you come to Dug Mountain Bridge on Roy F. Jones Highway. This is the best takeout as there is a designated parking area.

Below Dug Mountain Bridge there are a few more minor slides and good currents for 1/2 mile or so. Following this initial 1/2 mile, the river becomes very gentle again as it approaches Lake Keowee. Near where the river enters Lake Keowee, Little Eastatoee Creek comes in from the left. The river never really "dumps" in the lake, it almost becomes the lake. There was a take out on the side of the road on Cleo Chapman Highway, but now the Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards exists and parking on the road is no longer an option. You pretty much have to paddle all the way over to HW 11 bridge. The section of the creek below Dug Mountain Bridge is no longer worth paddling because of the development and the long long paddle around the shore of Keowee."

I would imagine that at low water this run is a class II creek with one big class IV+ rapid involving a big undercut and ledge.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-06-11 16:05:10

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.0Kayak Killer5.0Portage Hazard Photo
1.8the last rapidIIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Kayak Killer (Class 5.0, Mile 1.0)

Kayak Killer - Lower Eastatoe

Kayak Killer - Lower Eastatoe
Photo by Kevin Miller taken 05/06/03

At high water this rapid is a real class V drop with almost half the river going up into a big undercut on river left and then flowing into a huge hole.

slide (Class III, Mile 1.3)

Lower Eastatoe slide

Lower Eastatoe slide
Photo of Eric Paysen by Will Reeves taken 05/06/03 @ high water

After the big rapid the river picks up speed and slowly builds up to a ledge, which at high water forms a big hole. The hole looks much more dangerous than it really is.

the last rapid (Class II, Mile 1.8)

Lower Eastatoe

Lower Eastatoe
Photo of Kevin Miller by Will Reeves taken 05/06/03

Most of the run has rapid like this one.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 25 2007 (4314 days ago)
Adam HackenbergDetails
Parking at the fishermen's access at the second power line going north on Granny Gear Rd. beats the
heck out of paddling the first .8 or so of tree infested flat water (in Jan. of 06 I had to portage
about 6 trees before the gorge). Its around a .4 mi hike in from the road. In Feb of 07 I portaged
1 tree in the gorge, which was passable if you were really determined.

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