Fires Creek, North Carolina, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||113 fpm|
|Max Gradient||200 fpm|
|NANTAHALA RIVER NEAR RAINBOW SPRINGS, NC|
|usgs-03504000||400 - 5000 cfs||II-III+||00h54m||170 cfs (too low)|
Fires Creek is a narrow steep roadside whitewater run. Even though it has a large watershed, good
access, and is near several whitewater outdoor centers, Fires Creek has attracted little local
Unlike other similar creeks Fires has no single spectacular large rapid. However when the gauge reads 400 cfs or more the creek is literally a 6-mile rapid with a western feel. The run is genuinely fun and very constant in character. Fires Creek is narrow and thus there is always a strainer hazard, but the creek was relatively clean in early 2003.
There is a bridge about halfway down the run but boaters can access the stream to put in almost anywhere. Taking out is slightly more difficult but not a real problem, because of the nearby road.
"The two miles above the horse camp from the concrete arch bridge down drop at an average of 200 fpm. Sure didn't feel that steep. Very continuous gradient, no big drops." Brad Roberts, 2003
Clay County AFWS Rain Gauges
Try this Google Maps linke to locate or get directions to the take-out.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.5||First of the big drops||III|
|2.0||Bristol Horse Camp|
|3.5||Boof Right Slide Left||III|
|7.5||Unnamed Creek Falls||III|