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Difficulty IV
Length 2.5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 08/05/2015 8:08 pm

River Description

From Kevin Colburn:
Trip Kinney and I paddled Cold Springs Creek into Harmon Den on 1/7/98. We had a good moderate water level and there was no wood. Apparently there was always lots of wood, then there was a brief window when it was clear, and then it got all choked up again. We walked our shuttle and ran the last 2.2 miles. Big Creek was 4 feet on the old yellow gauge. There was one gnarly slidey rapid hidden in a rhodo thicket near the top that we did not run (perhaps it was unrunnable). Other than that we ran everything, and it was a fun small creek, perhaps class 4? just tight creekin, it is difficult to say how hard.. I remember a cool 12 foot tall slide, a gushy little slot rapid, and the final rapid which has a small vertical drop and some neat moves. There were ample eddies and slack water. This creek was tiny.

Rapid Descriptions


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tucker deloach
11 years ago

Is this the creek on the way up to maxpatch? i think i saw this creek at low water and it didnt look runnable. ill probably go check it out after a good rain.

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports



article main photo

A Close Look at Cheoah River Fatalities

Charlie Walbridge

The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not  going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)


Kevin Colburn


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1205182 08/05/15 Kevin Colburn map accuracy
1193719 05/12/05 n/a n/a