Rowlett Creek - Ben Davis Rd to Pleasant Valley Rd (1.6 miles)

Rowlett Creek, Texas, US


Ben Davis Rd to Pleasant Valley Rd (1.6 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 1.61 Miles
Avg. Gradient 7 fpm
Max Gradient 10 fpm

2nd ledge again

2nd ledge again
Photo of steven by Robert H taken 07/13/05 @ 1700cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Rowlett Ck nr Sachse, TX
usgs-08061540 200 - 2500 cfs II-III 00h44m 133 cfs (too low)

River Description

First Ledge:

Level Description
500-1000 cfs Shallow and scrapey, but there is good surf on river left after the main drop.
1000-1500 cfs Much better level.  Deep enough for squirts.  Lots of play.  Above the drop, a 30-foot-wide wave starts to form.
1500-2000 cfs 1st ledge gets big-- run it center or right of center.  Above the drop, there is a great 30-foot-wide wave/hole.
2000-3000 cfs and above Things start to get big at this level.  Watch out for strainers along both banks.


Second Ledge:

Level Description
500-1000 cfs 2nd ledge has lots of play, but it's very shallow at the last hole.
1000-1500 cfs Surf everywhere at this level.
1500-2000 cfs At these levels, the ledge is best run right of center.  The hole in the middle starts to become a bit of a keeper.
2000-3000 cfs and above The middle hole of the second ledge is best left alone.  Boaters have watched this hole surf logs for 20 minutes.  Run both ledges right of center.

General Description:

There are two natural ledges on this section of Rowlett Creek, with at least three play holes at each one.  The First Ledge will be marked by about 70-100 meters of insignificant standing waves/fast water (and at levels above 2k, a small surf hole or two.)  The meat of the drop is a two-tier affair:  the first tier is a hole extending halfway across the river (more than halfway at higher levels.)  This in itself is an excellent surfing hole.  The one concern here is the next drop, a mere 20-30 meters downstream, which is probably the steepest drop of the run.

At levels above 2100-3000+ cfs, the last drop before the takeout (Second Ledges) should only be attempted by someone with solid Class IV paddling skills.  There are numerous holes, essentially river-wide at higher levels.  These holes produce large hydraulics with significant back flow, capable of churning and tumbling truck-size trees as if they were matchsticks.  An unskilled boater flushed into this maelstrom will get severely thrashed and likely extracted from their boat, placing them in the dangerous position of swimming on a flooded creek.  The drop can be run with a sneak route on river right.  However, care must be taken in the execution;  there is a hole at river right, under a large overhanging tree, that might create a strainer hazard.

Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-14 05:39:51


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.8First LedgeIIPlayspot Photo
1.2Second LedgesIIPlayspot Photo
1.3President George Bush Turnpike BridgeN/A

Rapid Descriptions

First Ledge (Class II, Mile 0.8)

Low water Rowlett

Low water Rowlett
Photo of maxbob in the boat and Steven and Asiana by Robert H taken 05/03/07 @ 450cfs

Second Ledges (Class II, Mile 1.2)

Last hole 2nd ledge

Last hole 2nd ledge
Photo of steven by Robert H taken 08/08/05 @ 2200+cfs

Pipeline (Class N/A, Mile 1.3)

This will pose a serious strainer hazard if Rowlett Creek is flowing at ~3000 cfs or higher.

President George Bush Turnpike Bridge (Class N/A, Mile 1.3)

Reference point

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 26 2008 (3797 days ago)
x (1)
A new pipeline has been placed below the second set of ledges, about 1/2 mile above the takeout.
This will pose a serious strainer hazard if Rowlett Creek is flowing at apprx. 3000 cfs or higher.
Beware of construction debris in the riverbed at lower levels.