Clear Creek, North Carolina, US
|Usual Difficulty||III+(V+) (for normal flows)|
From Streamkeeper G. Kohl--
A quick report on this one: tight, rhododendron-infested creek with flatwater followed by unrunnable falls between the small road off NC 28 to the culvert at the far end of the road to Overflow.
If you want to run it, I suggest carrying over the mountain past the Overflow put-in on the "road" that extends beyond where the FS has blocked it off. Eventually you will come to a culvert/pipe with a creek going through it that looks exactly like Overflow. This is Clear Creek. The section upstream of here is not worth it (we tried, but it was log-chocked flatwater followed by two approx. 60-foot drops that were not clean in any sense of the word.
I can't tell you much of what to expect other than the stream packs a lot of gradient in the final mile and comes charging out into Overflow (it's the cascading creek that enters on your left somewhere early on Overflow, right before "Roundabout" if I recall correctly). Look for Overflow to be stomping (we saw Clear Creek when Overflow was 2.7 feet and holding steady) so hang on for the wild/insane ride down Overflow when this is running. Come to think of it, just bail on Clear Creek and go run something else that's got water, because most all of the micro-creeks will be flush if Clear Creek is running. The AW description says to put on off Hwy. 28, but that's not the section you'd want unless you're trying to train for some sort of adventure race from hell.
If you do run that final section down to Overflow, be sure to post a report. We'll want to hear about your first descent of Clear Creek (ours was a bust because we put on too far up) and can't wait to hear how Overflow was when it was pushing 3 feet. The Gazetteer maps place a lot of gradient in that section, and I'm sure it's there, but it's unclear if it's consistent gradient or in the form of big unrunnable types of falls. Bring a tight group if you do it that is experienced in tough portages, lowering boats by rope and class V skills, and recognize the remoteness of where you will be in terms of proper safety.