Barberry Creek - Headwaters to ELFB (1.8 miles)

Barberry Creek, Arkansas, US


Headwaters to ELFB (1.8 miles)

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 1.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 190 fpm
Max Gradient 300 fpm

Barbarian Falls entrance

Barbarian Falls entrance
Photo of Chuck Bewley by Lance Jones taken 02/11/09 @ ELF Low

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Little Buffalo
virtual-45503 5.20 - 10.00 ft III-V 01h18m 2.71 ft (too low)

River Description

Note: The combination of Steep banks and lots of deadfalls tend to clog the creek with wood from time to time, so keep look out.


Put-in: Go North on County Road 8872 from Hwy 16 for 1 mile and look for a bermed forest service logging road on the left (West) just past where the road loop reconnects. Park and follow the logging road for 1/2 mile and when a fence and clearing are visible, look for an ATV trail to the left and follow down to the creek. (elevation ~1840)

Take-out: Option 1) Carry up the road at the put-in for the standard East Fork Little Buffalo run.
Option 2) Paddle down the main EFLB to Murray. This run will be kickin and offer some big water features near the bottom. Be on the look out for Johnson's Falls in the middle of the run.

The creek is the cousin of Sandy Springs Hollow which is located on the East side of County Road 8872 and joins Barberry at the standard putin for the East Fork Little Buffalo.

Sandy is mainly boulder drops with a few bedrock drops, Barberry is mainly bedrock drops with a few boulder drops. 

Highlights are the 4 main drops. First is a 8-footer onto a short slide a couple hundred yards down from the put-in. Second is Gimme 3 Steps just downstream below a small tributary waterfall on the left. Third is Monday Morning Surprise comes quickly downstream at the end of a long bedrock slide. Next are a couple of small drops then another low angle slide followed by the tight bouldery drops of Down South Jukin'. Good idea to stop and scout in this area in preparation for Barbarian Falls which is the fourth main drop and signals the end of the steep gradient.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-02-23 04:22:19


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-0.5Put-in ParkingN/A
0.1First DropIV
0.2Gimme Three StepsIV+Waterfall
0.4Monday Morning SurpriseIVWaterfall Photo
0.6Down South Jukin'IV+Hazard
0.8Entrance to Barbarian Falls5.0Hazard Waterfall Photo
0.9Barbarian Falls5.0Hazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Put-in Parking (Class N/A, Mile -0.5)

Park at bermed road and follow down to the creek.

First Drop (Class IV, Mile 0.1)

Creek starts on a bedrock slide with some ledges.  The first main ledge has a shallow landing.

Gimme Three Steps (Class IV+, Mile 0.2)

Two small ledges lead into this 12-footer.  The second ledge forms a meaty hole at medium and high flows.


The main drop is an autoboof.


Joe C. boofin'

Monday Morning Surprise (Class IV, Mile 0.4)

exiting monday morning

exiting monday morning
Photo of chuck b by joe c @ elf

Very shortly after 'Give Me 3 Steps' the creek enters another bedrock slide that leads into a step drop into a deep pool.  Low water means a hard bounce down the drop.  Medium to high flows start to develop a hydraulic at the bottom.

Down South Jukin' (Class IV+, Mile 0.6)

A technical boulder rapid leads into a low-angle slide.  Below this slide is the tight and technical section Down South Jukin'.  The first part tends to collect wood, the second part has a sieve to avoid and the third part is a narrow notch with overhanging rocks from both sides.


After the notch is the entrance to Barbarian Falls.

Entrance to Barbarian Falls (Class 5.0, Mile 0.8)

barbarian falls entrance!

barbarian falls entrance!
Photo of chuck b by joe c @ elf

A series of 4 stair stepping narrow technical ledges lead into the steep stair step of Barbarian Falls.  These entrance drops offer an undercut on the right and a couple of pin rocks.

Barbarian Falls (Class 5.0, Mile 0.9)

chuck b da barbarian!

chuck b da barbarian!
Photo of chuck b by joe c @ elf

4 steep ledges make up the main drop which becomes more veritical with higher flows. Total drop of entrance and the falls is 35-40 feet depending on water level.  The majority of the drop is in the main falls portion. The pool at the bottom is deep.


Below here is a mile of run-out with no defined drops to the confluence with the EFLB.

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