Locals first paddled the creek sometime in 2005. There are a handful of drops up top, mostly landing on rocks and full of wood. Some of them could be run at select levels. This run is similar to Hurricane Creek over near Harmon Den, NC, but less quality and less runnable. The rhododendron is the thickest around and there will have to be a serious chunk of work done before this thing could be fully runnable.
The first 8-10 foot spout needs good water to be clean, but looks like fun. The other good drop is right near the bottom where Yellow has its confluence with Bullet Creek. This stretch starts with two 8-foot off-vertical ledges and then the creek goes off of Yellow Creek Falls. The falls is a 20-foot bouncing slide that lands in a space the size of a coffin, right in front of a big boulder. This drop is super sketchy at best. The landing is way too tight, and little control is possible on the slide. There is also no room to drive right, which is what would have to happen if one didn't want to destroy themselves on the rock below. Unless there is a lot of water, this drop kinda ruins the continuity in this stretch. The drops below Yellow Creek Falls are very nice, though, and will make for a unique side trip while in the area.
Below Yellow Creek Falls, the creek flows over nice bedrock. There are two drops here of worth. The first is a 14-foot bedrock shelf that is clean on the left and lands on rock on the right. Drive left here. The second part occurs after winding down a fun low angle bedrock slide for a ways. The river piles up and drops through a spout against the river right wall. The spout drops around 12-14 feet and is quite picturesque as it lands in a large pool with big cliffs surrounding it. This is a local swimming spot, and the end of the run. Right below the creek drops into Bullet Creek and then goes around 3/4 of a mile to a takeout if you want to set shuttle and all. This stretch is class 2-3 with wood.
If you really want to get on this thing, the best thing to do is to just hike into this rapid via the trail on river right that comes down from FR 44. After switchbacking up from the valley on FR 44, it will be on the right. If you hit a gate and a little trail on the left you have gone too far. Park and walk back down the road 150 yards until you see the trail on the left. If you go around a large bend away from the creek you just passed it. The trail is steep and drops around 200 feet to the top of the drop you want to run, right below Yellow Creek Falls. Put in and run the drop, and if you want to do laps or hike back out the way you came, after running the drop, get out on river left and walk along the cliff wall downstream untill you see a notch trhough the wall going up to above it. Take this trail up to the top of the 50 foot cliff and you will notice the faint trail continuing back upstream on river left. This will take you back to just below Yellow Creek Falls where you can ford and walk back up the trail to your car. The other option is to run/walk shuttle and paddle the flat section of Bullet Creek 3/4 mile to the next road crossing. The shuttle will be around 2 miles.
This run is a neat hike and huck, but the rapids upstream will leave you worn out from portaging through the thick rhododendron for a low fun-to-portage ratio.
For more information please click on the link below:
Now that the person who has hiked the river but not ran it is no longer the stream keeper, more accurate information may become posted. Yellow Creek was first attempted by Matt (Badfish on BT) who took off after the first couple humdred yards. Keith Clark and I did the run because we had already set shuttle and had to get to the bottom any way. Yellow is a very hard run with some of the best rapid only unrunable due to wood. It and Bullet creek it runs into are both intense runs with some great rapid mixed in with all the mank, the portages which are many are pure hell. Mark cumknock has a good write up of both creeks on the Walden ridge webb site. If you want more information feel free to call me at 803 319 1719 or if you would rather hear about it from badfish I have his number somewhere. We have picture and video of these creeks and not the ones the hiker took with no water either.
here is some more intel pertaining to the first d of yellow creek with pictures included
provided by some internet surfer
This creek takes epic amounts of rain to get going. The watershed is around 3 miles, and typically starr mountain does not get alot of rain. Check the Etowah rain gauge and look for around 3-5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, or 2+ in the past 6 hours. Visual at the putin.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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an american paddling legend
Hard hit cascade
Beginning of biggest boulder jumble
8 foot spout
Bullet Creek Falls
Left side of first drop of Swimming Hole Falls
Looking down bedrock at final drop of Swimming hole Falls
Yellow Creek Falls from above
Typical scene on Yellow Creek
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