Spruce Flats Prong - Honey Cove Branch confluence to Middle Prong Little River

Spruce Flats Prong, Tennessee, US


Honey Cove Branch confluence to Middle Prong Little River

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 0.15 Miles
Avg. Gradient 1000 fpm
Max Gradient 1000 fpm

Main event

Main event

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03497300 5.50 - 10.00 ft V+ 00h26m 2.38 ft (too low)

River Description

This is the gnarliest hike and huck special the southeast has ever seen. There are only about 5 or 6 drops on the whole run, but they are rediculous. When running, the whole set is essentially one rapid dropping around 130 feet. It does this in around 0.15 miles, yielding a gradient of around 1000 fpm. Just scouting it with no water will induce serious vertigo.

Nevertheless, all the drops are completely doable and relatively clean in their own right. The scare and seriousness comes from the stacked nature with which they are assembled. One leads right into another with little recovery time.

The drops go something like this: Entrance is a crappy 8 foot ledge. The second drop is around 20 feet and is a super steep sliding turn with big hits. It currently has some wood in it. These first 2 will probably not be worth the hassle. The final two cascades are of most interest. The drop above the big one is a clean 10 footer with a tiny pool before bouncing off another clean 20 feet of verticallity. After this, the river flattens for around 70 feet before falling off of the biggest and most dangerous drop, a 35-40 foot waterfall. The waterfall starts bouncing for the first 15-20 feet and then the last 20-25 feet is air time. The pool at the bottom is shallow, thus the high water required for the descent. Pencilling wouldn't be good, but flat would be just as bad. Look for 30 degrees from vert with your face on the deck. This high water requirement commits who ever is ballsy enough to attempt it to a flawless run of a pushy series of class 5+ steepness before even dropping the big one.

It should be noted that below the big one is another short and steep series of ledges dropping into the Middle Prong of the Little. The first one is fine, but the last one is probbly not runnable. Be carefull here.

If the drops weren't so relatively clean and runnable, this would not be worth note, but seeing what is being done these days, this will get done pretty soon. It would be more doable than Linville Falls, and less scary than Toxaway Falls, but easily as difficult as Trashcan Falls, and as commiting as the Inner Whitewater box canyon.

It is state of the art and whoever runs it first should tell their safety crew to shoot lots of quality pictures.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2008-03-30 21:36:02


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1Warm Up Falls5.1Access Hazard Waterfall Photo
0.1Main Event5.3Takeout Portage Hazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Warm Up Falls (Class 5.1, Mile 0.1)

Warm up Falls

Warm up Falls

10 foot clean drop right into a 20 footer. Landing is mostly clean.

Main Event (Class 5.3, Mile 0.1)

Main Event and its runout

Main Event and its runout

A huge 35-40 foot waterfall with a sliding entrance and a shallow but large pool at the bottom

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments