Walnut Creek, Iowa, US
Hwy 6 in Urbandale to Raccoon River (7 miles)
||I-II(III) (for normal flows)
Walnut Creek at Des Moines, IA
120 - 750 cfs
Marginal whitewater? (We need your input to more fully characterize what happens at different flows. Add a comment or report!) Gauge (78.4 sq.mi. drainage) is on reach, so accurately reflects flow at that point. Put-in is on small trib, so expect much less flow until confluence.
This creek only flows after local rain, and can rise and fall fairly quickly. The water is
primarily street run-off and can be pretty dirty unless it has been raining for a couple days.
The run is class I-II except that you need to be prepared to deal with the likelihood of severe
strainers. There are often downed trees that can completely block the creek and require you to
portage, though sometimes experienced boaters can slip under or over them.
There are several small drops and waves which form at different locations along the run depending
on water level. The best drop is near the top of the run, behind the City of Clive's baseball
field as you pass under a bike trail bridge. As you approach the Walmart section in Windsor
Heights, there is a series of three small drops that are great fun, but hide some old bridge
pilings at higher flows so be prepared.
The last good take-out opportunity is below a small drop at 63rd & Grand, where parking is
available. There is a wave that forms here at medium-to-high flows.
If you proceed beyond this point, you are probably doomed to float into the Raccoon River and
take out in Waterworks Park. You can continue down the Raccoon River if you like, but it is a
wide and typically slow float. Also, there is a low-head dam as you pass under the Martin Luther
King bridge that can cause trouble if you aren't ready for it. Best to portage unless the water
level is high enough that it is completely submerged, at which point it doesn't appear to pose a
problem. Still, better to be safe.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-06-01 15:02:42