This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-V
Length Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 06/03/2009 12:16 pm

River Description

Fun micro-creeking.  When it is running all you see is a thin loud white line going down. Scout, scout, scout for sketchy spots, pin potentials, strainers/wood, and sieves.   Take out immediately below the confluence with Wilson Creek to scout or portage because of the nasty dropl immediately below (see photo)

You can take the trail on river left and hike back up to FR192, rinse & repeat as necessary. 




Continue down Wilson Creek and float WC to the next major confluence on river left (Cary Flat Br/Bucks Timber/Flat Land Br all dump in here).  This is the put-in for typical Upper Wilson Creek trip (Reach # 3560). You can take out and hike up TR257 to the town of Gragg, NC or continue on and cross into Caldwell county @ Edgemont, NC.  From FR192 to Edgemont Rd. is probably 7 miles.

Rapid Descriptions


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Gary Mitchell
11 years ago

ran on 3.5.08 after 3+" of rain at Grandfather

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Look for at least 1 inch of rain within the last 12 hours @  AFWS-Grandfather Meadows ( & then MAYBE LW will be running!  Preferably 2 inches or more in the last 12 to 24 hours.  The hurricane rule applies here - in case of hurricane approach the tribs from above (north in this case) and forget about running WC gorge. 
Most people find the Wilson Creek tribs in order to avoid the high water Class V Wilson creek hydraulics (over 6" @ Adako or the Gorge put-in).  As a result, there are not many WC trib visuals and runs.
Few will venture above WC if it is runnable.
People & guidebooks will tell you to look for the Adako bridge visual (also known as a Wilson Visual) to be 2 feet...but don't put your entire boat in that eddy, the Wilson Creek tribs run a lot more than people think. 
Adako at 2 feet guarantees water, but if you are ready, willing & able you can hit these pristine creeks when the Adako visual is quickly on the rise or not even rising yet.  Depending upon rainfall patterns and timing, water in the Wilson tribs can drop out before Adako rises.  Bottom line is that if you are at Adako bridge during or soon after a >1" rain and Adako is still low or rising --- dash for the tribs and you may catch Gragg Prong, Harper, North Harper, Lost Cove, Little Wilson, and Rockhouse Creek.  If the sandbars and waterlines tell you that Adako has peaked out below 6" and the rain is over, then don't bother with the WC tribs. From Adako bridge, you can get to most of the WC tribs in 30 to 60 minutes.
It is rare, but we have seen Little Wilson running strong over 24 hours after a 1" rain - this is because the rain gauges can fool you.  More than 1" of rain fell during that rain event - for sure.  Rain gauges and their solar panels can become obstructed by trees which is the often the case with the Edgemont gauge.  If you see dashes on the AFWS page then there is usually a communication issue with the rain gauge - frequently a blocked, missing, or broken solar panel.  If a rain gauge is reading 0" or really low and all of the nearby gauges are gathering rain, then there could be something physically wrong the gauge (broken, obstructed...). 

Directions Description

From Edgemont, NC travel north up Edgemont Rd. through Gragg, NC, stay left at the cemetery and then veer left onto FR192.  About 1/2 mile down is the hike-out trail, go about 1/4 mile more and you drive over a large culvert and a camping area on river right - this is the put-in.  


See reach description for the 3 possible take-outs.

No Accident Reports




Matt Muir


Gary Mitchell


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1194848 03/06/08 n/a n/a
1195304 06/03/09 Gary Mitchell
1195305 06/03/09 Gary Mitchell