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Difficulty II-III+(IV)
Length 6 Miles
Flow Range 250 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.01 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 01/02/2017 2:22 pm

River Description

It is being reported that USGS has corrected the gauge issue and the gauge now is accurate.

a Class III run, with two (2) class IV. Most rapids are straight ahead. Both Class IV can be portaged on river right. The first, Blue Hole Memorial, is just after the second big bend to the left. Scout on right. This rapid is followed by a 150 yd continuous wave train. At the bottom of the wave train is a large hole, but not a keeper. The next is the Alabama classic Bottleneck.This beautiful rapid would be right at home nestled in the Suicide section ,but is somehow stuck all alone way down here. Water on the far right side of the river flows into a pool, from which you can scout the main drop. Thinking about running this one, catch the first big eddy on the right, just after some water has gone far right. From here on the rapids are fast and straight. Everything is runnable and there are only a few places that are shallow. This section is a move up from the Locust Fork, or Nantahala River, particularly the two Class IV's and the long wave train.

To get to the take out, take Hwy 35 from Interstate 59 east to AL hwy 273. Go south (turn right) until you cross Little River. The next hard top road to the right, approximately 1/4 mile, goes to Canyon Mouth Park. Now operated by the National Park Service, it doesn't open until 8:00 am. There are bath rooms only. You'll see the USGS gauge station behind the bath house. To get to the put in, on your way out of the park you'll see a steep road off to the right. Turn right, at the top of the hill, (fire tower) turn right and follow the road until you pass over Johnny's creek. Up the steep hill (50 degree) the canyon rim roads turns right, this is the long way to the put in. To shorten the distance, turn left. Pass Black Oak Church and intersect with AL hwy 176. Turn right and you will eventually pass the old amusement park, on the left. Just before the road biforcates (splits) there is a locked gate on the right. Here is a grass covered road down to the put in, approximately 1/2 mile.

If you are staying overnight, the best camping is at Desota State Park off hwy 35 on hwy 89. Primitive camping is available for $8/night for two people. Improved camping with heated bathrooms and hot showers is $15/night, two night min on weekends.

Note: Some cars and trucks were broken into on 11-13-04 at Canyon Mouth Park

Rapid Descriptions


Class - IV Mile - 2
Ledge rapid. Usually run by skirting the hole on the right.


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Chuck Williams
13 years ago

About 2/3 of the way through Chairlift is a tree across the entire river. The roots are on river right and there is a clear passage on the right hand side. Kind of hug the roots as you go around and avoid the rock just down stream. Once you pass the tree's roots move left to the middle of the river.

We knew we'd be running late and left our cars outside the gates on Saturday. The national park rangers ask that we park all of the way off the road. About 30 yards from the gates is a little clearing off to the side of the road. It is best to park there if you must be outside the gates. The ranger we spoke to kindly waited for us to drive in, change clothes in the bathrooms and load our gear before locking the gate even though we were already 30 minutes past closing. Thank you!

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14 years ago

I think the guage has been fixed post hurricane and is back to the old levels.

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Robert Maxwell
15 years ago

The Little River at Blue Pond gage was recalibrated after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Here is the new correlation for the Blue Pond gage and the Hwy 35 bridge gage. These levels should be considered in flux, because the Blue Pond gage will be recalibrated in the near future, as water levels permit. (3/1/05)

Blue Pond = 35 Bridge

500-650 cfs = -2.0
650-800 cfs = -1.0
800-1100 cfs = 0.0
1100-1300 cfs = 2.0
1400-1500 cfs = 4.0
1600-1700 cfs = 6.0
2000-2100 cfs = 7.0
2100-2200 cfs = 8.0
2600-2700 cfs = 12.0

I have an Excel 2000 spreadsheet that predicts the levels for Little River and several other rivers in the southeast. If you

Gage Descriptions

AL Power Reservoir info line, 800-525-3711, then 6, wait until warning message about water levels, then 2, 2, for CFS reading. USGS gauge at takeout is in FT. 4.5'= 1100 cfs. There is also a gauge on the Hwy 35 bridge, southeast corner. CFS minus 1100, then divided by 100 = inches on bridge gage. ie, bridge gauge times 100 + 1100 = CFS. This estimate is approximate based on how much rain and how long ago. These flow were re-confirmed this fall, 2004 by Rob Maxwell

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2015-12-25 n/a Near Miss/Rescue High Water Read More
1997-12-22 Low Fatality Solo Paddling Read More





william w. thornton


David Bazemore


Adam Goshorn


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1189862 01/16/06 william w. thornton n/a
1203980 01/04/15 David Bazemore Gauge info change
1204013 01/18/15 David Bazemore Gauge info
1204014 01/18/15 David Bazemore spelling
1207100 01/02/17 Adam Goshorn
1207103 01/02/17 Adam Goshorn