Little - 3. Eberhart Point (Chairlift) to Canyon Mouth Campground

Little, Alabama, US


3. Eberhart Point (Chairlift) to Canyon Mouth Campground (Chairlift)

Usual Difficulty II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 6 Miles


Photo of Will Reeves by Ed Ditto @ 500 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02399200 250 - 10000 cfs II-III+(IV) 01h28m 29 cfs (too low)

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

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-01-02 14:22:46


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)

Rapid Descriptions

Bottleneck (Class IV, Mile 2.0)

Chad at Bottleneck

Chad at Bottleneck
Photo of Chad Spangler by Mike Stephenson taken 09/28/02 @ 4"

Ledge rapid. Usually run by skirting the hole on the right.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
January 17 2015 (1368 days ago)
David BazemoreDetails
Reports are coming in that USGS has corrected the previous issue with the gauge reading low.
Apparently the reading is now accurate.
January 4 2015 (1381 days ago)
David BazemoreDetails
A change has been made to the gauge. As of now if the gauge is showing around 400 cfs it will be
more similar to the 800 - 900 cfs range. I am not certain how the changes to the physical gauge
will alter all the other levels. More info from other paddlers at various levels would be
December 19 2009 (3223 days ago)
JPomeroy (151336)
this description doesn't do this river justice. ran it yesterday(12-18-09)at 1600+ cfs( USGS gauge
5.7 at during shuttle, 6.7 at take out. The originall write up is unclear and leads you to believe
that the class IVs are the first rapids. i will agree most of this river is run and gun as most
rapids are large wave trains and fairly straightforward. the first rapid is a hole just above a
small drop into another hole followed by a long wave train.burl through the holes and you should
come out clean.a couple more rapids primarily wave trains with some grabby crosscurrents lead you
up to blue hole memorial(IV) portage/scout/ sneak route (at this level) on river right. a wavetrain
that never seems to end is up next, run and gun this one as well. you will hear Bottleneck coming.
it consists of several drops upstream leading to a large drop into a humongous hole( flushy) run
this botom drop just right of river center(get speed to punch the hole). there is a long recovery
pool at the bottom of bottleneck. from here on out its full-on run and gun reading. massive waves
give you a wild ride, but there are enough lulls for you to catch your breath. description says a
step up from the nantahala or the locust fork. maybe at lower levels big water makes this closer to
a step up from the ocoee. beautiful scenery and exciting water make this a great run, but you are
in a canyon so bring the endurance as a walk out is nearly impossible. i will bring a camera and
get some explanative pictures as well as give a more accurate description of the rapids. paddle on.
jason pomeroy (TN)
March 6 2007 (4242 days ago)
Chuck WilliamsDetails
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
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!
December 28 2005 (4674 days ago)
I think the guage has been fixed post hurricane and is back to the old levels.
March 17 2005 (4961 days ago)
Robert MaxwellDetails
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.

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

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