Information on Adkins Cr.


Adkins Cr.

	Rating: III-V
	TDCR: 7878
	Location: Newton Co.; The put-in is reached by taking Dixon Ridge Rd.
		west off of Hwy 21 about 1.5 miles north of Fallsville.  This
		road is the same as the put-in road for the popular Hailstone
		Cr. run.  About 2.5 miles down this road, just before it
		starts to really drop in elevation down to the Hailstone,
		there is a small road turning to the right in the middle of
		a switchback.  This road leads to the Dahl Memorial wilderness
		access.  You should see a USFS sign-in board located near a
		parking turnout.  Park here and brushwhack southeast about 1/2
		mile to the creek.  You're aiming for approx. elevation 1820
		feet, where two major tributaries merge.  The take-out is at
		the Hwy. 21 bridge over the Buffalo R., the standard Hailstone
		take-out.  In an emergency (such as not having time to
		paddle out on the Hailstone), you can pull out at the confluence
		with the Hailstone and brushwhack up 500 vertical feet to
		a small road that will take you back to the put-in.  This
		is not a fun thing to do, but if you have to do it, start at the
		confluence on the left side of Adkins and try to follow the
		spine of the ridge up to the southwest.  Always keep climbing
		because the point you're trying to reach is at the very top
		(elevation 2087 on the USGS Fallsville quad).  The foundation 
		of an old homestead marks the end of the road which leads off 
		to the southwest and eventually ends up at the Dahl Memorial.  
		It's best to take along a good topo map and compass.  Good luck.
	Topo Quad(s): Fallsville, Boxley
	Gradient: 150 fpm (2nd mile at 190 fpm)
	Length: 15 mi. (2 miles on Adkins plus 13 miles on Hailstone Cr.)
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: Several feet of water over the low water bridge over the Buffalo R.
                at Ponca is probably a good indicator.  Smith Cr. should also
                look very big and muddy at Hwy. 21.  Like Smith Cr., putting
                on shortly after very heavy rainfall is a must for catching
                the creek at a good level.  Dragging down to the put-in
                when it's too low can be a nightmare.  You may be able to 
                predict the levels using the Buffalo R. rain gauges which are 
                linked below.  The Ponca and Buffalo Tower gauges are the ones
                to watch.
                LINK BUFFALO NATIONAL R. GAUGES (UPDATED HOURLY)
	Hazards: strainers, severely undercut rocks, severe rapids, hydraulics, 
                etc.
	Description: Overlooked and ignored for many years, Adkins Cr. was first
		paddled on June 17, 2000 by Dave "Ghost" Reid, Steve "Dog" 
		Robertson, and Bill "Fish" Herring.  Like many Newton Co. creek
		runs, a run down Adkins creek can't be adequately summed up 
		in print.  It compares in difficulty to classics like Beech Cr. 
		and Shop Cr., but like those has a personality all it's own.  
		Probably the best way to get an appreciation for the creek is
		to hike it from the put-in to the Buffalo and back up.  The
		hike is spectacular and will give you a chance to inspect 
		the big rocks that form the myriad drops in the creek.  When
		big rains fall, the creek becomes runnable where two smaller
		creeks merge southeast of the Dahl Memorial.  Immediately the
		paddler is faced with three blind ledges.  This is "Gimme Three
		Steps", and it is a great start to the day if you avoid getting
		surfed in the holes at the bottom of the drops.  After some
		tree dodging you'll come around a corner and onto a sliding
		shelf of rock.  Get out quickly to scout "The Last Step".  This
		big drop is walled in by an undercut grotto, and at moderate to
		high levels the water below kicks underneath the river right
		wall making for a class V drop.  It was not run on the 
		firost descent, but it may look more user friendly at lower or
		higher water levels.  Until the hydraulic is probed, it should
		be treated as a keeper.  Portage is easiest on the right side.
		A big slide into a hole follows Last Step, and after this the
		creek changes to blind, undercut boulder piles for the next 
		1.75 miles. The first of these, "Undercut #1" will give you an 
		idea of what is going to come at you over and over again for the 
		rest for the trip.  There are two particulary nasty spots to 
		watch out for. One of these is "Ghost's Hole" about 1/8 mile 
		below Last Step. After dropping over a few ledges the creek 
		runs underneath an undercut bluff on the left.  A pour on the 
		right can be run, but a mistake may still put you under the wall.  
		The only good portage option is on the right.  The second major 
		hazard is another nasty undercut trap located maybe 1/4 mile 
		from the end of the gorge.  "Dead Man's Leap" looks just like
		many of the other ledge/boulder drops from the top, but all
		of the water pours off of the ledge and under a big rock.  The
		creek is walled in by bluffs and portages are tricky.  Although
		these are the only drops I'll single out, at moderately high
		levels almost every drop is potentially dangerous.  Frequent 
		bank scouting is a must, and moves in front of undercuts are 
		a fact of life.  The average drop involves running a class III+ 
		line to miss class V hazards. For the experienced creeker it 
		is Nirvana.  For anyone not familiar with this type of water 
		it will not be pleasant.  Once you emerge at the confluence
		with the Hailstone, you have two options.  The best one is to
		paddle out, but the Hailstone will be at or near flood, and it
		is a continuous, hairy, big-water run at these levels.  Huge 
		keeper holes and pourovers must be carefully avoided.  If you 
		have the time to make it before dark, you can paddle to Hwy. 21 in
		around 2.5 to 3 hours.  If not, take-out option #2 is a 500 
		vertical foot climb back up to a small road that follows the top 
		of the ridge for two miles back to the Dahl Memorial.  This is 
		only a last resort, but it may be less dangerous than trying to 
		boat flooded rapids in the dark.  Adkins is an incredible 
		wilderness creek run combined with a long, floodstage run-out on 
		the Hailstone.  Trips can quickly become epic and aborting a trip
		anywhere in the gorge is about the least fun thing I can think 
		of.  Make sure you're comfortable running this type of steep
		creek before you commit yourself to this awesome Ozark gorge.		

See the Photo Gallery for photos.

Return to Index