Information on Crooked Cr.
Rating: III-IV (V)
Location: Go about 2 miles north of Albert Pike on CR4 until
you come to CR1. Take CR1 about anther 2 miles until
the creek goes under the road. This is the takeout.
There are campsites there that you can use to park.
Continue up CR1 until you get to the Little Missouri
Falls turn off - this is the putin for the lower gorge.
To get to the put in for the upper gorge keep following
CR1 until you come to a low water bridge that is not crossable,
park here and ferry across the creek. Carry your boat .5
to .75 miles up the road to the next low water bridge. Put in
at that point for the upper gorge. The creek runs right by
the road the entire time so scouting on the way up is possible.
At the time of this writing in Spring of 2001, the section
of the creek between the Backbreaker Falls and the lower gorge
is completely full of downed trees from a massive ice storm.
You will probably just want to skip this whole section
and shuttle back down from the big falls to the put-in for
the lower section.
Topo Quad(s): N/A
Gradient: 115 fpm (275 fpm max)
Length: 3 mi
Gauge: Little Missouri at Langley should be at least 7.5 for the
lower section and 9.5 for the upper gorge. The only way to be
sure is visual inspection of the creek.
Hazards: Large falls, undercuts, strainers, continuous rapids, etc.
Description: The first run of Crooked Cr. was by Chris Anderson
in January 1995, when all but a couple of drops were run. Chris
returned in January of 1997 and ran all of the drops at that
time. The upper gorge consists of 5 or 6 waterfalls ranging
5 to 10 feet in height. These falls all occur in less than 100
yards. After this the creek makes a left turn followed by
several slide/ledge drops before it slows down a little
before the low water bridge. Thanks to the ice storm the
upper gorge is not runnable at the time of this writing.
Just below the low water bridge is Back Breaker Falls, a
class IV+ to V drop. Trees tend to accumulate near or in the
drop, so watch out for them. The only good line on this
drop is the far right. If you get into the middle of the
falls, you will hit a launching pad that can send you flying
onto an extremely shallow shelf 18 to 20 feet below! If you
stay on the right side line, you can run down on a seam just
big enough to put a boat down. It's a great ride if you make
the line - a real banger if you don't. As of June 2001, you'll
need to portage (shuttle) from the pool below the falls to
the start of the lower section near Little Missouri Falls.
Eventually the dozens of downed trees in this section will
not be a problem, but it will take several years for that to
happen. The lower section starts of with some class II+
rapids, and then a definite horizon line appears. This is
the start of Double Ledges - a solid class III rapid. Start
on the far left and run the slot working your way right into
a seam about half way down. The next bridge you go under marks
the start of the lower gorge. All of the water pushes to the
right, but head for the eddy on the left to scout the drops.
There are several different lines through this tight, class IV
section of whitewater, but only one way out at the bottom.
Pick the line that suits you best, but be on target when you
reach the final drops. At the bottom of the gorge there
is a 6 to 8 foot waterfall with a boofing pad just right
of center. Make sure you hit the boof because the pool is
shallow! Several bows have been smashed here due to wayward
lines. A few more class II rapids brings you to another
bridge - the entrance to the last rapid. This solid
class III drop provides several broaching and pinning
possibilities. Take out at the bottom of this rapid
and head to the Little Missuori for some big water
play boating! This little creek is certainly one of the
most beautiful and exciting runs in the state. Scout
it carefully from the road and make sure you are up to
the challenge before tackling the drops. Thanks to Heath
Day and Lance Jones for information on this great run.
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