Information on East Fork of the Little Buffalo


East Fork of the Little Buffalo

	Rating: III-IV (V)
	TDCR: 6857
	Location: Newton Co.  Put in is reached from a county road 2 miles
		southwest of Deer on Hwy 16.  Turn north on this road and 
		follow it for approx. 4 miles to a house.  ASK FOR PERMISSION
		TO ACCESS THE CREEK.  Drag your boat 1 mile down an old logging
		road to the creek.  Take out is reached by taking Shiloh
		Rd. east of Hwy. 21 just south of Mossville.  Drive for
		2 miles and take the right fork.  Descend a steep hill for
		4 miles to a wide low-water slab across the creek.
		Area Map
	Topo Quad(s): Swain, Murray
	Gradient: ???
	Length: 8 mi.
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: Water should be flowing over the Buffalo R. low water 
		bridge at Ponca. Also, low water bridge at the take-out 
		should be under water for an optimal run. 
		LINK BUFFALO NATIONAL R. GAUGES (UPDATED HOURLY)
	Hazards: strainers, Johnson's Squeeze (V)
	Description: The upper section of the EFLB, as it is locally known,
		is a classic Ozark creek run.  At the confluence of Barberry 
		Cr. the EFLB is a very small steep creek, but it picks up
		volume from three tributaries in the first mile and becomes
		a sizable creek run.  Half Moon (III) is the first 
		notable drop encountered followed by Johnson's Squeeze (V)
		where the creek is severely choked down.  Portage Johnson's
		Squeeze on the left, and beware of entering the upper part
		of the drop accidentally.  You may be forced to fight for
		your life in the Squeeze, as it's namesake, Jon Johnson, can
		attest to.  Although it certainly is not recommended, the 
		Squeeze has been a handfull of times with varying success.  
		The first runs were on the right at very high water 
		by Ryan Johnson (4/22/96), and then on the left crack side 
		(2/21/97) by Mr. Johnson as well.  Don't try this 
		at home boys and girls.  It's a definite hazard to life 
		and limb at any level.  Numerous class III and III+ rapids are 
		encountered below the Squeeze and some of the best scenery
		in the Ozarks surrounds padders in this stretch.  After this
		first gorge, the gradient relaxes a bit.  When the creek 
		looks like a blind jumble of boulders again, you're at the
		start of the class III-IV Second Gorge.  It starts with
		a mean hole with a twisting approach nicknamed "Obliterator"
		- a name often deserved at high levels when the hole
		tends to efficiently separate boaters and gear.  A rope
		here and a look at the lines are both good ideas.  Drops
		are continuous and blind for the next quarter mile,
		and at high water the area is basically one long class IV+
		rapid.  It's fun, but it's serious fun - there are sieves
		and hazards lurking in many places, so stay on your toes.
		After the Second Gorge, the gradient again eases, but
		class III drops keep appearing.  Just after a driveway
		crossing with a house and barn on the left, an easy class
		III drop leads to a short pool above "Swinging Bridge Drop."
		Just look for the old footbridge above the rapid.  This
		begins the Third Gorge, about the same intensity and length
		as the Second, but with a very different personality.
		The hardest drops come at the end, and don't relax too
		soon, because a class III+ drop with a brusing landing
		zone appears after you think the gorge is over (there
		is a sneak to the left).  There is a possible takeout
		point at a low water bridge about a mile below the
		Third Gorge, just past where Stepp Cr. enters from the
		left, or you can continue down to the Murray takeout.
		All boaters should have good creeking skills on
		class III-IV water before attempting the EFLB.  It's
		one of the best runs around if you have the skills,
		but it's a long a bruising day if you don't!
		Thanks to Shelby Johnson for information on this run.

See the Photo Gallery for photos.

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