Information on Fall Cr.
Location: Washington and Crawford Co.; Take Hwy 71 north from I-40 to
West Fork, then take Hwy 170 south and then Hwy 265 west to
Strickler. Put in at Hwy 265 bridge at Strickler. Take out
at low water bridge on Hwy 220 (dirt road) south of Devil's
Den State Park.
Topo Quad(s): Strickler, Rudy NE
Gradient: 50 fpm (80 fpm. in first 2.5 miles)
Length: 12 mi.
Gauge: The bridge at the takeout near Lee Cr. should have water flowing
over it for a minimal run. More than 1.5 ft of water over
this bridge will make for a class IV run in the upper six
miles. The USGS gauge for Baron Fork at Dutch Mills is also
a good predictor for this run. It should be over 4.0 ft. for
a run on Fall Cr.
LINK TO USGS GAUGE
Hazards: hydraulics, strainers, barbed wire (2 fences at end of 6th
Description: This creek was first run by Steve Robertson and crew in
open boats in May 1995. The lower 6 miles were run in Jan.
1993 by Bill and Chanoy Herring. The first 4 miles are the
toughest, containing many class III+ drops in a very narrow
stream bed. "Threes with trees" is the best way to describe
this dangerous stretch. At high water there are very few eddies
and no pools to recover in. Some of the more notable rapids
include Introduction (III) just below the put-in bridge,
Poke in the Eye (III) about 2.5 miles into the run, and
Hal's Falls (III) at mile 5.0 which sports a terminal, river-
wide hydraulic at higher levels. 1/2 mile below Hal's Falls
watch out for two mean strands of barbed wire that span the
creek. The first fence appears at the end of a rapid where
water pillows off of several car sized rocks in the middle of
the stream. It is best portaged on the right. The second
fence follows about 1/4 mile after the first, just as a large
overhanging bluff on river left ends. Portage on the left.
These fences are extremely dangerous and difficult to spot
from upstream. Also there are barbed wire strands in the
creek between the two fences. Stay near the left bank to
avoid these strands. Though it's tempting, do not attempt
to cut or move these fences. The landowner is within his
rights to have them there, and he could cause major trouble
for boaters if his property is destroyed. Also beware of the
potential for strainers that can block the entire creek in
many places. Plan on portaging at least a few times. The
gradient lessens in the last half of the run providing more
time to recover, but there are still many trees in the fast
current so stay on your toes. You may want to put on early,
because it can easily take you more than six hours to run the
12 miles, and more time can easily be consumed unpinning
wayward boats and paddlers. All boaters should be confident
on fast class III-IV water and familiar with strainer hazards
before attempting Fall Cr.
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