Information on Lee Cr.

Lee Cr.

    Rating: II+   (S1: II-III, S2: II+)
    TDCR: 3232
    Location: Crawford Co.;
        S1: Put in south of Devil's Den Park on NFR 702 and take out 
            at Hwy 220 bridge.
        S2: Put in at the new Hwy 220 bridge (which replaced the classic
            "steel bridge" in 2000.  There's a dirt road on the river 
            left side upstream of the bridge that leads to a parking
            area.  Take out at the great new NFS take out by going
            south on Hwy 200 from the bridge about 200 yards and then
            turning right onto Lee Creek Community Rd. (gravel).  Go
            about 1/4 mile and follow the signs, turning right to
            drive to the parking area for the take out.  You can
            drive right to the river to pick up boats, but please
            park in the designated area.  This is an easy shuttle
            to walk if you don't want to mess with two cars.
         Area Map
    Topo Quad(s): Strickler, Rudy NE
    Gradient: 15 fpm
    Length: S1: 10 mi.,  S2: 1.5 mi.
    Season: FALL, SPRING
    Gauge: The USGS gauge at Short Oklahoma should be more than 4.5
        feet to scrape down.  Above 5.0 the play is fairly good.
        Above 6.0 it's much better!  S2 can be fun up to very high
        levels for advanced boaters, but most folks will think
        it's getting pretty crazy at anything over 8 feet or so.
    Hazards: heavy strainers in S1, powerful hole at Buck and Flush at high
    Description: S2 is one of the most popular play runs in the area.
        Fun can be found at almost any runnable level.  The gradient is
        not great, but the short run seems to be filled with action.
        At higher levels waves and holes are abundant.  After a longish
        pool, the first drop is fast and powerful - and studded with
        rocks at lower levels.  It doesn't have any well known name,
        but the rest do.  Football Field Rapids is a 100 yard long,
        wide series of ledges.  This one is usually shallow with some 
        surf holes on the right and the hard to catch Touchdown Wave at 
        the end.  At very high levels (>12 feet) the entire rapid is 
        filled with large irregular waves and wave-holes!  The next drop
        is El Horrendo, which used to be less than half it's present
        width.  A tree washed out on the left bank in the mid 90's and
        the result was a much weaker, straightforward ledge at regular
        levels.  After a pool comes Surfing Ledges (also known by other
        names), where holes can be surfed, and enders can be had on the
        river right at levels of about 9 feet.  After another pool,
        Buck-N-Flush is waiting.  This rapid was long feared in the 90's
        for it's grabby, punishing hole at levels of 7+ feet.  Testing 
        oneself in Buck-N-Flush hole was sort of a right of passage for 
        Northwest Arkansas kayakers for a decade, and many a bold boater 
        tangled with the hole and lost, providing an opportunity to test
        PFD's and throw ropes.  While not terminal (swimmers generally
        flushed out almost immediately), this spot was maybe the most
        infamous stopper in the state.  But after the record flooding 
        of June 2000, a gravel bar downstream of the main ledge was 
        formed, the pool level was raised and the result was a kinder 
        and gentler hole.  At least for a while.  One of these days 
        another flood could relocate some gravel and surprise some
        boaters once again.  In any case, the main part of the hole
        can be avoided by staying to the left and riding down the
        seam of green water.  After Buck-N-Flush waves continue until
        the takeout at high levels.  Look for rock steps up the bank
        at the end of the long rock shelf on river left to take out.
        S1 is a different run entirely.  It has a few nice rapids,
        but the play is not nearly as good as the lower section.
        Also there is one of the worst strainer jungles in the Ozarks
        just upstream of the Blackburn Cr. confluence.  Due to the
        ugly hazards and lack of nice drops, S1 is not often run.
        S2 is a good run for agressive beginners, but S1 is much
        more dangerous and boaters running that stretch should 
        have experience negotiating strainers and holes.

See the Photo Gallery for photos.

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