Information on White Rock Creek

White Rock Creek

	Rating: III-IV *
	TDCR: 8797
	Location: To get to the take out drive west on I-40
		turn at the Mulberry exit, go north on Hwy 215. Three miles
		north one encounters the Mill Creek bridge; be sure to stop
		and check the level. Continue north for about five miles
		until Fern at which time 215 curves to the east continue
		east three milestowards Shores Lake. There will be a sign, 
		"Shores Lake Campground" to the right, take it and go one mile
		to the bridge crossing Hurricane Creek. This is the take-out.
		For the put-in be sure to have the Bidville topo and a compass!
		From the take-out follow Bliss Ridge Road north until it
		"T's", take a left and go approxiamately one mile until you
		see an unmaintained road to the left, drive about fifty
		yards down it until you can find a parking place. This road
		also serves as access to a hiking trail. You can either
		follow the hiking trail down to the creek(1.5 mi.)or follow
		the finger ridge down to the creek. It has a gentle slope
		until you are about 100 feet over the creek and adds .5 mi.
		of fun onto the run. If there is any doubt as to the level
		of the creek...take the trail. 
	Topo Quad(s): Bidville
	Gradient: 100 fpm (180 fpm in the first mile)
	Length: 4.5 mi.
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: Check Mill and Little Mill creeks on the way up 215. They
		should at the very least appear to be runnable. Hurricane
		creek should appear to be flooded.
	Hazards: Several undercuts on White Rock, strainers are present on
		Hurricane but none to speak of on White Rock. As one nears
		the conflence with Hurricane on White Rock there is some
		tornado damage that produces some nasty downed trees and logs.
		Walk around them! This section is noticable as the
		creek appears to be clear-cut on either side, so there is
		plenty of advance notice. These should wash out in the
		coming years.
	Description: White Rock Creek is a low-volume creek that runs off of
		White Rock Mountain - well known by the White Rock Mountain
		Recreation Area that sits on top of a big outcrop of Atoka
		sandstone and affords a view unlike any in the
		area (campsites and hiking trails etc.). Surprisingly the
		first runnable mile only drops 180 feet, however it boasts
		continuous III-IV rapids and falls that require previous
		creeking expirience. There are many falls ranging from 12
		to 6 feet in height and inumerable slides, chutes, boulder
		gardens and the like. White Rock goes about three miles
		through a deep canyon providing views from the creek
		bottom that is some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere
		in the Ozarks. About one half mile down the creek,
		one enters a gorge marked by a two-tiered fall of
		approxiamtely 15 feet.  It is runnable as a broken
		slide on the far right or two vertical drops that are
		separated by an eddy just big enough to hold a couple of
		kayaks. The right and left are preferred routes as there
		is a pile of angular rocks at the center of the base.
		After another quarter mile of countless drops there
		appears an entrance to a slide with a large undercut
		boulder on the right creating a large reaction wave, at
		higher levels it could be dangerous to a swimmer (foot
		entrapment) as the entire creek pushes against the base of
		the rock where there is a slot horizontal to the creekbed
		just wide enough to fit a swimmer's foot or leg. This
		one is nicknamed Pizza Bone Rapid. Numerous rapids
		follow until one comes to a slot (4 to 5 feet wide)
		that is the entrance to a 10 to 12 foot near vertical
		slide that ends in a pool surrounded on all sides by an
		undercut bluff. Micah Adams aptly named it Punchbowl
		Falls. After Punchbowl the creek runs along and under a
		bluffline that creates a tapestry of cascading falls
		running through hanging gardens of ferns and moss for
		about 200 yards; as you paddle back and forth through the
		mild rapids under the drip-line the feeling of isolated
		wilderness is hard to ignore! Numerous rapids follow that
		gradually lessen in intensity, and soon the gorge
		ends. However, this does not mark the end of the fun as
		there are several more six foot drops with a 10 to 12 foot
		falls I like to think of as Skinnydip Falls (because it
		has a nice pool and there is a trail in from the road to
		access it). Not long after this one encounters the confluence
		of Dry Fork and White Rock which is marked by a 5 to 6'
		falls/drop on both drainages, Dry Fork Rapid. It may seem
		to be an end to the whitewater but the paddler should not
		grow complacent as soon one encounters a fall that may
		produce a extremely nasty hydraulic at flood stage. This
		consists of a fall that drops six feet over a sandstone
		slab that is the most uniform falls I have ever seen; so
		much so it appears to be man-made(no straight lines in
		nature). This one is named Shower Curtain Falls because
		one can easily paddle behind the veil and relax while
		viewing the cascading water in a tunnel half sandstone,
		half water. Five of us fit behind it with room to
		spare.  There are more rapids and drops until one nears
		the confluence with Hurricane creek where a tornado
		touched down and produced some nasty log jams, be prepared
		to walk around them. Hurricane will be flooded, so one
		should be very careful when approaching trees and strainers.
		About a mile downstream, Hurricane the creek shoots into
		and under a bluff. To all appearances from upstream it
		doesn't look bad, but when viewing it up close
		you can see an extremely undercut bluff that could be fatal
		if you became trapped under it as the force of the entire
		creek is flowing against it. The take-out is about .75 to
		.5 miles downstream where you'll be glad to see Hurricane
		Creek Bridge!  White Rock Cr. is a good run, but it is very
		isolated and it is certainly no place for those who are
		not sure of their abilities on class IV water.  White Rock
		Cr. was first run on 10/6/98 by Micah Adams, Trey Marley,
		Rob Pollan, Mike Echols and Steve "Dog" Robertson. Thanks
		to Steve Robertson for the write up on this one!

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