Information on Blackburn Cr.


Blackburn Cr.

	Rating: II-III
	TDCR: 3335
	Location: The put-in can be reached by driving down off of Hwy 74.
		The only real "public" access is off of the Holt
		Road Loop near Devils Den State Park. Take Hwy 74 west off
		of I-540 until you are just about to drop down the hill
		into the State Park. When you see a "steep grade"
		truck warning sign take the dirt road on your left. This is
		just past a gated road on the left, and it is before the
		main access to the Holt Road (near the parking area). Past
		this point the roads are 4WD only! Follow the dirt road
		about 1 mile. Look for a road to turn left and go steeply
		downhill toward the creek. Follow this road for about 1 to
		1.5 miles until you reach the creek. The road is extremely
		rough in wet weather, so you may want to stop and walk down
		if it looks too bad. The take out is (unfortunately) at Lee
		Cr. at the Hwy 220 bridge (the put in for section 2 of Lee
		Cr.). It's best to shuttle back to I-540 and then down
		through Chester, because Fall Cr. will probably block you
		if you take the route through Devils Den and up Hwy 220!
		You can also put in by carrying down off of I-540 where it
		crosses one of the far upper tributaries if there is a lot
		of water in the creek. This hasn't been done yet, as far as
		I know, but it is possible and will add quite a bit of
		class II-III water onto the run.
	Topo Quad(s): ???
	Gradient: 25 fpm
	Length: 8 mi.
	Season: RAIN
	Gauge: Lee Cr. should be above 6.5 or so for a possible Blackburn
		run. If Lee is above 7.5 and assuming an even distribution
		of rainfall in the watershed, Blackburn will have plenty of
		water. Be careful that all of the water in Lee isn't
		comming from Fall Cr. and Upper Lee Cr. (i.e. Devils Den
		Park), which can happen. If Lee Cr. is over 10 feet expect
		a much more serious ride down Blackburn. At over 15 feet on
		the Lee Cr. gauge, strainers make much of the creek a death
		trap, and other good area creeks are just hitting their
		prime. A flood run on Blackburn would just be a dangerous
		waste of time.
	Hazards: Strainers and downed trees are the main hazard. There are a
		few good hydraulics to look out for too though.
	Description: Blackburn Cr. is a great class II+ wilderness run that has
		been overlooked for years. The creek was probably first
		run in the mid 80's, but very few boaters have ever done
		it. The biggest problem is finding a put-in. When I-540
		first opened, one of the comments I heard the most from
		boaters was that it crossed Blackburn Cr. tributaries
		several times and would provide a potential public access
		to the creek. While I still don't know anyone who has
		tried this, it is a very real possibility. Asuuming you
		can find a good way to get to the creek, you'll have a
		bouncy run through several miles of wild country. There
		are plenty of strainers along the way and lots of fast
		curves and swift rapids. Other than the trees, there are
		no really serious hazards for competent class II-III
		boaters. If the water is high (e.g. Lee Cr. is over 10 to
		12 feet), watch out for some dangerous hydraulics,
		especially an almost river-wide "hole-o-death"
		that forms just past the Hart Cr. confluence on Lee Cr. At
		high levels, Blackburn becomes pushy enough to elevate
		some rapids into the class III category, but the strainers
		become nearly unavoidable. It's probably a good idea to
		find another run when the creek is running full tilt. At
		any level, all boaters should be experienced with fast
		class II-III water and dodging strainers.

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