Information on Clear Cr.
Location: Crawford Co.; Take Hwy 71 north of I-40 to the Hwy 282
junction just north of Mountainburg. Take Hwy 282 west to
Chester. Put in at the Hwy 282 bridge in Chester. (Park
downstream river right just below the bridge.) Take out at
Ash St. low water bridge in Mountainburg (see Frog Bayou, S1
for more info.)
Topo Quad(s): Mountainburg
Gradient: 30 - 40 fpm
Length: 3 mi.
Gauge: The USGS Frog Bayou gauge should be above 5 ft. for a
good run. Another good indicator is less than 1 ft. of airspace
under the Ash St. bridge. If there is more than 1 ft. of water
over the bridge, the run will be dangerous due to extremely
heavy water on the Frog.
Hazards: mostly strainers and some heavy water on the Frog. Also
beware of construction work for I-540 in several areas.
At the time of this writing the creek passes through
some culverts in three places and the areas are littered with
rebar and other hazards.
Description: The first two-thirds of this run is on Clear Cr. The
boating in this section is fast paced with many good class II+
drops. The first surfing opportunity comes immediately below
the put-in bridge where enders are possible at high levels.
Another spectacular surfing wave resides less than 1/2 mile
down as the creek bends sharply to the left. This portion
of the creek is similar to Lee Cr., but it is much narrower.
Beware of the areas near and under the three I-540 bridges, as
these areas contain debris left over from highway construction.
Also, beware of some protruding rebar on the river right side
of a train trestle just below the third I-540 bridge. Just
downstream of this trestle, a ledge in the middle of a class
II rapid provides a great spot for surfing and 360 spins.
After the confluence with the Frog Bayou at the end of the
second mile, the character of the run changes completely. The
paddler is now on a full sized river, and the flow triples.
Heavy class II+ water is encountered for the next 3/4 mile
until the take-out is reached. There are usually some bad
strainers below the confluence, and the current can easily
push an unprepared boater into them. The run is fairly fast,
usually requiring less than two hrs. If you are more pressed
for time, consider taking out or putting in at the upper I-540
bridge. Take care not to trespass on the banks since most of
the land surrounding the creek is privately owned. Boaters
should have very good boat control in class II-III rapids
before putting on Clear Cr.
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