Information on Spirits Cr.
Location: Take Hwy. 215 (Mulberry exit) north from I-40 to Shores
Lake. Go south of the lake, cross Hurricane Cr., and
continue uphill past the dam and lake overlook. Take a left
(north) at the first four way intersection and drive three
miles. Take a right at the second four way intersection and
drive a mile to a low water bridge at the put-in. To reach
the take-out, go back the way you came and hang a left
at the first four way (back toward Shores L.). When you
reach the next four way (should look familiar) turn left
and drive one mile to the wooden bridge over Spirits Cr.
This road is the Capmbell's Cemetery road that goes to Cass.
Topo Quad(s): Bidville
Gradient: 75 fpm (1st mile @ 100 fpm)
Length: 4 mi.
Gauge: The Mulberry R. gauge should be greater than 8 ft. and Hurricane
Cr. should look high and muddy. Runnable only after heavy
Hazards: dangerous strainers (esp. in 3rd mile), undercut rock at First
Description: This run has continuous class II-III rapids, an extremely
narrow stream bed (10 - 15 ft wide), and one 12 ft. class III+
fall (The Funnel at the end of the third mile) that is one of
the best drops in the state. It is highly recommended to
those who have the skills needed to run the non-stop rapids.
Strainers are very common, and usually a portage or two will be
needed. The first 1/4 mile can be scouted from a trail on
river right to determine a strategy for approaching First
Ledge, a five foot class III drop. Avoid the eddy on the
left below this ledge. The current flows under a potentially
hazardous undercut boulder on this side. The Funnel is the
highlight of the run. It is located just after a two ft.
sloping ledge with a river wide hydraulic. When the river
makes a sharp bend to the right, pull out and scout from
the old road on river right. The drop here is over ten
feet, and, although it is easier to run than it first appears,
it is quite shallow at most levels. An inverted paddler
is very likely to lose some skin. A trail on river right
makes it easy to carry up and run the big flume again and again.
Spirits is a great introduction to the tight steep creeks
of the Ozarks, but the very continuous nature of this run can
make it dangerous for paddlers with anything less than perfect
boat control. All boaters should be confident intermediates
before trying to tackle Spirits Cr.
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