Clear Creek (Jett to Lily)
|Stretch:||From Jett Bridge to Lily Bridge|
|Difficulty:||Class II to II+ (III-)|
|Flows:||+180 cfs. Though 800 cfs felt like an ideal flow for the average user. Check out American Whitewater's current flow gauge.|
|Gradient:||42 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Jett Bridge Access on Genesis Rd|
|Take-out:||Lily Bridge Access on Ridge Rd|
|Shuttle:||6.9 miles (10 minutes one way)|
|Season:||Winter/Spring from rain|
With our friends visiting from Vermont with their kids, we decided to take them here for a nice class II day. We put in on the upstream, Barnett to Jett section. That section was fun, but the action was spread out over its 4.5 mile run. This section however packed more punch, more rapids in less miles. But with that said, the run is really short if all you are doing is this run. And the shuttle isn’t as short… so for my money, why wouldn’t you add the miles and make a more full day by paddling the section upstream of it.
Anyways, we had just under 1,000 cfs which I thought was a great flow. Not pushy but not low. Just fun. Stay on your toes as you see the bridge come into view, the biggest rapid on the run is the last rapid just above Lily.
- Chute #1 (II+). On the first bend downstream of put-in, comes this first rapid. It is a straight forward chute, just run down the middle, but it is a small horizon so it may intimidate you.
- Split (II+). The next rapid is two tiered, the top is just fast moving water and waves run down the middle. Downstream, a rock splits the current. You can either go left or right of it, far right is the easier line.
- Chute #2 (II). On a left bend is another rapid that is run down the middle. The eddy lines on the right can pack a punch, so stay on your toes… or edge.
- Long Rapid #2 (II+). The second long rapid seemed like it was going to pack more of a punch, as the pool seemed to be a good amount of gradient loss below. But, it was straight forward, just meander through the rapid where ever looks good, generally center.
- Double Drop (II+). I just couldn’t quite give this a III-, but it does feel a bit more powerful than the other rapids thus far. It is a double drop, we ran down the left. Though one in our group also ran down the center which worked, but I think at high flow would want to be avoided.
- The Wall (II). This rapid was visually pleasing, but not overly hard. The river is pinched between a large cube boulder and the right wall. Just run down the center of the channel. Below, stay to the right as there are a few boulders forming a bit of congestion if you venture left. On the right it is just current going around them.
- Grunch (II+ to III-). This rapid is a bigger long rapid. The entrance should be run center or just left of center. The key is to have room to then move right to left into the left channel as the river deflects off a large midstream boulder. I bet this rapid gives people the most trouble on the run.
- Lily Rapid (III-). The last rapid has a few tiers to it. Enter down the right wall and punch the top wave hole. Below, it is straight forward as you pass under the bridge, and then drive left through a small hole to reach the shore for the take-out. Eddying out lower will help make the final move easier.
Take-out: From Wartburg on Highway 27, continue north for 2.7 miles before turning left onto TN-62 W. Follow this for 4.3 miles before turning left onto Ridge Rd (if you are unsure about the flow, stay straight for 2.0 miles and check the gauge at put-in). Follow Ridge Rd for 3.2 miles down to the parking at the bridge.
Put-in: Go back the way you came back out to TN-62. Turn left on it and continue for 2.2 miles, before turning left onto TN-298 S. Follow this 1.3 miles, look for the access which drops down to the right on a road to a parking area, several hundred yards before you get to the bridge over the river.
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