Arizona or Arkansas? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-17-2006   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
Arizona or Arkansas?

Does anyone have oppinions/suggestions ,as to which is better in March,Arizona or Arkansas?I have been back from Central America less than a month and am already jonesin' bad for some boatin'.I prefer "easy creekin' IV/IV+ low volume technical runs.Which area is likely to have good water this year?Anyone boated both states extensively?Any feedback greatly appreciated. If Arkansas might continue on to Florida via NO.Alabama anyone boated there?


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Old 01-17-2006   #2
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Laramie, Wyoming
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I think the southern rockies are getting very little snow this year. Not sure about arizona but I know that New Mexico has something like 30% of average snowpack statewide.

edit - found the link, looks pretty grim for AZ
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Old 01-17-2006   #3
Join Date: May 2005
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Arizona is dead as far as moisture is concerned this year. The jet stream has been up north all winter and they haven't had much storm activity. You can check out real time mosture and snow data here:
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Old 01-17-2006   #4
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I haven't been, but my understanding is that Arkansas state runs better in the fall during the rainy season. Again, just what I've heard.

Cali has great runs going right now, and so does all of the North West. It's only a 16 hour drive to Hood River OR from GJ, CO. I would guess about the same amount of time from Denver.

Yeah, I'm ready for the white stuff to melt.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 01-17-2006   #5
Denver, Colorado
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If you are thinking Arkansas, you would be better off heading all the way to TN/NC. Spring in the southeast is typically good with loads of IV-IV+ creeking. Lots of options out there. I was out there last year in March and had a blast. Even where there isn't a whole lot of rain, you should be able to do lots of low flow runs. Some guys starting a month long creeking competition for most total vertical feet in a month, and they do it in March in TN/NC. Stuff like the Tellico, Little River, Wilson Creek, Green River, Watuaga etc is all in a relatively close bundle. If you get skunked on rain, the Chattoga should be running too. It is further than the NW stuff though, but well worth it if you have some time off.
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Old 01-17-2006   #6
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Being a native Arkansas Boy, I will just tell you that creeking in Arkansas can be better than anywhere else in the US if you get real lucky. However it's a crap-shoot any time of the year as to whether or not you'll have water. It is 100% rain-dependent and rain is very spuratic throughout the year. I'm gonna have to go w/ deepsouth in saying that your best bets that time of the year in the south-east are going to be in AL, TN, or NC. All have stellar soft-core creekin as well as the gnar if you really want it. Although I fully advocate creeking in Arkansas it is a situation where you really have to be a local to boat there. That or one lucky sumbitch. Arkansas is a state where a creek-boater has to be dedicated watching radar every evening, getting up before sunrise to check it again, and then be ready to haul ass anywhere w/in the state to catch the 3 - 6 hour window in which the creek is still running.

I don't know if you play-boat or not but you should check w/ the guys on or and find out if the Tulsa Wave or 'Rockport' are running. Both have been going through massive renovations and are beginning to turn out world-class rodeo waves & or holes. T-wave is in Tulsa, OK & Rockport is down near Malvern, AR. Good luck. If you need in contacts in the Arkansas SE OK area just let me know....


Zach W
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Old 01-19-2006   #7
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Thanks for the feedback.Sucks Arizona's{sw colo and n mex too} so dry,guess we can hope for big spring storms.I'm kind uva warm weather guy ,i've heard that nw whitewater is cold even in the summer,know it;s awesome though.
Deepsouth ,yeah most of those runs are on my list.Just ran a river last month,Moho in BZ,that is like what i've heard about the Tellico,one easy falls after another,a plop and drop fest,Super Fun!
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Old 01-19-2006   #8
Front Range, Colorado
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Tellico is a rockin' run-- decent drops, autoboofs, relatively low-consequence, quickly-moving fun.... we did it moonlight back at the first of Dec, but haven't had enough precipitation this winter to really get the levels up for more than a couple of days at a time this season. If you head this way in the spring, drop me a line... I'm itching to try out the Cossatot in Western Arkansas (usually runs in the spring-- KayakARK, you got the goods on that one?) myself, and the TVF comp does start in March-- though I don't know who's running that game this year since recently went offline? There's also a kickin' WW fest in Northern Alabama coming up in early March, if you can make it out.

Eastern TN and Western NC offer up great whitewater most of the year, which is one of the very few things keeping me in the region. There are also a bunch of talented paddlers boating out of Northern AL, too, though, so you might try hooking up with them at You'll know you're in the right place when you see rivers rated in chickens-- Good luck with it!
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Old 03-05-2006   #9
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Sorry to take so long getting back to you....started snowboarding all the time and forgot....anyways....the Cossotat in Arkansas....

Fun little run has great class III-IV at normal flows.....starting to push IV+ish at higher flows. There are two different sections which can be ran together in a day or seperately....each with it's own ups and downs. The upper section is fun class III w/ a couple nice III+. If you catch it at high enough water the biggest of the rapids on the upper section has a really cool little creek move on the far river right...very cool little boof w/ shallow landing...kinda sketch but you probablly won't break anything if you f it up. After that there's the lower section (also known as 'The Falls').
Popular hiking spot b/c it's relatively easy to get to as there is a campground about 100 yards upstream of the entrance. The falls are def the highlight of the Tot because it is a 1/4 mile section of some of the best whitewater in AR. It's got a very creeky feel at lower water and and at high-water the holes get really big looking. It's a fun section because it has a lot of drops one after another....they're all fun and they all have different routes at different levels, or you can simply run the classic routes at almost any level. Things change a lot at high-water but it just never washes out. The rock formations down there are beautiful. The falls is cool b/c if you're commited you can run the whole section, shoulder your boat(w/ a little rock scrambling-ingenuity) and walk back to the top and do it as many times as your lungs and legs will allow. Or you can run each drop multiple times(way easier) and then paddle out to the bridge(several miles down stream). The down side to the last option is that there is A LOT of very flat water unless you catch it at high-water. There is one pretty beefy rapid past the falls but I personally don't feel it's worth the flat-water paddle/shuttle, although some of my buddies in AR will probablly find that offensive....The tot seems to be a very likely place to boat in AR simply b/c it seems to get a better amount of rain(on average) therefore it runs more often than most Arkansas streams. You've got a fair chance of hitting it at about any given time if you're around anytime during the March-June season. However it is rainfall dependant so it's never guaranteed. Great camping right at the put-in. Beautiful hiking all around. Wonderfull bonus runs if it's raining(Baker Creek, Little Missouri, etc etc) and it's not too far from the playpark in Malvern which is an up and coming boater attraction. Look out for logging trucks on the way in and out of the putin as Weiherheuser has the logging rights to pretty much the whole side of the mountain oposite of the river. I highly recommend the Cossotat area, it is where I cut my teeth on many different levels as a kayaker. If you need more info or if you're looking for boaters around there check out or Or e-mail [email protected], he's the main man when it comes to AR kayaking. Sorry about the's just fun to reminess.....Hope this is helpful. Maybe I'll see you on the river some time. FYI....they say 'Cossotat' means 'skull crusher' in some foreign language(french I think) could be wrong. Just thought it was an interesting bit of info. SYOTR

Zach W.
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Old 03-06-2006   #10
Join Date: Jul 2004
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KayakArkansas- would Lee Creek be running during the first week of April?I grew up in Ft. Smith and may be going to visit family. The Tulsa wave is on my way there too, is it fixed yet?
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