Big Creek

Big Creek is an easy Class II creek with clear water. This stretch contains two shut-ins with Boulder Gardens. After the second shut-ins the river alternates between deep pools and fast shoals. After passing Blue Spring, on the left, one passes a few cottages known as the Battery and an old bridge turned into a pedestrian bridge. It is here that the creek passes through a remote scenic area inside Sam A Baker State Park. This remote section has steep bluffs and talus slopes.

Difficulty

Class II

Location

Iron County

Put-in/Take-out

The take-out is the parking lot behind the Sam A Baker State Park Office on Highway 143. To get to the put-in from the take-out take highway 143 North to Iron County Road 163. Iron County Road 163 will be on one’s right at a jog in the road. Take this road about 1/2 mile to the ford. Put in immediately above or below the ford. The approach to the ford is often washed out. This provides a 7 mile float. An alternative put in is at the 143 bridge at Des Arc. This upper put in adds two miles to the float with no shut-ins. The State park concession located in the gift shop can provide shuttle. The concession also has canoes and sit-on tops for rent. More info on the park can be found at their website https://mostateparks.com/park/sam-baker-state-park.

Level

The level can be determined by checking the internet gauge. It can at times be run when the Saint is considered too low. 50 cfs is a minimum level for kayaks. At 400 cfs the boulder gardens are washed out but some new waves appear. While I have no experience running it higher than 400 cfs it should still be safe to run at levels higher than this.