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Dan River in North Carolina

Trip Overview

This area ofers some of the best whitewater on the Dan. (ClassII-II++) A great "beginner" creek run. The best rapids are within the first mile of the run, hence most people do a couple of runs on the upper section rather than the entire three and a half miles. This is a dam controlled, so you will need the powerhouse to be running or catch it after extended rains. Recreational releases are scheduled throughout the summer as long as lake levels remain high enough. They occur on Saturdays; call the powerhouse to make sure of the release.

These are also stocked trout waters so, when the water is not on, there is some incredible fishing to be enjoyed. Flatwater abounds also; the lakes that feed the river are some of the most pristine in the area. Located within the Blueridge Parkway, they offer excellent fishing and scenery. No motorboats are allowed, just human powered craft. Directions and the combination to the locks can be obtained from the Pinnacles Hydro Station.


There is a public restroom at the powerhouse put-in.


Any camping done between the upper two bridges, one will have to get a permit from the powerplant. This is free of charge, but definitely get it to save yourself a ticket!


From Mt. Airy, NC (just south of VA border) go east on NC 103 for approximately 15 miles take a left onto Ararat Hwy. Then in one-quater mile make a right onto Kibler Valley Road. The road dead ends at the powerplant put in. (Please park outside the plants gates)


The road parallels the river for most of the run so entry and exit can happen all along the river. The majority of users go from the powerhouse to the concrete picnic tables the midpoint of this three mile run.


Pinnacles Hydro Station- 276-251-5141
the powerhouse can let you know the flow status.

  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip