Pine Creek PA Grand Canyon

A self-supported trip created by Varmintmist

Trip Overview

We were feet wet at 930a in Ansonia at Pine Creek Outfitters. They ferried the truck to Black Walnut Bottom where we took out. The water was at 2.44 when we started, slightly under the optimal range. We got to Owassee rapids around 11 checked them out and ran them, not a real big deal. Might be worse with more water. The confluence just after Owassee is said to be the boat swamping area. Again with skirts, not a big deal. Water was probably breaking over my deck 6-8 inches. Farther down we hit more riffles that had deeper waves and you had to pay more attention. The Pine Creek at this level seemed to be split pretty equally between fast riffles and quick flats each being a couple hundred feet. Only hit one flat area where with a pretty stout headwind I felt I needed to paddle. We stopped in Tiadaughton (tie a dot en) for lunch and then paddled about 2 more hours to Hoffman campground. Approx 19 miles total.

Gorge temp got down to 28f at night, my nose was cold. Woke up to ice on the rainfly and frozen gloves. I has slept on my wet suit. Pulled it in the sleeping bag for 15 min before I put it on in the AM. Put in sometime after 930 from Hoffman and floated to Black Walnut Bottom by about 1P, approx 11 mi. More flat-riffle-flat-riffle water until we took out.

I wouldnt want to do it with less water in it. As it was we did a lot of "kayak shuffle" to get off rocks into water. Not enough to make it miserable. Leave the carbon paddle at home. I brought 2 Carlisle Magics in case I needed to use it as a pole, (I did) or bent or lost one. (I didnt) I would not take out at Black Walnut again. The access is small and the bank is high.

The paddling was more steering the boat through rocks than rhythmic paddling. A lot of back paddling on one side or the other to line up through rocks. Recommended boat size is 14 or less. I took a 14.5 Carolina because that is what I had other than 17.5'. It took some force to horse it through a few turns, but it also spread the weight along a longer span so I wasnt as low in the water to get stuck. The other was a old Castine at about 13'.

We saw 6 bald eagles, a ton of canvasbacks, geese, egret, 3 river otters, and a doe and fawn camped in a nearby site at Hoffman. Mom laid down and chilled out for about an hour, the kid was nervous

Safety Notes

Water and weather were cold. No cell service. You will have to enjoy nature and be prepared to deal with it.

Gear Notes

A wet suit is a must, boots were also IMHO. Neoprene gloves would have been nice. Hoffman campground is not accessible from the road, it is RTT or creek only. If you want a fire, you will scrounge for wood.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 4/19/2021-4/20/2021
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location