Big Sugar Creek

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Serious Hazard
Serious Hazard

Minor Hazard
Minor Hazard

Commercial Access
Commercial Access

Public Access
Public Access

Roadside Access
Roadside Access

Rapids
Rapids

Swimming
Swimming

Backwater
Backwater

Confluence
Confluence

Mouth
Mouth

Cave
Cave

Scenic
Scenic

Mile Marker
Mile Marker

  • 00.00 – Mouth  Locate

    Mouth of Big Sugar Creek.

  • 00.17 – Rapids  Locate

    When rounding the previous corner, stay left for maximum exposure.

  • 01.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 01.37 – Commercial Access  Locate

  • 02.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 02.31 – Swimming  Locate

  • 02.74 – Hazard  Locate

    Shallows.

  • 03.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 03.11 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 03.32 – Hazard  Locate

    Channel braiding.

  • 03.80 – Public Access  Locate

    Due to oxbow lake effect, main channel of creek no longer flows past this access. One may still put in here during moderate water, but heading upstream to main channel is advised as channel below this point is clogged with debris. Attempting to put in here in low water will require carrying of equipment over 100 yards to main channel. Putting in here during high water will make impossible an upstream journey to main channel, washing one downstream into numerous sweeps.

    Be warned not to drive onto dry gravel below the ramp. MDC enforcement units still consider this to be the stream, even when absolutely no water is present, and will issue citations accordingly.

  • 04.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 05.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 05.15 – Swimming  Locate

    Big Rock.

    View of deep hole in stream from atop large boulder on right side of channel showcases the crystal clear qualities of the water of the Elk River basin. Small fish at the bottom of the hole can be seen as clearly as in any aquarium.

  • 05.30 – Commercial Access  Locate

  • 06.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 07.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 08.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 09.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 09.20 – Swimming  Locate

  • 10.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 10.43 – Hazard  Locate

    A new bridge built in 2012/2013 to replace the old one has turned this spot into one of the most dangerous areas in the basin!

    Changes in design from the previous bridge to the new one have caused the vast majority of flow to be channeled through a break in a section of dam just a few yards upstream. This channelization is extremely dangerous as it causes rapid acceleration, pushing any would-be floater and their boat under the bridge which was not built high enough to ever float under in any conditions.

    Compounding the danger is the frequent occurrence of debris jammed under the sections of bridge into which the powerful channel flows.

    These two conditions combine to provide anyone unfortunate enough to enter the channel between the broken down dam and the new bridge almost certain death!

  • 10.43 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 10.82 – Commercial Access  Locate

  • 11.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 11.93 – Swimming  Locate

  • 12.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 12.34 – Swimming  Locate

  • 12.35 – Hazard  Locate

    Private bridge. Best opportunity to portage on left.

  • 12.62 – Swimming  Locate

    Large, shelf-like rock resting on its edge on the side of the channel in a particularly deep spot offers a platform for diving.

  • 13.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 13.47 – Swimming  Locate

  • 14.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 14.19 – Swimming  Locate

  • 14.25 – Rapids  Locate

    Water should be at moderate levels of around 200 cfs in order to traverse easily. Insufficient water makes for an uncomfortable walk through this portion.

  • 15.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 16.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 17.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 18.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 18.01 – Scenic  Locate

    Bee Bluff.

  • 18.04 – Swimming  Locate

    One of the deepest holes in the entire Elk River Basin.

  • 18.48 – Mouth  Locate

    Mouth of Mike’s Creek.

  • 18.48 – Swimming  Locate

    An especially cold and clear-blue pool of water.

    Children often use air mattresses to slide down side of private bridge when water is sufficient to pour over surface.

    Beware of hydraulic effect produced by spilling water during periods of high flow.

  • 18.63 – Swimming  Locate

    A large tree is suspended over a deep pool at an angle shallow enough to easily walk up for an approximate 15 foot plunge.

  • 19.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 19.21 – Scenic  Locate

    Powell historic bridge.

  • 19.26 – Mouth  Locate

    Mouth of Bentonville Creek.

  • 19.60 – Swimming  Locate

  • 20.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 21.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 21.81 – Swimming  Locate

    Large boulder situated in the middle of the channel.

    Though usually moderately deep, water depth around boulder varies after each flood.

  • 22.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 22.24 – Scenic  Locate

    Bluffs.

  • 23.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 24.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 24.39 – Cave  Locate

  • 25.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 25.27 – Hazard  Locate

    Shallows.

  • 26.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 26.84 – Swimming  Locate

    Short bluff against a moderately deep hole.

  • 27.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 28.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 28.03 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 29.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 30.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 30.43 – Roadside Access  Locate

    Trail can be muddy. Two wheel drive vehicles tread with caution.

  • 30.76 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 31.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 32.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 33.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 34.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 34.35 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 35.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 35.15 – Rapids  Locate

  • 35.19 – Rapids  Locate

  • 35.22 – Rapids  Locate

  • 35.58 – Swimming  Locate

  • 36.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 37.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 38.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 39.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 39.12 – Roadside Access  Locate

  • 40.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 41.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 42.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 43.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 44.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 45.00 – Mile Marker  Locate

  • 45.45 – Roadside Access  Locate

Image Gallery

Statistics

Gradient: 7.5 feet per mile

Difficulty: mostly Class I, little Class II

Distance from mouth to
furthest known upstream
commercial or public access: 30.76 miles

Real-Time Data

Current volume figures may swing radically upwards without notice if northwest Arkansas or southwest Missouri has received heavy or sustained rainfall within the past 12 hours of the most recent reading.

Volume Guidelines

Minimum Required to Float: 40 cfs

Dangerous Above: 500 cfs

Current Volume: 50.2 cfs

Volume Graph

USGS Water-data graph for Big Sugar Creek

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