Run: Honeycomb Creek      
Class: IV-V   Put-In: CR 593 (Old Union Rd)    
Gradient: 225, 240, 25   Take-Out: CR5-Cathedral Caverns Pkwy (On Lake)    
Length: 3+ lake paddle   Precip. Gages: Grant    
Shuttle: CR5 / CR593   Delorme Gazeteer: P. 20 G1/H1    
Water Q: Primary Gage: None    
Links: TOPO MAP Required Level: visual (see text)    
  PICTURES Indicator Gage:      
  TRIP REPORT Required Level: recent rain    
Many people have walked this creek but I know of none that have run it until we hit it the day before Easter 2002 (feel free to set me straight if I'm wrong). Honeycomb is tight and for two or three stretches pretty dad-burn steep. The rapids are at the upper end of IV+ at low water and certainly several go to V as the water goes up. Undercuts are present if not plentiful, and pinning opportunities are not scarce. All but one drop can be run, a sieve that is a pretty brief walk which may open up at higher water. I walked about 5 or 6 rapids due to my class IV proclivities. This run is somewhat similar to Dry/Sauty. Dry/Sauty has a couple bigger drops that are definitely class V, and has a longer steep section.

The top section is fairly flat and features a well built cow fence that is not much fun to walk around. The first drop of note is the old Campbell Mill. It is a clean 9' drop with a pool formed by a logjam. Things stay pretty under control III-IV until the steep stuff starts. A curving left IV is followed by a tight rapid or two, and then the sieve. The rapids are oh so tight and scouting is not optional. High water would make stopping a potential issue. After 1/3 of a mile or so things calm down to III and IV. Then they really calm down and you'll swear that the best and worst is over.

Au contraire. If you examine the topo you will see that after the initial steep part, there is a tributary coming in from river right. I could not catch an eddy after that, which was interesting because it was a first descent and I had not walked the creek. A long shallow slide feeds into what must be the remnants of Powell Mill. Powell Mill is an 8' slide, then an 8' falls that can be run almost anywhere. Much fun was had by all.

Then you say, OK, now it's over. But no. I've lost track of the exact order of things but somewhere in there is a long and steep section with no big individual drops, but a whole bunch of tight IV action. At last you get to the big cliff on river right where the entire streamflow goes in the summer. When we ran it there was water coming out of the cliff as well. Climb out of your boat and check out the underground river in the cave, but don't fall in! Now it's got to be over? No. The normally dry section below the cliff has one beefy IV+ and several more drops before you finally get to the trees. With luck, you'll have enough water and won't get wrapped around a tree. The stream meanders a bit and the lake is shallow for a ways, but the lake paddle is relatively short.

The shuttle is painfully easy, just drop a car on the Cathedral Caverns Parkway causeway, head up the hill, and make the first right after the 'reduced speed ahead' sign just short of the gas station on the left. The put-in road curves sharply right and then meanders about, but it will bring you to the bridge.

We painted a gauge at the put-in bridge. Zero is minimum and a 1' might be very interesting. You don't need a lot of water to run Honeycomb but it is rare to have even a low flow. The creek has a small watershed and it drains fast. You want a floatable amount at the put-in so you can stop between rapids in the steep part. Too much water could quickly produce unpredictable results.

This run could use a log removal hike sometime...