Class: III - IV
Season: Runnable after heavy rain any time of year excluding winter when Parks Victoria lock the gates.
Time: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
Level: Minimum 1.4 Maximum 1.7
Gauge: King River at Lake William Hovell D/S
Shuttle: 30-45 mins with a good 4WD only!
Character: Steep low volume creek in a remote gorge.
Suits: Large volume creekboats
This creek was discovered whilst 4WDriving in the upper reaches of the King River and first paddled by local King Valley resident and fellow paddling stalwart, Bruce Baxter.
Just getting into this creek can be a mission, as it is only likely to be paddleable after heavy rain when the King River below is above 1.4m. The 4WD track in is steep and slippery, requiring some good skills and a set of chunky tyres to successfully negotiate. One option could be to leave a car at the top of the hill and cut off the last 200 - 300m of the steep descent down to the put in. This is all assuming you originally got past the gate at the start of Evans Ck Tk that is likely to be closed between mid June to October.
If you manage to successfully overcome these obstacles and get to the river, strap yourself in for a few solid hours of steep creeking that will stay with you long after the trip is over. This is a committing paddle with a steep gradient and plenty of solid rapids to keep you guessing.
There is no real warm up to the trip as you will find yourself picking lines and scouting in your boat from the get-go. All of the rapids that we opted to scout from the bank proved to be worthwhile causes as some of the lines are blind through the bigger drops.
The highlight of the trip has to be the newly named "Bax's Falls". This 6m drop is in the middle of a tight little canyon about 1/3 of the way down which we were fortunate enough to be able to scout first from river right before running. This may not be possible at higher levels as the eddy would be harder to get to without the risk of washing over the drop blind. The drop is clean with a soft landing and a real highlight of this trip.
There are plenty more technical rapids throughout this trip, some which require scouting from the bank before running and several which require portaging due to the presence of sieves or strainers etc.
Paddlers need to remain cautiously vigilant throughout the journey as there are many fallen trees across the river in some awkward locations that can be tricky to maneuver and/or portage around.
Despite all the hazards and obstacles along this journey, there is some great paddling to be had and exciting clean lines to run.
Putting In: Put in where the creek is closest to Evans Creek Track at the camping area 4-5 kms up the road from the gate
Taking Out: At the ford on the road between Evans Creek Tk & Buckland Spur Tk in the headwaters of Lake William Hovell
Map: VICMAP Whitfield 8124-S 1:50,000
Camping: At the campground near the put in on Evans Creek Tk or at one of the numerous campsites around Lake William Hovell
Entry Date: June 20, 2016
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