Dallas Downriver Club



Date:March 28th-29th, 2015 Sponsor: DDRC
River: Cossatot River Trip Leader: Randy and Libbi Stovall
Reach: USFS Road 31 to Highway 246 and Highway 278 – Wickes, AR Phone: 972-394-1170 Home; 214-458-3419 Randy’s cell; 214-458-3418 Libbi’s Cell

Difficulty: Class III (some small ledge drops) * (See scale below (some possible Class IV)

E-mail: libbistovall@verizon.net
Rendezvous: River Ridge Group Camp and Pavilion in Cossatot State Park at  Saturday Morning 9 am (apx. 4 hours from Dallas and 10 mi east of Wickes, AR Required Skills: Intermediate & Advanced Whitewater paddling on a pool & drop river. Boat control, ferrying and eddy catching are imperative.g
Campground: River Ridge Group Camp and Pavilion in Cossatot State Park

Trip Description: Paddling & Hiking in the beautiful Cossatot State Park. We will meet at the River Ridge Campground on Saturday morning at 9 am. The camp has no water or electricity, but there are porta potties, a large pavilion, a group grill and fire pit right beside the river. The River Corridor Trail is also close to the camp!  There are four sections of this river with increasing difficulty. We will begin with one of the class 2 sections. If you feel comfortable with that section, you can progress to the more difficult class 2-3 and maybe even the class 3-4 section. There are take-outs between all four sections. There is also hiking on the River Corridor Trail, so you can hike any section that you don’t feel comfortable paddling and can watch others run these sections. You must be able to control your boat by catching eddies and ferrying to choose your correct line and to keep the group together. We may scout or setup throw-ropes at some of the rapids. Some of the boaters will stop occasionally to surf some of the rapids; when they do, we will all stop, take pictures and then continue down. No one should ever pass the lead guide boat, and no one should fall behind the sweep boat. 

Gear Requirements: Bring shorter boats that are good in whitewater and that you are comfortable and confident in. If in doubt, check with Randy on your boat choice. Good PFDs, paddles, helmets, throw ropes, safety equipment, warm/water-resistant clothing in layers and (most importantly) a complete change of river clothes in case of a swim. The PFDs and Helmets should be worn at all times while paddling this river. This should be the same type of gear that you bring on the Mulberry River trip, except (in some cases) a shorter boat for better maneuverability.

Meals: Bring your own meals and something for the Saturday night potluck dinner. There are no grocery stores nearby, only a small convenience store in Wickes. Bring your own beverages. This is a dry county. There is a Walmart/Grocery in Dequeen.

Driving Directions: From Dallas to Wickes, AR (4hrs), take IH 30 East to New Boston, TX. Take Route 8 North (to the left) out of New Boston. After crossing the Red River, you continue on Route 41 all the way to DeQueen, AR (there is a Walmart there). At Dequeen, the Highway changes to 59/71, but keeps going North to Wickes AR. At Wickes, turn right onto highway 278 and go East for about 10 miles to the Cossatot River. After the bridge, take the first dirt road left (Weyerhauser Rd 52200 - marked with park signs to the Falls - See the park map). The camp turn is about 2 to 3 miles down on the left at a yellow gate (Road # 52212) and then through a park gate and then the camp at the river. I will mark the turn with a DDRC sign.

P.S.: We will be camping on the side of the river that we come in on, so we do not need to drive across the river. If coming in at night and you get lost, be careful not to cross any low water crossings to the other side of the river, especially if the river is high. I will be there early. Sometimes there is cell service, give us a call on one of our cell phones (listed above) if you get lost.

Please click on map to get a bigger map.



* International Scale of River Difficulty

Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight, self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended.

Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.

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last updated February 9, 2015 4:56 PM