navigation bar

Huzzah Creek, Missouri
Report by Marc W. McCord

HIghway V to Highway E Bridge
23.4 miles

General Description

Huzzah Creek is a sister tributary, along with Courtois Creek, to the Meramec River. Its short reach begins and ends in Crawford County, where a popular run of about 23.4 miles on Class I flatwater can be found between the County Highway V bridge southeast of Davisville to the County Highway E bridge just above its confluence with the Meramec. Like Courtois Creek, Huzzah is narrow, very scenic, usually slow-moving and surrounded by a growth of trees, bushes and grasses. The Mark Twain National Forest area is home to many species of plants, birds, animals and fish, as well as a few beans - human beans, that is! The stream generally can be boated by paddlers with very limited experience in canoes, kayaks and rafts. It is another flat creek run that can turn dangerous at high flows, so caution should be exercised whenever the current starts to approach about 1,000 cfs. In fact, less experienced paddlers should avoid the creek at flows above about 650-700 cfs because of tight, technical turns around overhanging brush and trees that can entrap paddlers and damage boats, as well as swift currents that make steering more difficult. Outfitters stop putting people on the Meramec River whenever flows hit 1,000 cfs, and the creek is a little less forgiving. Most of the time Huzzah Creek offers yet another optional run to those on the Meramec, with the possibility of continuing down the river if you get to the end and decide you need more river time.

Location

Western Crawford County in the Mark Twain National Forest of the southcentral Missouri Ozarks. The Community of Davisville is near the headwaters and County Highway V, where runs begin. St. Louis is less than two hours away and Springfield is about 3 hours, or less, from the put-in.

Distance from major cities

St. Louis 100 miles; Joplin 147 miles; Springfield 165 miles; Kansas City 271 miles; Little Rock 384 miles; Oklahoma City 453 miles; Dallas 589 miles; Austin 779 miles; San Antonio 859 miles; Houston 965 miles; Albuquerque 995 miles; Phoenix 1,453 miles; Denver 855 miles; Salt Lake City 1,389 miles (all distances are approximate and depend upon starting point, destination point to put-in on the river and route taken.)

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Water quality is generally very good to excellent, flowing clean, clear and slow. A normal flow will be 100-150 cfs, and the creek will be too low a little below 100 cfs. Above 1,000 cfs paddlers should expect strong currents that make controlling the direction of a boat very difficult for beginner or novice paddlers, though boaters with at least intermediate level skils should have little or no trouble.

Best Times to Go

Weather permitting, Huzzah Creek can be paddled year-round, though it may run low in the dead of summer, especially in below normal rainfall years. Expect cold air and water temperatures in the Ozarks late-fall through early-spring months.

Hazards to Navigation

Normally, there are no significant hazards on Huzzah Creek. However, the narrow channel and tight turns make this stream very dangerous at high flows approaching or exceeding about 1,000 cfs. Trees and brush along the banks can become strainers or places to pin and wrap a boat, sending paddlers swimming in strong, fast currents. If the creek flows out of its banks, then the channel becomes undefined and paddlers can easily find themselves in places where they should not be. Use caution and good judgement on this, or any narrow, stream when the flow rises above the optimum level which, in this case, is about 500 cfs for less experienced paddlers, or 800-1,000 cfs for more experienced boaters.

River access points

Crawford County Highway V bridge southeast of Davisville at 0.0 miles (Huzzah Creek can be paddled from Dillard Campground, about 6 miles upstream, in high water conditions); Red Bluff access on river right at about 2.3 miles (park on left side); Low-water bridge about 0.8 mile northeast of Davisville at about 2.8 miles; Shoal Creek on river right at about 9.3 miles; Low-water bridge about 0.5 mile northeast of Huzzah settlement at about 10.3 miles (off Crawford County Highway 8 via County Highways Y and Z); Spring Branch on river left at about 11.3 miles; Huzzah Valley Resort (commercial campground with access) at about 11.5 miles; Dry Creek low water bridge on river left just above SH 8 bridge at about 17.0 miles; Courtois Creek confluence at about 22.1 miles; MDC Scotia bridge at about 22.4 miles (may require a short portage over Crawford County Highway E. Huzzah State Forest is on river right, and a commercial campground / canoe livery is on river left); Meramec River access at about 23.4 miles (the next access point is about 2.5 miles downstream on the Meramec River at Crawford County Highway H low-water bridge near Onondaga Cave State Park.)

Campgrounds and Accommodations

There are at least two known commercial campgrounds and numerous primitive campsites located along Huzzah Creek, the primitive sites being available on a first-come basis. There may be other commercial campgrounds in the near vicinity.

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

There are at least two known commercial outfitters offering rentals, shuttles and/or river information on or near Huzzah Creek.

Reviewer's comments

For paddlers wanting time on an Ozark stream without sharing the water with throngs of others, Huzzah Creek offers a slendid paddling destination. In fact, if you have a couple of days, then you might want to run Huzzah one day and Courtois Creek, a few miles away, on another day, with the option of paddling the Meramec still available for either day, or as a separate day by itself. St. Louis is less than 2 hours to the northeast and Springfield is just slightly further to the southwest. Bring your camera to this beautiful Mark Twain National Forest stream, where you will find abundant photographic opportunities on a simply gorgeous Ozark stream. Numerous outfitters along the Meramec reach between Meramec Spring Park and Meramec Caverns can provide rentals and shuttles to Huzzah Creek, or you can bring your own boats and run your own shuttles, though parking at either end is VERY limited. The added cost of shuttles by a local outfitter, and the short additional distance you will paddle to end where you parked is a small price to pay for knowing that your vehicle will be there and undisturbed at the end of the day. Come experience another of Missouri's wonderful paddling destinations, and let the "Show me" state show you what beautiful rivers, creeks and streams it has to offer for your outdoors adventures.

Technical Data
Class Rating I
Length 23.4 miles
Minimum Flow 100 cfs
Optimum Flow 250-500 cfs
Maximum Flow 1,000 cfs
First Put-in Crawford County Highway V Bridge
Lat. / Long.
Last Take-out Crawford County Highway E Bridge
Lat. / Long.
Elevation msl
Gradient fpm
USGS Gauge 07140102
Boats Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts
Season Year-round, weather permitting
Permits No


Courtois Creek and Huzzah Creek map modified from MDC map
Courtois Creek and Huzzah Creek map modified from MDC map


Canoeman River Guide Service - Guided river trips in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Missouri Whitewater Association - promoting whitewater paddling in the Ozarks

Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club - a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Ozark streams

Lone Star Paddler - the paddlesports web site of Marc W. McCord

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Meramec River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Meramec River Homepage ] [ Short Bend Bridge to SH 231 Bridge ] [ Big River ] [ Bourbeuse River ] [ Courtois Creek ]

Southwest Paddler
Click to return to the Southwest Paddler Homepage
Home Page
Southwest Paddler


Missouri Rivers Index
Canoeman River


Guide Services
Canoeman.com
Return to the canoeman.com homepage
Home Page

CobraGraphics - Web Designs with a Bite!

Send E-mail This web page designed, created and maintained by
Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics
© October 10, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 8, 2007

Copyright © 1998-2010, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.