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Little River Flow Rates
Little River begins atop Lookout Mountain and flows the length of Little River Canyon National Preserve. Little River is formed by the 17-mile-long East Fork Little River and the 25-mile-long West Fork Little River (which features De Soto Falls and passes through De Soto State Park), and flows for an additional 23 miles from the confluence within Little River Canyon National Preserve through the southernmost portion of the Preserve and off Lookout Mountain at Canyon Mouth Park, where it flows to Weiss Lake.
Being a mountaintop river, Little River is heavily dependent upon rainfall for its water. Because of this, the flow of Little River can vary greatly throughout the year, with flows of less than 1 cubic foot per second in the summer to a record high flow of over 53,800 cubic feet per second on July 24, 1985. Beginning at Little River Falls, Little River cuts out Little River Canyon from the sandstone around it and features Class II-VI rapids down towards Canyon Mouth Park, where the river calms as it flows more gently to Weiss Lake.
The United States Geological Survey has a river gage which monitors river height and discharge at Canyon Mouth Park. This station reports once every two hours and may not accurately convey the river conditions at any given moment along the 23 miles of river. Heavy rainfall upriver can cause large and rapid changes in the flow of the river.
Click here to see the current flow rate.
* 1 cfs = approximately 7.5 gallons per second
Park Closures & Modified Hours
Last updated: June 29, 2023