Bear Creek, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||185 fpm|
|BEAR CREEK AT MORRISON|
|codwr-BCRMORCO0||120 - 650 cfs||III-V||00h40m||25.4 cfs (too low)|
Bear Creek is an intermittent stream with the roadside qualities of being fast-paced and
definitely impacted by a number of concrete structures, diversions and wood.
Bear Creek contains Colorado-style Class IV/V with plenty of small waterfalls packing unique power and hydrology. Being near Denver, expect urban stormwater while the willow, tamarisk and russian olive whip you into the next rapid.
Bear Creek is a very small streambed, so expect facial combat with overhanging vegetation.
Some stretches are notorious for it's sticky hydraulics at high water.
Its not advised over +/- 500 CFS by most. Your
visual inspection will cause lots of questioning (sikbird level @+/- 600 CFS).
Bear Creek flows through JeffCO parks and has a number of good hikes with a stick to explore local geological features.
The flooding of September 2013 resulted in significant changes to many Colorado rivers. Bear Creek flooded at this time also and due to the damages state agencies continue mitigation efforts into 2015.
Streambed alterations and woody debris are common. These structures may cause significant
and instant streambed alteration causing WTF moments. (WTF:Welcome to Frontrange... ) There are
frequently lumber piles and strainers on Bear Creek.
** Now watch out for that low bridge!! This run and many other Colorado Streams and Rivers are all surrounded by competing water providers and urban straws.
Pics of Bear Creek and Colorado classics at Webshots photo album.
Please help American Whitewater to provide you better access and safer runs through Bear Creek by donating $100 to American Whitewater and becoming an annual member.
For a special 2015 offer, get in touch with AWA when you donate and contact the Streamkeeper for this stream reach and you may be eligible for one guided tour of Bear Creek and the beer of your choice at take out.
Thank you for supporting American Whitewater.
May Colorado's amazing natural resources only get more purifie, protected and accessible.
This run is heavily permitted by the Jefferson County funsquad. Colorado has lots of private land and interesting access issues. To get your permit to run Bear Creek, call American Whitewater and donate $100. AWA can provide you contact information to the streamkeeper of this reach whereupon you will receive one personal trip down Bear Creek for each $100 donated to AWA.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||No Scout Falls||5.0|
|1.0||No Fun Falls||5.1|
|2.5||Hair O' the Bear||5.0|
|3.0||Morrison City Park||IV|
Putin at the first street you come to in Idledale.
Park smart, like you live there and dont want to screw your neighbors. Do not block driveways.
Please find a safe vehicle pullout by the creek or highway. There is a low water bridge 100 ft downstream, at 250cfs you have to duck to get under it.
At over 700cfs, call 911 and begin rescue breathing.
Long and pushy entrance into steep little gorge, through a couple big holes then over a 10' waterfall.
Beware of the right side at the bottom.
Run right but not too far right to avoid overhanging rock on bank for flows under 250cfs.
This hectic 1/2 mile long rapid is chock full of big holes, and has no eddyies.
This face scraping run provides a thick tunnel of overhanging willows. Not a good place to swim... all of Bear Creek that is.
High flow note: at over 650cfs this section is NOT advised.