Bear Creek, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||270 fpm|
|Max Gradient||480 fpm|
Bear Creek looks pretty mellow at the trailhead, but it soon picks up gradient about a mile up
the trail. The trail comes back to the creek near a very large, unnerving drop that I believe is
called Brave Bear Falls. You will know this one when you see it... slide to ledge to slide to
pillow to ledge etc. etc.... There are many great slides and drops above and below this point. It
is very fast and very busy. There are several bad log spots and great care must be taken to
ensure safety on Bear Creek. The slides are awesome and not overly technical, but require steady
nerves due to the back to back nature of this run. Scout thoroughly and take nothing blind.....
It is a beautiful area and there are many sweet, clean drops to be had. This is a solid class V
section requiring an experienced crew focused on safety to bring out the joy... If you got that
goin' on, don't miss this one. Have fun.
You can find Bear Creek off of Hwy 93 south of Missoula. As you are heading south, you will see the drainages off to your right. After passing Kootenai Creek, keep rolling past a few more creeks until you cross over the North and South Forks of Bear Creek. Remember, you don't need much water up there, so don't be put off at the 93 bridge. Follow the signs up Bear Creek Road (well marked) to the trailhead and start the two-mile hike. Just before you get to the trailhead, you will come around a corner and see the creek below on the right. This is a good spot to try to figure the flow....
Lat/longitude coordinates are approximate, from online maps.