Dearborn - 1) Upper (carry up 4 miles from end of Dearborn Canyon Road)

Dearborn, Montana, US


1) Upper (carry up 4 miles from end of Dearborn Canyon Road)

Usual Difficulty III-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 4 Miles

Colorado Chris in ledge/hole drop

Colorado Chris in ledge/hole drop
Photo of Colorado Chris by David Schroeder taken 05/01/04 @ 650

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Dearborn River near Craig MT
usgs-06073500 600 - 1200 cfs III-V(V+) 00h16m 73.4 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Upper Dearborn is a sweet, off the beaten path run that is well worth the effort. After Hiking about 4 miles in on a good trail there is an easy access point down to the river just above a couple of substantial looking drops.

These first two run well though they are not the prettiest. The Dearborn rolls on for a bit with Class III drops and boogie water before reaching the next notable drop. This is a straightforward 6 foot ledge that is really fun. A little further down you find a powerful ledge drop that charges through a mean hole backed up by a large rock. This one runs quite clean, though it definitely looks intimidating.

After some more read and run boogie, you come to a log over the river that can be paddled under. Stop above this and scout the difficult gorge section on the left. The gorge starts with a couple small Class III drops leading into a very powerful 5 foot ledge that immediately charges over a thundering 12 foot falls. The swirling eddys below the spigot are steep and difficult to get out of. You are literally sitting about two feet below the exit point. Check this carefully before running at flows over 750. After this the river pinches into a barely runnable boulder jumble. It is not difficult, but one must avoid slipping into the right channel that is feeding directly into an undercut.

Shortly below the gorge there is good access back to the river on river left(the portage side) for those who choose not to hit the gorge. One more 8 foot falls and you are home free, with a chance to relax and soak in the incredible view.

Make sure you check out
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2004-07-22 20:37:24


Rapid Descriptions

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