Falls Creek (Dearborn Trib) - (hike up) 2 miles above Dearborn to Dearborn

Falls Creek (Dearborn Trib), Montana, US


(hike up) 2 miles above Dearborn to Dearborn

Usual Difficulty III-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 150 fpm

Colorado Chris Running the Big One

Colorado Chris Running the Big One
Photo of Colorado Chris by David Schroeder taken 05/15/04 @ 650 Dearborn

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Dearborn River near Craig MT
usgs-06073500 500 - 1500 cfs III-V(V+) 00h25m 73.4 cfs (too low)

River Description

Falls Creek is a great run, offering drops for those new to creeking and some big falls for the serious creek boater.

You can put in at the second river crossing, or continue upstream approx. 200 yards to run a fun ten foot broken ledge and some small bedrock slides.

Below here are enjoyable small ledge drops with a log portage immediately after the first ledge. This is followed by boogie water and a couple of smaller ledges until you reach the 20 footer. This drop is great, but has a dangerous boil feeding into an undercut wall. Be wary and set good safety.

A few more ledge drops lead to the second portage. Find this 12 foot spigot falls (which is fifty yards upstream of the 50 foot falls) on your way up. Eddys are scarce above this portage. Portage on the right. I highly recommend paddling back up the chasm after the portage to check out the bowl and undercut cave. It is sinister in there and the undercut is a jaw dropper.

The fifty footer is just downstream. It has been run clean four times, but is definitely a big commitment. Portage on the left down the cliff.

Below here are two more good drops. The first has a sticky hole and the second is a broken ledge slide.

Takeout on river left down by the parking area. Make sure you know where the portages are and the fifty footer before you put on.

If you come up for this creek, also check out the Upper Dearborn.

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2004-07-24 12:44:39


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
December 16 2005 (4720 days ago)
Ben ClackDetails
Stuff to look out for:
*The first substantial drop after the 2nd river crossing on the hike up has a protruding undercut
finger backed up by a piton rock. This is not in play at high med and up, but is potentially nasty
at med and lower. It is in the R line, which is the meat line.
*The 23'er has undercuts/caves behind the curtain and on the R wall. Be careful and consider
hooking up a strong swimmer to go in after them if it becomes an issue. 2 people have found these,
neither had good experiences down there.
*The mandatory portage is immed. after the first substantial drop below the 23' falls. After
running this, you will round a slight R bend and see the gorge with a huge tree spanning the creek.
Get out at the first eddy on the R. This eddy is only good for about 3 boats, so space accordingly.
If you miss this eddy all is not lost, but you'll have a bitch of a time portaging the deadly
undercut spigot falls. Best portage route is to hike up the very steep hillside above said last
eddy, until you hit a road. Take it to the gate, hike down to big falls on obvious trail. To
portage, ferry across above falls, scale down to the last ledge, line boats down, huck your gear,
jump and swim after it.
*Be aware this is grizzly country and they are thick up there.

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