3-step 45' drop with the 2nd step 15'er landing on flat rock. Super-fun but back and rib injuries common. Head injuries when people flip, too. A common story you hear about Stairway is that people scout the drop and say "no way am I running that!". At which point they start to look at the portage. Then the hapless boater quietly gets back in their boat and starts to psyche up. Walk up and out river left to Cloudland Canyon picnic area if needed.
Heard several boaters made an 11'' run Nov. 2006, some new wood in lower but all avoidable at that level on that day. Major windstorm later in month so be aware..
Heads up for locals; there is a piton rock in the
second ledge in 'snakepit' (just below
Fishbowl) and the right exit rock is now
undercut since 2004 hurricanes. Consider
scouting. Tree below Surrealistic sneak. And
a left slot between Big Bang and Revelations
has a nasty pin rock in it now - drive left or run
the center ramp instead. <br />
Bear 20'' 4PM - usual suspects (brad, todd, mark, brent, lane, bryce) doing laps. New
Date: Dec 08 2004, 8:25 GMT
Finally made it down and it was every bit as good as remembered.
There's 'new' wood in the surrealistic sneak (runnable?) and an 'new' undercut on the right in the rapid below Fishbowl (Snakepit) and above Knockin on Heaven's Door. Meltdowns in Cosmic Trigger, Corey ran left at Big Bang, then surfed Revelations (on my directions). Logs in left channel at Armagaddon (still) but squeeky clean down from there.
65 degrees - in December? Love this season!
AW negotiated access to the Bear in 1995. Support AW for keeping classic steep creeks like the Bear open!!
The local gauge on the bridge upstream from the put-in - downstream river right side. 9" min, 12"--18" optimim, 20"-2' high but commonly run (watch fishbowl and revelations).
The cfs gauge listing is for Lookout Creek, just downstream of Trenton, Ga. Bear drains into lookout creek. The gauge is less than two miles from the Bear takeout.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Middle of Stairway
Top of Stairway
Another Stairway View
Stairway to Heaven
Just below Momentary Lapse of Reason
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
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Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!
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