Bear, Idaho, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V) (for normal flows)|
Following many years of hard work by American Whitewater staff and volunteers, FERC issued a new license in 2003 for the hydro project that historically left this reach with just a small trickle of water. Whitewater boaters can now experience the excitement of this restored river. American Whitewater is a member of the Environmental Coordination Committee (ECC) which is responsible for the adaptive management approach to implementation of the license provisions.
If you have a chance to boat the Bear please be a good neighbor as positive relations with the local community are essential to making future releases a success and that big boat on your roof clearly identifies us as a user group. In particular watch your speed as you pass through the housing area near the take-out (it's posted for 10 mph) and stock up on shuttle snacks in Grace.
The river is a solid class IV run with one or two stand out rapids that can be class V. The rapids are numerous and continuous. Rapids deserving attention include Grace Falls, just downstream of the first set of rapids, and BooBoo near the end of the run which is a step up at class V. At lower flows the river is technical and generally class IV. At high flows the river has been compared to the North Fork of the Payette - which is class V. To top it all off the Black Canyon is an incredibly pretty place.
American Whitewater has renegotiated the original flow-trigger releases in exchange for scheduled releases. Releases are now scheduled for four weekends through the spring with one of one weekend that provides three days of boating (Fri-Sun). Target flow for releases is 900 cfs.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|3.5||rocky class IV||IV|