Big Bear - Highway 8 Bridge (West of Deary) to Kendrick High School


Big Bear, Idaho, US

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Highway 8 Bridge (West of Deary) to Kendrick High School

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 16 Miles

The drop below the big one on Big Bear Creek


The drop below the big one on Big Bear Creek
Photo of Ellis Cusksey by Zack Sears taken 01/14/05 @ 2000

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
POTLATCH RIVER BEL LITTLE POTLATCH CR NR SPALDING
usgs-13341570 1200 - 3000 cfs IV-V 00h43m 10.5 cfs (too low)


River Description

Big Bear Creek starts off as an improbably small stream flowing through a pasture. Quickly however it begins to drop over small basalt ledges and gains size. Be alert for barbed wire fences from the beginning to the end of this run. Big Bear flows swiftly for several miles through a shrubby floodplain, with numerous small rapids. Following a more open section on the right floodplain, several miles from the put in, a dangerous fence is strung taught across the creek.

Finally, the stream enters a wooded (although heavily timbered) granite gorge and the quality of the rapids really picks up. Class III and IV rapids, continue for a couple miles until the big falls. You really can't miss the big falls, although the lead-in is class III. Eddy out on the right in a fairly small eddy. The line is down the right. Portage advice ranges from the bare steep slope on river left, to a high portage on river right, to a low portage using some rope on river right. Next time, without a doubt, I am going to try the low portage on the right. The area around the falls is spectacular.

The drop below the falls is a great 6-7 foot boof with a log in it. Scout right. Shortly after the falls you leave the granite and the rapids change to basalt. Relatively steep, fast, and occassionally chunky rapids roll on for several more miles, and ease shortly before the take out. We scouted one particularly big rapid in this lower section, and were thankful we did.

16 miles is a long trip! Big Bear is a fun, full-day adventure that offers countless and almost nonstop rapids once you enter the canyon. Start early, beware of a nasty moose, keep your eyes peeled for fences, and enjoy.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-01-19 14:34:53

Editors


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 17 2008 (3568 days ago)
IDFishGame (149662)
Caution. Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Steelhead Weirs located on both Big Bear and Little Bear
Creeks. Weir on Big Bear is located ~20meters downstream of bridge on Little Bear Ridge Road. Weir
on L. Bear Ridge Road located ~ 1 mile upstream of the confluence with Big Bear. Portage around and
please do not disturb. Weirs are typically in operation from February until June, although portions
may remain in the stream year round!! For more information please contact the IDFG Clearwater
Regional Office in Lewiston. #(208)799-5010
December 17 2008 (3568 days ago)
IDFishGame (149662)
Caution!! There is are Idaho Department of Fish and Game Steelhead Weirs located on both Big and
Little Bear Creeks. This weirs are typically in operation from February through June. The weir on
Big Bear is located below ~ 200m downstream of bridge on Little Bear Ridge Road. The weir on L.
Bear Creek is located ~ 1 mile upstream from the confluence with Big Bear. Please portage around
and do not disturb!!! For more information call the IDFG Regional Office in Lewiston, ID
(208)799-5010


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