Bear Creek To Essex


This is a scenic run that follows Highway 2.  This is a good stretch of river to extend the upper stretch or the stretch to Mocasin Creek.  At higher flows this run can get pushy with lot's of continous waves throughout.

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Flathead, Middle Fork are between a bare minimum of 1,000cfs and a high of 10,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 12359800, the S F Flathead R Ab Twin C Nr Hungry Horse Mt Remember only watercraft are permitted at Bear Creek to Essex.

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Whitewater Rapids

Obstacles on the river run
Bear Creek Rapid
Class II to III
Staircase Rapid
Class III- to III+
Goatlick Rapid
Class III- to III

Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
N F Flathead River Nr Columbia Falls Mt
USGS 12355500
10,500 cfs 6.8 ft
S F Flathead R Ab Twin C Nr Hungry Horse Mt
USGS 12359800
8,290 cfs 9.8 ft
Swiftcurrent Creek At Many Glacier Mt
USGS 05014500
597 cfs 3.1 ft
St. Mary Canal At St. Mary Crossing Near Babb Mt
USGS 05018500
602 cfs 7.5 ft
Two Medicine River Bl South Fork Nr Browning Mt
USGS 06091700
1,120 cfs 4.1 ft
South Crow Creek Near Ronan Mt
USGS 12375900
9 cfs 1.9 ft
Swiftcurrent Cr Ab Swiftcurrent Lk At Many Glacier
USGS 05014300
113 cfs 1.8 ft
Cut Bank Creek Near Browning Mt
USGS 06098500
60 cfs ft
N F Milk River Ab St Mary Ca Nr Browning Mt
USGS 06133500
9 cfs 1.6 ft
Flathead River At Columbia Falls Mt
USGS 12363000
32,700 cfs 11.4 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Spotted Bear 13 3,734 ft
Devils Corkscrew 11 3,604 ft
Devil Creek 14 4,392 ft
Peters Creek 6 3,595 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Essex to Moccasin Creek 1290.0cfs 26.0 Mi II+
Moccasin Creek to West Glacier (John Stevens Canyon) 4310.0cfs 9.0 Mi II+ to III+
Bear Creek to Essex 9120.0cfs 4.71 Mi II to III+
Schafer Meadows to Bear Creek (Upper) 4310.0cfs 26.0 Mi III+ to IV+