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
Swan River Near Bigfork Mt
USGS 12370000
464 cfs 2.4 ft
N F Flathead River Nr Columbia Falls Mt
USGS 12355500
887 cfs 2.1 ft
Flathead River Near Bigfork Mt
USGS 12369000
4,310 cfs ft
S F Flathead R Ab Twin C Nr Hungry Horse Mt
USGS 12359800
785 cfs 5.5 ft
Flathead River At Columbia Falls Mt
USGS 12363000
4,910 cfs 4.3 ft
Cut Bank Creek Near Browning Mt
USGS 06098500
60 cfs ft
Two Medicine River Bl South Fork Nr Browning Mt
USGS 06091700
1,250 cfs 2.6 ft
Middle Fork Flathead River Nr West Glacier Mt
USGS 12358500
680 cfs 2.0 ft
Swiftcurrent Cr Ab Swiftcurrent Lk At Many Glacier
USGS 05014300
113 cfs 1.8 ft
N F Milk River Ab St Mary Ca Nr Browning Mt
USGS 06133500
7 cfs 1.6 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
N Fk Elk Creek
SNOTEL 657
25" 0"
Moss Peak
SNOTEL 646
73" 0"
Noisy Basin
SNOTEL 664
70" 0"
Emery Creek
SNOTEL 469
32" 0"
Bisson Creek
SNOTEL 346
18" 1"
Flattop Mtn.
SNOTEL 482
78" -1"
Stuart Mountain
SNOTEL 901
60" -1"
Badger Pass
SNOTEL 307
48" -2"
North Fork Jocko
SNOTEL 667
74" 0"
Lubrecht Flume
SNOTEL 604
16" -1"
Many Glacier
SNOTEL 613
29" 0"
Pike Creek
SNOTEL 693
4" 0"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Spotted Bear 13 3,734 ft
Devil Creek 14 4,392 ft
Peters Creek 6 3,595 ft
Devils Corkscrew 11 3,604 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Essex to Moccasin Creek 785.0cfs 26.0 Mi II+
Bear Creek to Essex 785.0cfs 4.71 Mi II to III+
Schafer Meadows to Bear Creek (Upper) 4310.0cfs 26.0 Mi III+ to IV+
Moccasin Creek to West Glacier (John Stevens Canyon) 4310.0cfs 9.0 Mi II+ to III+