Bear River: Campground to Evanston


GRADIENT - 40 ft/mile

LENGTH - 35 miles

FLOAT TIME - 14 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Evanston

PUT IN - 5 miles south of state line at Bear Campground

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - Evanston

Bear River CFS Data

USGS Gage Station CFS near the state line.

Bear River Map


The Bear River begins in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, at the confluence with the East Fork and the Hayden Fork. (Both of these rivers have some Class III water above the confluence.) After about seven miles, the river enters Wyoming and travels north to Evanston.  From Evanston, the Bear River lumbers along between Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho on its way north to Grace, Idaho (whitewater section) where it turns south to the Great Salt Lake.

The best put-in for the upper section is at either the East Fork or Bear River Campground. The six mile stretch to the gaging station and first bridge is a fast and rocky Class III with a serious potential for logjams. About another hour downstream is another bridge and the river slows to a Class II but logjams are still a threat. Here the river begins following along a steep ridge on the west.

Two hours from the second bridge is a landing at an old wooden bridge on Road-150 (accessed by turning of W-150 at mile marker #19). By this time the river has left the breaks and foothills and is traveling across the flatland. About two hours below is a diversion for Evanston municipal water and a bit further downstream you enter the narrows. This area has a couple of channel selections and two diversion dams. The first dam requires a drag-around while the second may be floatable. Just after leaving the narrows is the W-150 Bridge Landing. Float time from upper put-in is seven hours.

Below the W-150 Bridge the Bear River meanders across an open valley and travels through irrigated hay meadows. This section is still quite fast and contains numerous tight bends, overhangs, and may have a few small logjams. Downstream from the landing is where Sulphur Creek comes in from the right and you begin following along the base of a large bluff. About two hours from the landing is a railroad bridge and below it a bit is a tight turn where the river whips past a sandstone undercut in the bluff. An hour further, at the edge of town, is a county bridge and a small footbridge. Just below here is a rocky area and a small drop at the I-80 Bridge. There is not an official landing in Evanston and most people take out at any one of the several bridges in town. Float time from the W-150 Bridge is about three hours.  

Photo Caption (image not shown): A mad-dog boater taking an eddy break before continuing down K-9 rapids on the upper Bear River.