Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The dearborn river north of Helena and south of Augusta is one of the prettiest rivers I have seen. It flows along vertical canyon walls for most of its length.

The rapids are rarely above class I+ except for 2 short sections of II- and one of a boulder garden III- that would be a challenge in a breakable canoe.

The upper sections are apparently fairly flat as well. We ended up camping near the headwaters. There is an informal campsite just before the cabins near Falls creek. By the diversion dam there is a small play wave. A campiste about 1km further down has a small play hole, and is further removed from the road.

Falls creek is nearby. While a pretty run, it is mainly a number of steep semi-runnable drops up to 50feet tall. The upper Dearborn looks much more pleasant, although it is still a stout run. We, unfortunately didn't get to hike it. Across the valley from the dearborn are a number of caves. It is a great place to explore.

1 comment:

Stew & Di said...

Chris - more great photos - a very scenic river. It looks quite a bit like the Smith River that's about 50 km to the east, and another tributary of the Missouri that cuts through a Limestone Gorge. We floated the Smith last summer - 5 days and our kids' first multi-day river float/camp trip. Smith permits are by lottery and we'd highly recommend the trip sometime - grade I - II.