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CANYON OF THE WEEK: Bear Creek, Colorado

This week’s feature canyon comes from the San Juan mountains in Colorado, USA. Introducing: Bear Creek!

Rappeling under the water in Bear Creek during a trip of Canyoning Colorado
Most rappels are under the flow. Photo by: Gus Schiavon

Location: Ouray, Southwest Colorado, USA

Rating: V3.A4.III

Type of rock: Precambrian Quartztite

Best time of the year to visit: August


The approach to this canyon is breathtaking. The access follows an old mining trail along steep sided cliffs with the canyon below. After a short scramble down to the creek, the walls quickly close in. Quartzite is a very old and hard rock, and its dark color contrasts well with the blue canyon water.

Big walls in Bear Creek canyon, Colorado.
In the heart of the canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon

Perhaps the most spectacular part of the canyon is the “Quartzite Corridor” where the walls tower above and let in very little light. You can really feel the space through here. The rappels are never big, but they are often in the flow, requiring careful rope management and a cool head. All in all, it’s a great day out and one of the best canyons Ouray has to offer.

A man rappels down a waterfall in Bear Creek
Nice verticals in Bear Creek. Photo by: Gus Schiavon
Setting a handline in canyoning.
Rope work on Bear Creek. Photo by: Gus Schiavon

More information:

Canyon descent : +/- 5.5hrs

Access : steady climb of 1.5hrs, return 5min

About Canyoning Colorado:

Bringing international expertise to the American canyoning community, Canyoning Colorado is the local specialist for the vertical and aquatic canyons of Ouray; providing professional service with a personal touch, you will be welcomed by ICOpro Head Training Master Andrew Humphreys and his team for a great day in the outdoors.


Website: www.canyoningcolorado.com

Email: info@canyoningcolorado.com

Phone: +1 970 318 6492

Office: 408 Main Street, Ouray, Colorado, USA

Social media

Facebook: facebook.com/canyoningcolorado

Instagram: @canyoningcolorado

TripAdvisor: Canyoning Colorado


Become a complete canyoneer with
ICOpro’s CA1-2-3 Manuals

170 A4 pages full color

The Manual Canyoneer Level 3, includes methods and techniques of horizontal progression, set-up and rigging, and basic rescue techniques. This manual allowing you to progress autonomously through a moderate risk canyon.