The annual Black Canyon of the Bear Whitewater Festival is coming up on April 22-24th in Grace, ID.
It is a good opportunity to meet other river lovers. Every spring there are 4 water releases for whitewater paddlers. This year the remaining releases are April 9-10, April 22-24, and May 7-8. The continuation of these releases provided by Pacificorp is dependent upon attendance by the paddling community. The releases are at minimum 900 cfs into a basalt canyon with many class IV rapids and a long class V rapid called Booboo.
After 4:00 p.m. on the release weekend, the flows drop to 200 cfs which is a good technical packraftable flow, although it has been packrafted before at 900 cfs, with the exception of BooBoo (which is a 30 minute portage). There is also a good intermediate whitewater stretch below the normal take-out down to the end of Cove Power Plant Road for intermediate level whitewater packrafters. Advanced whitewater packrafters may choose to take advantage of the 900+ cfs release by putting in right after Booboo from an access road called Black Canyon Ln (viewable on Google Earth) on river right, in order to boat a handul class III and IV rapids in a roughly 4 mile stretch down to the end of Cove Power Plant road (also viewable from Google Earth) without having to deal with the difficult portage at BooBoo.
For anyone that wants to come down to Paddle the Bear, spend a night at my intentional community in Lava Hot Springs. There is also a great river through town for paddling. We have rustic cabin rentals and a campground. An exciting fire dancing performance and a massage therapist is available upon request.
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