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Bear Creek

  • The Hype

    A moderate canyon with 3 rappels, the longest being 180'. A good amount of down climbing for the approach and in the canyon. It has a 2.5 hr approach with the last portion off trail. A quick half day canyon that can easily be done before the heat kicks in.

    Getting There

    The trip begins at the Bear Creek trailhead. To reach the Bear Creek trailhead, take Highway 111 to La Quinta. At Washington Street, turn right. When you get to Eisenhower Drive, make a right turn and follow it until it ends at the top of the cove. Make a right onto Bermudas, and note that Bermudas becomes Calle Tecate. At the intersection of Calle Tecate and Avenida Ramirez there is a parking area in the dirt on the left. From the parking area follow the wide well marked trail to the "oasis" you will see up the trail to the right.

    You take this trail as if going to the oasis for about 2 hrs where you continue off trail. There is a saddle you can see from this point and should choose the best route. We took a gully that leads to that saddle, once atop, a smaller gully drains into Bear Creek. Rock is very loose in this entire area, be careful what your using as a foot or hand hold.

    No shuttle required.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A III   Longest Rap: 180'   # of Raps: 3

    Skills Required: Route finding skills. Good anchor building skills required. We made anchors out of cracks for two and a cairn anchor for the 180 footer. Be prepared to rebuild or find new anchors.

    Rappels: 3 of 45', 180 and 90'

    Water: No water. Carry plenty of water.

    Anchor Conditions: Anchors are all natural, require natural anchor building and evaluation skills.

    Gear Recommendations: Your normal canyoneering kit: helmet, harness, descender, carabiners, etc...
    A 200' rope, 4 links and 40' of webbing.

    Flash Flood Danger: Low

    The Exit

    When hiking in, you'll cross the creek wash and this is where you head back to your vehicle. The trail isn't obvious on the way in or out, the nature of the wash and people taking various route has created a network of possible routes. They all essentially lead the same way, just keep an eye out for the berm on your right side and the small mountain that you first see and pass by on your way in. Or keep an eye out for people and the occasional markers. You'll reach the man-made La Quinta oasis where you can get some fresh water or just head back to your vehicle.

    Red Tape

    Additional Resources

  • The trip begins at the Bear Creek trailhead. To reach the Bear Creek trailhead, take Highway 111 to La Quinta. At Washington Street, turn right. When you get to Eisenhower Drive, make a right turn and follow it until it ends at the top of the cove. Make a right onto Bermudas, and note that Bermudas becomes Calle Tecate. At the intersection of Calle Tecate and Avenida Ramirez there is a parking area in the dirt on the left. From the parking area follow the wide well marked trail to the "oasis" you will see up the trail to the right.

    You take this trail as if going to the oasis for about 2 hrs where you continue off trail. There is a saddle you can see from this point and should choose the best route. We took a gully that leads to that saddle, once atop, a smaller gully drains into Bear Creek. Rock is very loose in this entire area, be careful what your using as a foot or hand hold.

    No shuttle required.
  • Skills Required: Route finding skills. Good anchor building skills required. We made anchors out of cracks for two and a cairn anchor for the 180 footer. Be prepared to rebuild or find new anchors.

    Rappels: 3 of 45', 180 and 90'

    Water: No water. Carry plenty of water.

    Anchor Conditions: Anchors are all natural, require natural anchor building and evaluation skills.

    Gear Recommendations: Your normal canyoneering kit: helmet, harness, descender, carabiners, etc...
    A 200' rope, 4 links and 40' of webbing.

    Flash Flood Danger: Low
  • When hiking in, you'll cross the creek wash and this is where you head back to your vehicle. The trail isn't obvious on the way in or out, the nature of the wash and people taking various route has created a network of possible routes. They all essentially lead the same way, just keep an eye out for the berm on your right side and the small mountain that you first see and pass by on your way in. Or keep an eye out for people and the occasional markers. You'll reach the man-made La Quinta oasis where you can get some fresh water or just head back to your vehicle.
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