Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Bear River Campground to Dog Bar bridge

Use this type of tube with canvas bottom
Every summer I enjoy doing one thing more than anything else in Nevada County. Floating Bear River. While sections of the river are slow and meandering it is the very fast white water sections I enjoy most. If you would like to attempt it there are a few things you will need to know. First it requires two cars and a float tubes for each person going. The style of tube is very important (see photo above).

Not this type of tube
You do not want to go with an inflatable tire tube or River Rat style flotation tube as they will pop (see above) or you may have a long walk back one of the cars. Also stay in the water as I have seen many Rattle snakes along the edge of the river. Do not take children. This is an adult float the first time you attempt it. Once you have done it yourself you can decide if it is appropriate for your kids.

You will want to drop one car at the Dog Bar bridge in southern Nevada County where the road crosses the Bear River (park away from the one lane bridge). Hide your key somewhere on or near the vehicle as you will not want to get the electronic FOB wet and be sure to inform the people you are with where to find the key. Just in case you get hurt they will have access to driving the vehicle. Leave your towels as well as your cellular phone.
Stay away from fallen trees or you could become trapped
Then you will want to head toward Colfax. Turn left on Plumtree and follow the winding road to Bear River Campground. Park there and hide your key outside the vehicle.

The trip will require two to two and a half hours, depending on water flow. The River is cold so be sure to inflate your tube to it's maximum level.

Be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat and a shirt as the sun is very intense. Drinking water is also a must.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips. We enjoyed this float on a hot June day. Floaters beware, there are 2-3 rapids that have the potential to flip tubes depending on flows. Also, algae growth in the river is extreme so walking and standing can be difficult even with river boots.


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