Elevation: 8,564 ft
GPS: 44.75841, -107.79744
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Page Views: 8,211 total · 44/month
Shared By: Trevor Bowman on Dec 2, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

Description

Just south of its headwaters, North Beaver Creek has cleaved a spectacular narrow gorge (through gorgeous granite) in the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains. It is located just west of Little Bald Mountain and US Hwy 14A (the parking access road is a little west of the Beaver Creek Overlook). The area is locally renowned for its majestic scenery and natural water slides into a series of pools and cascades which draw occasional families and other hikers during hot weather. Otherwise, it is infrequently visited due to its relative remoteness.

There are numerous granite walls, towers, buttresses and slabs lining both sides of the canyon, some up to 500' tall. The faces are heavily banded, and of mixed quality depending on the layer; the pink quartz bands can be very friable, while the gray/gold sections generally seem to offer sound rock. Very little technical climbing activity has been documented in the canyon (due to the variable rock or obscure location?). It is a uniquely beautiful setting, and the ambiance certainly makes for a memorable experience!

A few ice climbs have also been explored, although winter access presents the greatest difficulty to such endeavors. US14A is closed between November and May each year, and once the highway is closed for the winter, access is limited to over-snow travel (snowmobile/machine, ski, snowshoe).

Getting There

Paradise Falls/Valley is located on the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains just west of US Highway 14A and Little Bald Mountain.  As you approach on the highway, keep your eyes peeled to the south-west of the highway; the tops of the granite walls and towers above the canyon are visible, but not obviously large from this perspective. USFS Road 121, the road accessing the trailhead parking area is 1 mile west of the Beaver Creek Overlook, (aka the pass). Turn west on FS-121 and continue for 1/2 mile to the old gravel pit below some granite outcroppings. Park here and you'll find the trail heading west, south-west toward North Beaver Creek. There is decent car camping here, although without shade.

From the gravel pit, hike west out a point with many small boulders, and drop down toward the creek drainage where you'll locate a good trail along the east side of the creek. Follow this until the creek spills through a tight slot with several pools and the N. Beaver Creek Falls. After 3/4 mile, the trail ends atop granite slabs which form the slides, cascades and pools, but it's easy to descend the steep open hillside east of the falls. The Eager Beaver Falls and a series of four main towers form the left side of the canyon as the creek bends and then plunges down and west toward the valley below. It's about 1/2 hour hike.

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