Bear Creek is the first major tributary to the Baker River (though technically Lake Shannon at this point) which the Baker Lake Road crosses. The stream is quite unassuming at the bridge, but about a half mile downstream it begins a tumultuous tumble, dropping over four major waterfalls in a little over half a mile. The uppermost of the series is perhaps the most unique. Bear Creek spills over a defunct fifteen foot tall concrete dam then splits into two channels, cascading over gnarly bedrock before the channels converge, spread to about 100 feet in width and plunge 26 feet sideways into a short gorge - reminiscent of Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park. The total drop of the falls, not counting the dam, is 47 feet. Adjacent to the bottom of the falls the remnants of a hydroelectric project can be found in the shape of concrete footings for a penstock. A short distance upstream from the falls, an unnamed tributary stream enters Bear Creek where another relic of the abandoned hydroelectric system can be found, this time a totally intact powerhouse complete with a rusted turbine still in place. Adjacent to the powerhouse is a small 19 foot tall cascade on the tributary stream which wasn't deemed significant enough to enter into the database but is worth mention.
- Laplash Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Bear Creek appears to have been incorporated into no less than three hydro stations along its descent to Lake Shannon, all of which were likely in operation in the early years of the 20th century and were abandoned when the Lake Shannon Dam was completed in 1925. Because of the significant development in the area, there is a good possibility that this waterfall was named at one point, but any such supporting information has yet to surface. In the interim, the name Laplash has been proposed by local waterfall hunter Aaron Young. Laplash is a Chinook jargon word meaning "broad" or "wide" (but is also known to mean "plank" or "board" - neither of which would be appropriate in this situation).
The waterfalls of Bear Creek are accessed from an abandoned road branching from the Baker Lake Road. Park at the second road branching right on the north side of the Bear Creek bridge, about 9 3/4 miles north of Highway 20. This road can be driven for a short distance in most vehicles but very quickly deteriorates into an undrivable surface, so it is advised to walk from the beginning. Follow the road for just over half a mile to its end at a meadow. A foot path picks up, crossing the aforementioned tributary stream on a rickety bridge and parallels Bear Creek on an old road bed for another 500 feet to the top of the falls. Where the road appears to bear slightly left, head right on a boot path towards the dam to a secondary road bed which will traverse around in front of the falls with partially obstructed views. Clear views are had by scrambling (very muddy) to the base of the falls.