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 final of the four waterfalls is a sluicing cascade dropping 72 feet just a stone's throw downstream from the more pronounced Bear Creek Falls. Though the waterfall itself isn't terribly interesting, immediately adjacent to the falls is the remains of an abandoned power house once driven by the waters of Bear Creek. The Penstocks feeding the turbine can be seen still attached to the adjacent cliff, the turbine itself is sitting exposed on the foundation and many other pieces of rusting junk lay scattered about. Two steel high tension towers also loom above the site, still visually in quite good condition. With all the decaying material around, visitors to this waterfall should exercise more caution than usual.
- Lower Klahanie 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. The proximity of this waterfall to the lower powerhouse in the development leads me to believe it was probably recognized by name at some point, but until information to establish this can be found the falls will remain listed using a generic name. If no historical name can be found, a more suitable name will be adopted - either way, this waterfall will not be referred to as Lower Bear Creek Falls for long.
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 Laplash Falls. The "trail" heading downstream bears slightly right and downhill near the dam at the top of the falls, following further remnants of the roadbed downstream. Though not always obvious, the trail works steadily downhill, becoming hard to follow in one muddy stretch. Where the tread appears to split in a grassy area, the right fork goes to Klahanie Falls and the left fork dead ends shortly. The Lower Falls are about 500 feet further downstream, but access to the site is neither easy or recommended. The safest route to the base of the falls is to find the metal penstock and stay far to its right (close to Bear Creek) within the forested part of the woods.