The Three Bears section of the Molalla is a classic whitewater run near Portland and Salem that you need to catch at the right flow.
Kayakers can do it down to 600 cfs while rafts and catarafts like higher flows up to 2000 cfs. Above 2000 cfs this section of the Molalla get significantly more difficult.
The Three Bears Rapids (Papa Bear, Mamma Bear, and Baby Bear) are typically scouted from the road on the drive to put-in.
Mile 0: Just after driving after over the river at the Turner Bridge the road shoulder widens giving space for parking, unloading gear, and launching.
Mile 0.6: The first of the 3-Bears is Papa Bear (III+) just below Turner Bridge. Bear creek comes in on the right just after this rapid. You can get a pretty good view of this rapid as you drive to put-in.
Mile 1.5 The next rapid Mamma Bear (IV) is typically considered the most difficult. The road goes right by this rapid allowing you to scout it on the drive up to put-in.
Mile 3.2 The last of the bear challenges will be Baby Bear (III+), a beautiful rapid that should scouted while driving to put-in.
Mile 7.6: Goldilocks (IV) can be run on both sides of an island and is typically considered the most dangerous rapid on the run because of an undercut rock at the bottom.
Mile 7.9: Porridge Bowl (III) is a short rapid.
Mile 8.5 Take-out on the right at a turn-out on S Dickey Prairie Rd just before the Glen Avon Bridge .