Sheep River (AB) - Bluerock to Gorge Creek IV
A great Calgary area creeking option. From the put in you begin with some fairly mellow class II. Keep your eyes open though because there is a class III twisty chute after a little bit. Next up is Bluerock ledge a 5ft boof that is good for practicing boof strokes. After this it relaxes again to class II stuff until Sheep Falls. Sheep Falls is an obvious horizon line and is a relatively clean 12ft waterfall. This can be a good place to practice running waterfalls if you set up appropriate downstream safety. The pace and intensity picks up from here on. Just a little ways downstream is Tiger Jaws obviously visible by the bridge that crosses the river here. Tiger Jaws is an off horizontal drop into a frothy mess with a rock in it nicknamed 'backbreak rock'. You can scout on river left and from the bridge over the river. Immediately after Tiger Jaws the river does some twists and turns in a rapid called Indian Oil. If you would like to scout this rapid prior to running the river you can pull off at a picnic area called Indian Oils and look at Tiger Jaws. The next major drop is called Triple Drop and between Tiger Jaws and there it is filled with ledges and twisty creeking. Triple drop is a series of three waterfalls ranging from 5ft-10ft high. The problem is that the best line on all three is often not in the same place and requires some manuevering with a room of doom on the river right side of the second waterfall. The portage and scout is on river left. It is possible to put in below second waterfall and run just the third. After 3km there is a landslide on the left. Portage or scout Landslide rapid on the left. There are a few more ledges between here and the end. A classic run that demands concentration. It is possible to continue farther downstream towards Sandy McNabb.
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The symbols can be clicked on and provide some simple explanations of why they are there. You can also use the symbols to get directions from Google Maps to the put in/takeout. A handy thing!
From Calgary head S on HWY22 through Bragg Creek to Turner Valley. At Turner Valley follow the signs for Kananaskis Country taking you onto HWY546W. Look for where the road comes down close to the river near Gorge Creek. There are signs saying Gorge Creek Picnic Area. This is about an 8km drive from the Put In.
Continue up HWY546W about another 8km all the way to the end and put in here. Alternatively you can put in a little farther downstream at Bluerock ledge or still farther downstream at Sheep Falls to make for shorter runs.
Consistent ledge filled creeking
Length & Time
The Sheep river is primarily paddled in the spring time. It is fed by snow melt and rainwater. Low flow is 12cms and high flow is anything above 30cms.