The Middle Fork of the Flathead had never been on my radar before, but a quick Google revealed a gem of a river that actually inspired the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act back in 1968. Six Montana paddlers took a five day backpacking and packrafting trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to float about 56 miles of the South Fork of the Flathead River in With no rafting allowed inside the park, these picturesque rivers give the best view of Glacier’s landscapes from a raft. Many experienced anglers highly regard the bull trout and consider it a “bucket list” species. The Flathead River isn't nearly as popular among anglers as say the Middle Fork or South Fork of the Flathead. I have seen the world and this was by far the best trip I have ever been on. Please: no stereos, radios, cell phones or watches. All Rights Reserved. In the evening we’ll get together to go over gear, hand out WRO cups and T-shirts and answer any last minute questions. South Fork Flathead Requiring a multi-day backpack or horsepack to reach the put in, the South Fork is about as remote a river trip can get in the United States. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. Rafting: Upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir, you can putin at an unofficial access point called Cedar Flats and float 18 very scenic river miles to the reservoir. Relax. The East Side Trail #80 and West Side Trail #263 and connecting trails are closed along this portion of the river. It’s appropriate that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act originated with the Middle Fork of the Flathead, as the river truly embodies those two qualities. WARM JACKET…synthetic piles are popular because they are warm even when damp. The last day includes a casual float and fishing from the boat. Departure Month: July, June Region: Montana Rating: Beginner, Intermediate Pricing: Above $2000, Between $1500 and $2000 Tweet. The North Fork of the Flathead is located in the quiet and rugged Northwestern corner of Glacier National Park. For information on scheduling a South Fork Flathead trip in 2020, inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. The best way to fish the Flathead is via drift boat. Four years later, it appeared that the Middle Fork of the Flathead would meet a similar fate. If you fish after mid-October, carry appropriate winter clothing and survival gear. Listen to the River, from Wild Confluence Films, is the story of a classic summertime river adventure gone awry. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. Rafting.com is currently seeking qualified outfitters for Featured Listings. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. Trips along the Great Bear section of the Middle Fork of the Flathead originate deep within the Great Bear Wilderness, either at Schaffer Meadows, a remote airstrip accessed by small Cessna aircraft, or by ½ day hike or horseback ride into Granite Creek. Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather, or water conditions. We’ll meet the pack string with our rafts and cool our feet in the clear waters of the river. The South Fork of the Flathead runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, just south of Glacier National Park. In part 1 we explored the Chinese Wall. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. Rafting & Paddling the South Fork Flathead River Floating the South Fork of the Flathead River is perhaps one of the finest floats anyone can do in the lower 48. LONG UNDERWEAR…polypro or capilene (not cotton) tops & bottoms. I can take that picture with me to the old folks hame if I ever go to one and say, ”I have lived!” A short walk to the putin is required. Before the trip: A variety of car rentals are available should you decide to visit Glacier National Park before or after your trip. We provide transportation back to the Red Lion Hotel in Kalispell where we typically have an optional farewell dinner that evening. Depending on group size, we’ll use either paddle rafts or oar boats. HIKING BOOTS …well broken in. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. It is very scenic. Day before the trip: Arrive in Kalispell, MT. Copyright 2017 Montana River Outfitters - Site by. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. The rapids are fun, and the continuous gradient makes miles pass quickly, but gnarly whitewater certainly isn’t the draw to this river. Other than the small town of Polebridge, which has no electricity, the North Fork does not pass through a town of any size for it’s entire length. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. The views here are breath-taking in every direction. Best nearby . Details on these commercial rafting … Rates are $300 per animal for both riding and pack animals. These mid to late summer expeditions are best experienced when this high country river flows low and clear, and trout willingly rise to attractor patterns. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. With a total length of 216 miles, the Flathead River includes the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork sections above Hungry Horse and is surrounded by rugged wilderness in Glacier National Park, rafting through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Great Bear Wilderness areas is a … We look forward to making this horseback/float fishing trip a comfortable, enjoyable, and exciting adventure. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Want to find something to do in South Fork Flathead? *Itinerary and route to river is subject to change based on the desired hiking distance of your group. ZIPLOCKS…for personal trash and organization. During the summer, the South Fork of the Flathead is one of the only rivers in the country where you can target bull trout. You have come to the right place. FLASHLIGHT…small one is fine, headlamps work great. Jeff, Brenda and Jamie Nelson, Middle Fork Salmon River, “Thank you for your strong commitment to the wilderness experience. At the end of Wayne's and my float down the wilderness portion of the South Fork of the Flathead, the portage around the top half of Meadow Creek Gorge about did us in. A safe time frame to fish the river is between July 15 and October 15. This is usually a great place to spot wildlife. One day of the South Fork’s whitewater is enough adrenaline for the whole trip! After your reservation, we will promptly send you a trip packet including general information on your trip, your invoice and statement, a gear list, and medical and liability waiver forms that you will need to return to our office. We’ll camp here tonight and get the rafts ready for the next day. Delta, Alaska/Horizon, United, Alegiant, Frontier and US Airways offer flights into Glacier National Airport (FCA). Four days of hiking and four days of rafting make for a truly unique backcountry experience in the wilds of Montana. After the trip: Just when your feet are getting a bit heavy, we reach the cool, clear waters of the South Fork. The three forks offer opportunities for day floats from vehicle accessed sites, thrilling white-water stretches, and permitted guided trips for day and overnight experiences. In years of heavy precipitation it may not fall into shape until after the July 4 holiday. In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given. Floating Montana: 5 Favorite River Floats, Pale Morning Dun #12-16                         Hoppers #6-10                         Royal Wulff #10-14                         Elk Hair Caddis #8-16                         Parachute Caddis 10-16                         Stimulator #6-12                         Royal Trude #8-16                         Parachute Adams #10-18, Lightning bug #12-18                         Humpy #10-14                         Girdle bug #4-8                         Montana Nymph #6-12                         Bead Head Prince Nymph #10-16                         Bead Head Pheasant Tail #12-18                         Bead Head Hares Ear #8-16, One or two changes of outer clothes should be adequate (use layering method), Long johns are a good idea, particularly the new high tech wicking, quick drying materials, Foot gear: light weight hiking boots serve well as combination riding and hiking boots, Rain gear can be a saddle slicker, poncho, or rain suit, Pillow case stuffed with a jacket or sweater makes a comfy “pillow”, Pack everything in one soft luggage or duffel bag, Maximum weight of bag should be 50 pounds. NEOPRENE SOCKS (described on back side) and old running shoes… this is the best combination we’ve found for keeping your feet warm and safe on the river. Rafting Guides & Outfitters River Information A very good and concise resource on “The Bob”, especially the sections on wildlife and history. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. We guide rafting trips on Glacier Park's rivers, the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead - wild and scenic and lots of fun! The hike is through some very pristine wilderness with alpine lakes and spectacular views. Many sections of the Middle Fork of the Flathead are comprised of canyons as well as class II-III whitewater. Seeing the South Fork of the Flathead River for the first time in 2011, was really where the idea of starting a packraft rental company began. Cedar Flats to Spotted Bear Edit this River; Difficulty: II: Length: 9.5 Miles: Gauge: S F Flathead R ab Twin C nr Hungry Horse MT Flow Range: 1000 - 10000 CFS Flow Rate as of: 17 minutes ago 498 [CFS] Reach Info Last Updated: 11/22/2010 12:00 pm: River Description. Hike past pristine mountain lakes and snow-covered peaks. We have other wilderness and backcountry trips too, so call soon to reserve your dates on these pristine and permit only wilderness waters. South Fork, rec stretch This popular nine-mile segment from the Swinging Bridge to Hungry Horse Reservoir is the only portion of the Flathead River with some motorized boat use. We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy. The river was fantastic but even better was the camaraderie we developed with your WRO family.” Group discounts based upon the number of people in your party. The South Fork of the Flathead, located in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is a horsepack in/float out trip of 5-7 days, putting you over feisty Cutthroats to 22″ and “Bull Trout” to 15 pounds. Your family’s personal touch was very evident.” PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. The South Fork of the Flathead is a freestone stream, vulnerable to the nuances of runoff, and typically unfishable until mid to late June. We had camped at the confluence that forms the South Fork and as we ate fish tacos and smoked pipes, we pondered what might lie down-river. Go Rafting with A Commercial Outfitter in Montana. Please contact us for details. The North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork have different origins and personalities, each a different river until they merge to form the main stem of the Flathead River. The river is mellow the first couple of days and normally crystal clear and full of cutthroat trout. Big Salmon Outfitters is pleased to offer the best outfitting trips Montana has to offer, including Elk and Deer Hunts, Fly Fishing Trips,Wilderness Pack Trips, and Rafting Drop Floats to the South Fork of the Flathead … South Fork of the Flathead River - This 8-day trip offers a combination of hiking and rafting. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE…if desired (unbreakable containers). Here on the edge of Glacier National Park, you can experience the best white water rafting Montana has to offer in addition to fly fishing, kayaking and horseback riding. We can provide all the rental equipment that you may need from rafts to breakdown frames to tents. Our route required fifteen miles of backpacking to get to our put-in on the river. Since 1977 Montana River Outfitters prides itself in offering only the finest river trips available. View photos of breath-taking scenery, fascinating geography, and our wild river adventures. These "do it yourself" rafting drop floats in the Bob Marshall Wilderness can put you right in the middle of the best fishing in Montana. Flathead River South Fork The South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the countries largest designated wilderness areas. We do not provide any food or drinks for any part of the trip including the ride in. North Fork Flathead River rafting trips offer a rare combination of relatively mild whitewater rafting in a rugged alpine environment. The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away. OVERVIEW; DATES & RATES; ITINERARY & INFO; SUGGESTED GEAR ; PHOTOS & VIDEO; REVIEWS; The Middle Fork Flathead, one of the little known jewels of whitewater, is … People using pack rafts, dehydrated food and backpacking gear get by with dramatically less. The North Fork, Middle Fork, and portions of the South Fork of the Flathead River are within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and are used for floating excursions. Needless to say, with such remote access, the Middle Fork of the Flathead offers a whitewater experience like none other. Discounts are also available for seniors and children. Der South Fork Flathead River hat seinen Ursprung im Powell County, wo verschiedene Quellwasser zusammenströmen. Contact. Your personal day gear will be packed in saddle bags or a small dry pack. The range of outdoor activities in South Fork Flathead is incredible. Then, it took five years to plug the South Fork of the Flathead River with the Hungry Horse Dam in 1953. We do not have a packer or wrangler fee and do not charge for any animals that the packers or wranglers are riding or any pack animals we need to pack in our gear for staying over night. SUNGLASSES AND TIES FOR GLASSES…protects against glare. CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS: 20 Shares. THIN LINER SOCKS…nylon or synthetic, not cotton. Make your reservations at the Red Lion Hotel (1-800-547-8010) or Travellodge (1-406-755-6123) in Kalispell. Jackie Bowman-Childers. Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot. Almost everyone walks out the 3 miles from mid creek to meadow creek trailhead. SOUTH FORK FLATHEAD Hike past pristine mountain lakes and snow-covered peaks. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 It is very scenic. Groups of 4 or more will average 1.5 pack animals per person when using traditional rafts with frames and regular food. We pack you, your gear and your float equipment to the confluence of Young’s and Danaher Creeks where the South Fork of the Flathead River begins. SOUTH FORK FLATHEAD | Wilderness River Outfitters. Our raft guide with Glacier Raft Company, AP, added to the experience by explainin... Read all 39 reviews. Flathead River rafting can be found on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. From the pass, the trail leads downhill through lush mountain meadows and thick woods. Included: We provide transportation from Kalispell to the river and back to Kalispell at the end of the trip. The South Fork Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana in the northwest United States. Motel After: You did not cut corners. On one of our trips last summer three people fishing the same hole each caught 20 fish in under an hour! You won't need wet suits to raft with us. We will provide transportation from Kalispell to the Rich Ranch. Come see for yourself why the South Fork of the Flathead is a guide favorite! FOOTWEAR: The comfort of your feet will make a big difference in your enjoyment of the trip! Similar Trips: South Fork Flathead • Middle Fork Salmon • Main Salmon. We can have it ready for you to purchase or rent when you arrive. Not Included: Cost does not include hotels before or after the trip, alcohol, or guide gratuities. This is an incredible river to travel, as you glimpse Glacier Park’s beauty and the surrounding wilderness. If true wilderness and the best native Westslope Cutthroat fishing in the “lower 48” interests you, then we have the trip you’re looking for! Share 19. A short drive to the trailhead and we’ll be on our way. Location. Feel the exhilaration of whitewater rushing through a narrow gorge. If your group is less than four, we’ll be happy to link you with others with whom to share your river adventure. Laugh. Forming the western and southern borders of Glacier National Park, the Flathead River is a hidden gem of Montana with spectacular scenery, unsurpassed fishing and excellent wildlife viewing. You will be responsible for the cost of lodging and dinner here. The North Fork, Middle Fork, and portions of the South Fork of the Flathead River are within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and are used for floating excursions. Feel the exhilaration of whitewater rushing through a narrow gorge. You will be given dry bags for clothing and sleeping gear as well as a smaller bag for day use. This remote valley, deep in the Bob Marshal Wilderness is home to extraordinary wildlife including elk, moose, wolf, eagles, mountain goats, grizzly and black bear. Suggested reading: Montana’s Bob Marshall Country by Rick & Susie Craetz. Details on these commercial rafting … The rugged area includes the landscapes of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas. It is also very remote. Float the south fork of the flathead In addition to guided fly fishing, we offer drop float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides scheduled, supplies bought, and rafts and vehicles assigned. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. We will forever cherish the time we shared in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.”  Steve Page, 2012. The North Fork is the longest of the three forks. Book online now! RAIN GEAR… good jacket and pants, poncho’s aren’t enough. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR HORSE PACK TRIPS. We travel 6 to 10 miles a day through spectacular backcountry and most routes include one day of uphill climbing. Activities will vary according to the group interests, weather, and water levels. Wetsuits are available in the springtime. There are four licensed companies operating out of West Glacier that offer a multitude of trips. Similar Trips: Middle Fork Flathead •  Middle Fork Salmon, “The fishing was unbelievable, the river was perfect, the food was great, the hikes were beautiful and the company was the best. Flathead Raft Company provides rafting on the lower Flathead River outside Polson, Montana, and is one of the most exciting and breathtakingly beautiful trips you will ever experience. A Trip Down the South Fork of the Flathead Cedar Flats July, 2015 Click on any image for a larger view; Contact garya at this domain if you would like the high quality image for printing . The South Fork of the Flathead, located in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is a horsepack in/float out trip of 5-7 days, putting you over feisty Cutthroats to 22″ and “Bull Trout” to 15 pounds. Pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts. Please make sure you arrive in Kalispell before 3 p.m.  We will have cabins reserved, dinner reservations and orientation at the Rich Ranch. This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Flathead, South Fork 3. We provide SLEEPING BAGS, PADS, AND TENTS. Glacier Raft Company is your premier Montana raft company with thrilling Glacier National Park white water rafting adventures and outdoor fun. Middle Fork of the Flathead River (Class II-III): It is very scenic. 2. The remainder is due 45 days prior to trip departure. The rest of your gear will be packed up the afternoon before the trip. We dedicate plenty of river time to fishing for one of the purest strains of Westslope Cutthroat trout in the world. Glacier National Park, MT +1 800-521-7238. Full view. North Fork Flathead River rafting trips offer a rare combination of relatively mild whitewater rafting in a rugged alpine environment. DEPOSIT AND RESERVATION: 2. The South Fork of the Flathead, located in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is a horsepack in/float out trip of 5-7 days, putting you over feisty Cutthroats to 22″ and “Bull Trout” to 15 pounds. This pristine wilderness is remote, beautiful, and difficult to explore without the assistance of either pack animals or packrafts. Cast for native trout along grassy meadows bursting with wildflowers. There will be plenty of opportunities to try out the superb fishing, and we’ll take some time to wander through the beautiful Ponderosa Parks, for the chance to see grazing elk. the average number of stock used for people using traditional rafts and frames along with regular food will average 2 pack animals per person on groups of less than 4. Whether you just want a lazy float trip or some whitewater with some thrills, you'll find it on the Flathead. Join us for eight wonderful days in the incredible Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana. Superb cutthroat trout fishing, excellent hiking, breath-taking views, secluded mountain lakes, and wildlife, and exhilarating whitewater make this a trip of a lifetime. The designated river includes the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork above Hungry Horse Reservoir and features recreation, scenery, historic sites, unique fisheries and wildlife such as grizzly bears and wolves. Flathead River rafting can be found on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Hike past pristine mountain lakes and snow-covered peaks. The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness. The Middle Fork and North Fork form the southern and western boundary of Glacier National Park. The hotel will provide shuttle service from the airport. For the first two days, the water meanders lazily through a sweeping glacial valley and grand Ponderosa Pines. Go Rafting with A Commercial Outfitter in Montana. In case of wind attach with a tie or clip. Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a short-term traveler’s insurance policy. Other costs may include $300 per vehicle if they would like us to shuttle vehicles to the meadow creek trailhead for them. John LaRussa, Alternate Path Adventures, Salmon River, “You should know that the guides did everything possible to provide us with an awesome trip. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Below the dam, the 5 mile stretch offers a small section with class IV rapids. There are several commercial outfitters that offer float trips. These "do it yourself" rafting drop floats in the Bob Marshall Wilderness can put you right in … A spectacular backcountry flight, more wildlife than people, and striking emerald-aqua water beckons from Montana’s Big Sky country. The drive back to Kalispell is about 2 1/2 hours. We work with a number of horseback outfitters and can help you to arrange you pack in and pack out,  the average number of stock used for people using traditional rafts and frames along with regular food will average 2 pack animals per person on groups of less than 4. GEAR PROVIDED – we provide LIFE JACKETS, 2 WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAGS (one for sleeping bag, pad & ground cloth, and one for clothing), WATERPROOF DAY BAG for items you would like accessible during the day (dry shirt, suntan lotion, camera, etc. Presented below are Tour Companies that offer guided white water rafting & kayaking trips and/or rent equipment in and near Flathead Lake. Ask for details. The narrow, limestone gorge allows only paddleboats on this section of the river and for six miles the water crashes through a series of class III to V rapids (this section is optional). Flathead: an 8-day hiking/rafting expedition into a truly unique backcountry experience in the ”... 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