May 22, 2007

North Fork Flathead; Montana (II - III)

1 comment:

Sparky said...

The North Fork Flathead River flows south down the west side of Glacier National Park and is mostly a swiftwater scenic float. Most of the area this river flows through was burned in fires of the past and contains some stunningly beautiful scenery of Glacier's west side. This is not your typical Glacier experience up here as most of the tourists stick around the Going to the Sun Road areas of the park. I highly recommend bringing a canoe to explore the numerous lakes on Glacier's west side while you're in the area - canoeing is my favorite way to run the North Fork Flathead as well, but always be on the lookout for wood!

North Fork Flathead logistics: Class II-III. It is possible to run the North Fork from as high up as the Canada border, but the best (and pretty much only) whitewater is between Big Creek access and Glacier Rim near Columbia Falls. Don't come expecting whitewater thrills on this one or you will be disappointed (the hardest thing about this river is avoiding log jams). Come for the scenery and don't miss out on the world-class baked goods at the Polebridge Mercantile.

You can easily combine this run with other Flathead drainage runs in the area - check out the lower Middle Fork Flathead and the Wild Mile on the Swan to the south.