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Old 02-12-2015   #1
Coloma, California
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
North West Montana Whitewater

Hey Mountain Buzzers,

I am looking to move to Whitefish MT and can only find class 2-3 boating in the area on AW and in guidebooks. What are the options for class IV-V boating in the area?

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Old 02-12-2015   #2
Whitefish, Montana
Paddling Since: Tues
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by nckayaker91 View Post
Hey Mountain Buzzers,

I am looking to move to Whitefish MT and can only find class 2-3 boating in the area on AW and in guidebooks. What are the options for class IV-V boating in the area?
I've lived in Whitefish for 12 years. Great town and people. There is class IV-V boating available, but mostly in more remote areas. Check the Kootenai (U.S; not Canada), upper Middle Fork Flathead (fly or hike in access only) the upper South Fork Flathead (through Meadow Creek Gorge, hike/horsepack access only) and the Yaak River through the canyon. In Canada, check out the lower Elk (VI-/III+) the Kicking Horse and the Bull. All have solid whitewater at various times throughout the year.

"Nothing grows faster than a fish from when it bites until it gets away."
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Old 02-12-2015   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 429
You are really close to interior BC and alberta (well close is relative, Bc is huge) The upper elk looks awesome, full on V EGCREEKIN: The Elk River "a leap of faids"

Also the Kootenai runs year round for a big water IV with a waterfall. Also the Idaho Panhandle has some fun looking runs (boulder creek is the one that comes to the top of my head but there are others). check out this map for ideas, you are pretty close to idaho. some of these look pretty solid

Also, if nothing else, you are 3-4 hours from the lochsa...
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Old 02-12-2015   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 43
There is actually some good boating in Glacier. I haven't run it, but friends have run Siyeh Creek > Reynolds Creek > St. Mary's Lake and said it's totally classic. McDonald Creek is closed for the spring/summer season but you can run it in October/November after fall rains. There is other stuff in the Park if you are willing to work for it, too.

In the South Fork of the Flathead area, there is some legit class V and then some of what seems to be Montana's stoutest class V+ on Graves Creek into Hungry Horse reservoir.

As others have said, there are lifetimes worth of extremely high-quality boating in eastern BC and southern Alberta that is within easy weekend driving distance. There is also a plenty of IV/V in the Idaho panhandle, but that's ~3.5ish hours, and you can be many places in BC in that same timeframe.

Hopefully you ski and bike, too. Whitefish is also central to some of the most amazing backpacking trips in the lower 48.
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Old 02-12-2015   #5
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Lot's of stuff in the 4+ drive range. Swan is 40 min from whitefish and quick fun IV action.
The sunshine walked beside her
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