Which fork of the flathead - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-02-2010   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Which fork of the flathead

SO i am looking at an overnight float trip for the spring and I stumbled on pictures of the north and south fork of the flathead which look beautiful. I can't find a ton on info on either of those or the middle fork of the flathead. So out of those 3 what do you think is the best overall trip.
Brian

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Old 02-02-2010   #2
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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No experience on the Flathead...yet,but sounds like the South Fork is friggin sick. I have a Forest Service guidebook that i found up there this summer,pretty decent book. Middle Fork sounds like the rowdy one. NF sounds like a beauty float trip,GNP off to the east......mmmm

I GOTTA get up there and do some floatin...place looks awesome.
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Old 02-02-2010   #3
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Totally different rivers. For a good explanation/description of each, buy Hank Fischer's book "Paddling Montana." Lots of good information on all of Montana's rivers is in this book.
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Old 02-02-2010   #4
 
Steamboat, Colorado!
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Brian this kid at school has done the Flathead, we talked about it last week. I will ask him for beta when I see him this week.
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Old 02-02-2010   #5
 
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I tell you what little I know. My daughter guided on the Middle Fork for 3 seasons and I have run the MF & NF.

Middle Fork: Roadside Class III, fun rapids, borders Glacier National Park.
Even being roadside there are overnight options but also bear issues.
Two separate Class III sections with a big flat in between and killer scenery. Easy shuttle or hitchhiking options. Above that is the Schafer Meadows section (25? miles) that is wilderness Class III / IV but requires a flyin or pack horses and usually done as a two nighter.

North Fork: Float trip on the western border of Glacier. Scenery & Fishing not much for rapids.
Start in the town of Pole Bridge and float to the confluence.

South Fork: Another pack or hike in with a narrow gorge. Have not done it.

Lower Flathead/Buffalo Run: Below Flathead Lake, need tribal permit, easy to get from sporting good stores.
Dam controlled big water Class III. We ran it at 18-20k cfs and it was Grand Canyon size wave trains. Big fun.
Not sure of the overnight restrictions, but there were plenty of potential camping spots.

One caution for Northern Montana boating. The days are incredibly long, we were boating till after 9 pm some days. We did the Albertson Gorge on the Clarks Fork AND the Buffalo run on the Lower Flathead in the same day! Too much fun!!!
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Old 02-02-2010   #6
 
West By God, Wyoming
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I've never boated these rivers so this is only second hand information, but the middle fork looks like a sick trip. It requires a flight to the put-in. The south fork is accessible only by packing in gear by horses, and the lower gorge is very narrow and intimidating.
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Old 02-02-2010   #7
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Here's the one i have. Great book,good info. Specifically for the Fathead. Holla.

3 FORKS OF FLATHEAD FLOAT GDE - GLACIER ASSOCIATION
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Old 02-03-2010   #8
 
Denver,, Colorado
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south fork

can the gorge on the south fork be run?

the forest service publication seems to suggest it is full of undercuts and is unrunnable
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Old 02-03-2010   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borkin17 View Post
can the gorge on the south fork be run?

the forest service publication seems to suggest it is full of undercuts and is unrunnable
Eric Nource, who sometimes posts here, ran it last summer.
Can't remember a trip report.
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Old 02-03-2010   #10
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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I'm curious about the Meadow Creek Gorge too. Is this the preferred takeout b/c of the gorge below or do people just portage......4.5miles??? Or jus run the meat? SF sounds tits!

Nourse could never have done that. He paddles sit on tops down Filterplant all day. He's not even gnar. He only has 83 posts and has only been on mtnbuzz for a year. No way could this have happened!
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