Upper MF Flathead - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 2
Upper MF Flathead

Hi all!

I'm flying into Schafer Meadows next week to float the Upper Flathead and was wondering if anyone had been in recently and could comment on flows/wood/campsites/any other beta. It'll be my first time on the Flathead, super stoked. Thanks!

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
 
Nye, Montana
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 275
Awesome! Have fun. The river will still be pretty high I bet. You are a solid class 4 rafter?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
 
CRG, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 29
We did it last year, early July, 4000csf on the gauge, 10 ft rafts, kayak and packraft. Beautiful river and the flight in is fantastic but it is difficult to get reliable first hand information.
The forest service guide is pretty vague on location of rapids and flows, flight service reasonably helpful but they are not boaters, and the river gauge is way downstream so hard to know how well it correlates and the typical whitewater sites are all over the place on recommendations. There are some pics on American Whitewater and several you tube videos you can find.
On our trip 4000csf was pretty skinny even for small rafts and required some pushing and even lining once. Was very helpful to have our kayaker scout things ahead of us. I would guestimate that the sweet spot would be around 5500 to 8000 csf for a raft. Much higher than that I suspect would be more challenge than I would want to sign up for given the nature of the river with its narrow chutes and canyons. Kayaker was killed there a few years ago. One of the rapids worth scouting had a cross on the left bank as a reminder to take things seriously but I donít think the river would be overly difficult at current flows
Camp sites pretty obvious with Castle Creek being very popular with its hike up to the lake
I doubt river will be high. Flathead drainage did not have a great snowpack this year, river at 8000 csf now and dropping fast so likely around 6000csf next week unless major precipitation
Did not see any bears. Mosquitos were another story. I hate bugs but would not hesitate to do the trip again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
 
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 894
Glacier Rafting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloomis View Post
Hi all!

I'm flying into Schafer Meadows next week to float the Upper Flathead and was wondering if anyone had been in recently and could comment on flows/wood/campsites/any other beta. It'll be my first time on the Flathead, super stoked. Thanks!
I have a friend that flies into Schafer Meadows to fish not float and said he has seen Glacier Rafting co. in there. Telephone number is (406) 888-5454, might get current river conditions from them, I'm sure. I have flown in there a few times myself in the past, with a twin Aero Comander to fish also. It doesn't hurt to take the Ranger stationed there a couple boxes of candy bars, few sticks of pepperoni, sausage, cheese and crackers, their pretty isolated in there. They really appreciate it and they do a great job maintaining the airport, along with their many other tasks in that whole area. Have a nice float, very beautiful country.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 70's
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Campsites are typically small and few and far between.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 2
Thanks for the beta! Castle is definitely on the radar.

What did y’all do for shuttle? Just use the airport or a raft company?
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Old 3 Days Ago   #7
 
CRG, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 29
For shuttles we used the air service. Didn't comparison shop, it was a one stop shop so just easier.
Be sure to post a report when you get back, curious to hear how the river is at this level
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