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Longtime packrafter here that just got a 12.5ft "big boat". Looking to take it for a spin on an easy 4 day/3night multiday float.

The Big Hole looks very appealing but I can't seem to find an info about rafting the section between Fishtrap Creek and Greenwood Bottoms in early September. Anyone know if the section is doable that time of year?

Would be into other suggestions as well with the following criteria in mind: max class 2, within a 3hr drive from Missoula. Options I'm eyeing are Missouri around Craig, Salmon around North Fork, Main Flathead below Buffalo Rapids, Jefferson, Yellowstone through Paradise Valley.
 

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I floated (canoe) the entire Jefferson (85 miles) a few years ago in the first week of October, four nights and five days. Totally amazing. Didn't see hardly anyone until close to the end. Great camping on islands and sandbars. Tons of wildlife. A few diversion dams, we ran two and portaged one, but not a big deal. A lot more of a wilderness feel than you would think and I would definitely do it again. I would cut the trip off on the Three Forks side if you wanted to do it in 3 nights. Yellowstone through PV is also great, just WAY more people. But beautiful water and good camping, but not as many islands as the Jeff. Main Flathead is also a nice option. Other ideas could be Missouri from Loma to Coal Banks, or the Marias from the 223 bridge to Loma. Good luck!
 

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I floated (canoe) the entire Jefferson (85 miles) a few years ago in the first week of October, four nights and five days. Totally amazing. Didn't see hardly anyone until close to the end. Great camping on islands and sandbars. Tons of wildlife. A few diversion dams, we ran two and portaged one, but not a big deal. A lot more of a wilderness feel than you would think and I would definitely do it again. I would cut the trip off on the Three Forks side if you wanted to do it in 3 nights. Yellowstone through PV is also great, just WAY more people. But beautiful water and good camping, but not as many islands as the Jeff. Main Flathead is also a nice option. Other ideas could be Missouri from Loma to Coal Banks, or the Marias from the 223 bridge to Loma. Good luck!
Thanks for the info!
 

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You're not floating that section in a raft at that time of year...even empty. The bighole gets VERY low, like ankle deep for the most part with some pools between. I doubt it would even be enjoyable in a packraft. Jeffereson is a much better bet. Yellowstone is ridiculously crowded but would be better during the week now with school back in session... Lots of options on the missouri, but not much seclusion (highway, houses, etc.) NF flathead would be my first choice given your location. Or the salmon as mentioned but below Shoup there is definitely larger water than your looking for. I haven't floated above so I'm no help there.
 

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You're not floating that section in a raft at that time of year...even empty. The bighole gets VERY low, like ankle deep for the most part with some pools between. I doubt it would even be enjoyable in a packraft. Jeffereson is a much better bet. Yellowstone is ridiculously crowded but would be better during the week now with school back in session... Lots of options on the missouri, but not much seclusion (highway, houses, etc.) NF flathead would be my first choice given your location. Or the salmon as mentioned but below Shoup there is definitely larger water than your looking for. I haven't floated above so I'm no help there.
Gotcha. Thanks for the info. Confirmed my suspicion—if you can't find any info on it, it probably can't be done.

That Shoup section is really nice. Pine Creek could be a problem but ive run it many times in a packraft without a hitch. So wouldn't be opposed to squaring up to the hole. NF flathead would be about the same as the big hole in terms of water level for everything north of the Camas bridge. Maybe could put in at Polebridge. May end up on the Yellowstone or Beaverhead as I haven't done those before. Something a little further out of the way im looking at is the Kootenai—below the falls to Bonners Ferry.
 

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Theres a dude on you tube - deathangle whitewater (I know) who has a video of him and his buddies doing the kootenay up there. Looks pretty juicy with a few portages. Worth a watch. Yellowstone will be crowded but it's pretty laid back. No bad vibes just lots o dudes looking for the fall brown trout. Dont get to close though cause joe fly tourist may hook you by accident! We did a 3 day last week and went a whole 5.5 miles! Lol! Just found a great camp site with a big swim hole for my 6 yr old and hung out and had beer and snacks and swam. We didnt really notice the people on the river but the take out was very bad and some had bad attitudes !!! So just be prepared to take out and be polite. Pretty easy really. Could do the clark fork too through the gorge. Plenty of camping away from road. If I was doing the yellowst6id either go way up by gardner or past Livingston toward big timber.
 

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Longtime packrafter here that just got a 12.5ft "big boat". Looking to take it for a spin on an easy 4 day/3night multiday float.

The Big Hole looks very appealing but I can't seem to find an info about rafting the section between Fishtrap Creek and Greenwood Bottoms in early September. Anyone know if the section is doable that time of year?

Would be into other suggestions as well with the following criteria in mind: max class 2, within a 3hr drive from Missoula. Options I'm eyeing are Missouri around Craig, Salmon around North Fork, Main Flathead below Buffalo Rapids, Jefferson, Yellowstone through Paradise Valley.
Flathead below Buffalo is really pretty. Moving water, good (but limited) camping, and no whitewater. But the Flathead reservation is still currently closed to non-resident recreation due to the 'rona.

Could do the clark fork too through the gorge. Plenty of camping away from road.
What stretch would you float on the Clark Fork? I can handle the Cyr put-in, but the Tarkio take-out on a summer afternoon makes me want to stab myself with a broken paddle. I hated it 10 years ago, and heard it's gotten worse.
 

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I dunno the access names. I have a old friend that lives right by 3 bridges. We usually go from there down as day trips but they overnight it a few times a year. I'll ask him. They are very old school though and may not be following all the rules! Just seems like as far as road side goes that's less traveled than the Yellowstone? I hear ya though I cant do the Madison anymore cause it's so so bad.
 
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