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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Nanko, Have you done Desolation Canyon? Looking at pics, that place looks amazing! Have any draw odds on that?
 

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I don’t think they publish odds but the BLM Price might have some numbers. I’d assume it’s one of the easier ones to win because sparse whitewater hot and bugs sometimes. Wife and I do this every year, never win. If you have a smart phone and a long drive you’ll usually have a permit by the time you get there. This strategy might not work forever especially with idiots like me blabbering on the internet about it.
 

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There are a few options along the river . I've done from the border to blankenship and I've done from polebride to blankenship. Bad news is, this morning on the radio they said glaciers getting hammered by tourists and they are "restricting " traffic on the polebride rode. Dunno if that's just in the park or up the road to the border? You'd obviously need to call up there and and get beta from a vendor. We use glacier raft company for shuttle so they'd know all the details of flow snd access and delays but I think going to glaciers gonna suck this year . They said it's 20% up from 2019 and their closing stuff. Other concern up there is bears. It's a strict bear camp policy. There's more grizzly up there than anywhere and we've seen quite a few. Never in camp but allways on the trip. I dunno man I think salmon sounds pretty fun. Maybe further to drive but It may be easier if the access goes bad. We're allready on fire too fyi. It's not bad yet but we get so smokey sometimes you can't see the sun. We did polebride down in late July but I still say the borders the better float for scenery. You can do salmon till October I think.
 

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Any time April to October is pretty consistent. There would have to be significant drought for it to not be runnable. It's great pretty much any time. There are state parks and the new national park all along the route so plenty of places to stop and hike around.

Gauleyfest is in the fall

There's also bridge day, which is a pretty unique thing to see, even if you're not participating.




The park service has some decent maps.


 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Appreciate all the info. We’re looking at doing this in 2022, but that doesn’t mean all the things you mentioned won’t be the same next year too. We went to Glacier in 2018 and it was the same. They wouldn’t let us up the road from Pole Bridge, too many people and it was a 3 to 4 hour wait, all the visitor centers had signs out front saying parking lot full. After 3 days of driving the sun road and not finding a single parking spot to get out we cut our 10 day trip short and went home. We did do a half day raft trip out of West Glacier and we were camped at Avalanche campground, so we did hike from the camper up to Avalanche Lake for an afternoon. But all the things you’ve mentioned... I’ve actually experienced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
RaftWV May be on to something with New River idea! I had always assumed we’d be headed west. But maybe East is the way the way to go!
 

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RaftWV May be on to something with New River idea! I had always assumed we’d be headed west. But maybe East is the way the way to go!
Depending on where you are in MN, it might not be too much farther than a lot of places out west and there's always water. Some other rivers in the area if they're running are the Cheat, Youghiogheny and Tygart. Lower Yough is dam controlled, so it's also pretty consistent.
 

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You may loose a few doing the gauley though lol! I wanna do new river and gauley too but I wanna jump on a passing creature craft!!! Had friend years ago who guided those river say he thought west Virginia was the pretties place in the states? Anyway you slice it its far from Minnesota!! One last suggestion that's even more work but is on my do list. Kootenay river in b.c. from settlers Bridge down there's a 3/4 day class 2/3- section that looks heavenly. But it's about 9 hrs from us in bozeman so...
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I see all these ideas, I do a bunch of research on um and think, I wanna go there! Then, I wanna there! And there! And there! This post is going to fill out my vacation schedule for the next 10 years! LOL! I’m really warming up to the idea of the North Fork of the Flathead. Salmon River is a major contender as well. How about the Clark Fork above Alberton Gorge?
 

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My first choice would be the Salmon. Hands down, no question. The NF Flathead is good, but in a totally different class. Plus, the Main Salmon is low enough to run even in late October. We’re starting this year on October 14.
 

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Wallrat, Totally different class in what way? Scenery? Flow? Less people?
Magnificence. Nobody runs multi day trips on the NF. The Flathead is just a neat local float. The Salmon is bigger water, no roads, awesome views, in later fall, there’s very few people. There’s better rapids on the Main too. There’s really not much comparison.
 

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He's right in most respects can't argue most of that. The only thing I'd disagree with is it's multi day as you want it and it's a scenery trip. No other river affords views of glacier Park like the upper stretch and maybe wild life. With that said whitewater guys don't wanna do flat water. And...he has a bad habit of under valuing whitewater! So easy for some guys is sometimes pretty juicy!. So main and middle salmon are at minimum for experienced rowers! Salmon would be my pick as far as a destination trip. Montanas rivers are all pretty roadside. I've thought about a multi day clark fork but never really researched it. Definitely doable . I'd say do two easy days through the gorge and a easy couple after? It's road side but may not be to loud.. one reason I allways say yellowstone can suck. Sometimes the road noise is awful at night especially past Livingston. That said our family groups doing a n.f. trip in July lol. Well do a day on m.f. too and maybe bummer boat and go karts. I like go karts...
 

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Looking for a DIY 4 to 5 day raft trip in 2022 for a Dads, daughters (15 year olds) trip. 6 of us total. The more wilderness, or away from roads and towns, the better. We would be camping along the River and looking to keep the white water rating at class III or less. I have explored the possibilities of the Smith River, San Juan, Green, and Salmon but it looks like they all require tough to pull lottery permits, unless you hire a guide. We will put in for permits but looking for an alternative in case we don’t draw. I have done some research on the Yellowstone River, Jefferson, Big Hole, Flathead, Clark Fork, as well as the non permit area of the Salmon. Looking for GREAT mountain scenery, canyons a plus! Probably looking for 50 to 70 miles worth of River. Anybody have a River they would suggest or a particular section of one of the rivers I’ve mentioned that would meet our requirements?
Lower Salmon …Pine bar to Heller bar
 

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Hopefully some one with detail knowledge will post more on the Salmon River above the Middle Fork and Main Salmon junction.

I have driven 93 Hwy from Challis down to North Fork store and then down to Corn Creek Access. Looks like a lot of good options for day floats or possible multi days. All look like easy class 1 or 2 floats. All my scouting was from the road. May well be some hidden rapids not viewable from the road.

Any one out there done floats on these sections?
10 mile class III run from Spring Creek to Cove Creek is great fun! 2 class III's, several II's. This is @ 16 mi past N. Fork, as you are headed W along the river. We spent a couple days teaching newbies how to read water, practice on the oars, setting angles, dbl oar pivots, etc, above N. Fork on class II water, then spent rest of the time letting them learn on Spring Creek run. Not a wilderness run, road alongside, limited secluded camping. Better as day trips, then back to campsite, of which there are several.
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