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Middle Fork Flathead

464 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Davepearson98
I was looking to head to the flat head for a last minute raft trip.

From what i can tell you dont need a permit. Is this correct?

Can anyone recomend a good 2 or 3 day stretch that is sutable for a family?
I am a very experianced raft guide and dont mind some white water, but we are looking for more of a senic trip.

Thanks for any info you have!

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It’s non permit and it’s all suitable for your family at reasonable flows. It’s best with sun shine because it’s a very alpine environment and can be cold. The typical trip through town is considered ckass2/3 but I think it’s pretty mellow at reasonable flows. It was recently in the high teens and now under 10k and under 5 I think is just fun and the water is clear for fishing. It does have typical river hazards and a few class 2/3 rapids though so people can and do have wipe outs and trouble but as a raft guide it will be easy for you and all the rapids have pools at the bottom. So that’s easy. It is roadside just fyi. You may also consider the north fork flathead which is just as near by and it is another beautiful river you could easily do 4 days on and it scenic and all flatwater. I’ve only done day trips on mff so I cant speak to that bit many do multi day trips on it and it’s really pretty . After you pass the town section it’s all flatwater too and mellow but I dunno about camping? Montana has a law that any river bank under high water line is public so it’s pretty easy to camp on a island or bank but do more research for sure. I had a map of it somewhere but can’t find it. I say to see online. Mff from the highway down. There is the more ambitious section which requires a flight to a remote airstrip and has class3/4 rapids but maybe that’s for a different time or without the kids till you run it and see. We have several buzzards up there so I bet you’ll get all the info you need!
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North fork flathead (border -->blankenship) would be a good 3 day. River left is Glacier National Park and they have regs/permit for camping. More info on that HERE

LINK to the three forks river map. Local USFS ranger stations around here usually have them (waterproof versions) in stock

As you leave the town of Columbia Falls up the north fork road, I did notice a sign for a guy that is doing river shuttles (the shuttle for this stretch would add a 4-5hrs to your put in/take out day)
Awsome, Thanks for the info!
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