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All90s
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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't find much on the site for floating the South Fork of the Flathead River. I was hoping a couple of people have done the float and could provide intel.

My thoughts were to rent packrafts, drop a car off at Meadow Crk campground and drive to Ovando and hike in from Young's Pass to the confluence of Young's Crk and Danaher Crk. Float down to the gorge and hike back to the car at Meadow Crk.

We plan to take one day to hike in and two days to float to the gorge. Thoughts?
 

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All90s
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Discussion Starter #3
We got hit hard with rain last week and the Middle and North Fork jumped into the 20Kcfs range and have drastically reduced this week. The flows at Twin Crk on the South Fork are at 9K and will monitor next week, but expect to drop down to a comfortable flow for a packraft.
 

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I'd have to look at a map but I have only heard of people packing in via Holland Lake.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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There is several ways in. I haven't floated it but have spent some time back there. I lived in Seeley Lake for many years. If I was going in without horses I would probably go the way OP is planning. The first time I heard of these "pack rafts" I immediately thought of this trip. I think you are not allowing enough days but I know I would be doing a lot of fishing. I also thought there is some iffy water towards the end but I am really not sure. I thought that's why most trips also end with another albeit short pack train. Anyway you should be hearing from some who have floated it and can help you a lot more than me. I think it's a great trip you are planning. Good luck and have fun. Oh and please update after you do it.


Jim
 

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All90s
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Discussion Starter #7
I'd have to look at a map but I have only heard of people packing in via Holland Lake.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
There are a innumerable ways to hike in, but from what I've read Holland Lake is longer and a significant vertical gain vs driving to Ovando and coming over Youngs Pass.

Someone mentioned hiking into Granite Crk on the Middle Fork of the Flathead as a beautiful trip and great fishing. Has anyone packraft or kayaked Granite Crk? I do know a 50 yr old male flipped his kayak last year on Granite or above Bear Crk and unfortunately didnt come out of the water alive.
 

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Always wanted to do that trip, but planned on doing it with horses from Holland Lake or Ovando and a regular raft. On the bucket list.
 

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All90s
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Discussion Starter #9
I wanted to update our trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness and packrafting the South Fork.

Our plans changed a few times due to mother nature. Our initial plan was to drive from Whitefish, MT to Ovando, MT and to the Young's Pass TH and hike over Young's Pass into the confluence of Young's Creek and Danaher Creek that make the South Fork Flathead River.
As it turns out with our snowpack there was a avalanche on the north side of Young's Pass and the forest ranger deemed it to difficult to pass. She suggested going of Hahn Pass, but you would have to cross Young's Creek and she thought it would very high and powerful.
So we decided to drive up to the Meadow Creek CG and hike the East Meadow Creek trail (#80) to Black Bear Packbridge and cross over to the West Meadow Creek Trail as the ranger said that the east trail from Helen Creek was not clear yet from an avalanche carrying a large burn down to the trail. We were going to camp at Salmon Forks the first night (23mi hike) and the next morning hike up to at least Big Prairie or to the confluence). However, we hit Black Bear packbridge and rounded the corner and came across Hungry Creek which was impassable.
We camped at Black Bear and put on the river the next morning. The river was running at 7400cfs and it being our first time packrafting, it was a little intimidating at first. Overall, I would wait until the flows are below 5000cfs and come over Young's Pass when the snowpack has declined.

I ran the GoPro during the trip. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Packrafting the South Fork Flathead River - YouTube
 

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GoBro
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There are a innumerable ways to hike in, but from what I've read Holland Lake is longer and a significant vertical gain vs driving to Ovando and coming over Youngs Pass.

Someone mentioned hiking into Granite Crk on the Middle Fork of the Flathead as a beautiful trip and great fishing. Has anyone packraft or kayaked Granite Crk? I do know a 50 yr old male flipped his kayak last year on Granite or above Bear Crk and unfortunately didnt come out of the water alive.
I hiked granite creek to the MFF last year with my kayak and some overnight gear. I thought it was a great trip and was much cheaper than flying in. If I go again it will be higher water and with a plane but I understand the pack rafting experience isn't the quite the same thing. Could be just the trip you are looking for. At low water you will find slot moves and not much that could be called CL IV. I remember excellent scenery, stunningly cold and clear water and some bug. Also lots of bear tracks and scat on the hike in.

Granite itself didn't have much gradient but had consistent log jams from the recent burns that line the upper granite basin. I read somewhere about the creek being used to access the river but it would take something big to floss that creek as it sits now.

MFF will offer more CL III than the SF option I think. Best of luck.
 

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I couldn't find much on the site for floating the South Fork of the Flathead River. I was hoping a couple of people have done the float and could provide intel.

My thoughts were to rent packrafts, drop a car off at Meadow Crk campground and drive to Ovando and hike in from Young's Pass to the confluence of Young's Crk and Danaher Crk. Float down to the gorge and hike back to the car at Meadow Crk.

We plan to take one day to hike in and two days to float to the gorge. Thoughts?
My old roommate has been putting this together over the years living and pack rafting up there:

Crown of the Continent packrafting guidebook | Bedrock & Paradox
 

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All90s
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Discussion Starter #12
I hiked granite creek to the MFF last year with my kayak and some overnight gear. I thought it was a great trip and was much cheaper than flying in. If I go again it will be higher water and with a plane but I understand the pack rafting experience isn't the quite the same thing. Could be just the trip you are looking for. At low water you will find slot moves and not much that could be called CL IV. I remember excellent scenery, stunningly cold and clear water and some bug. Also lots of bear tracks and scat on the hike in.

Granite itself didn't have much gradient but had consistent log jams from the recent burns that line the upper granite basin. I read somewhere about the creek being used to access the river but it would take something big to floss that creek as it sits now.

MFF will offer more CL III than the SF option I think. Best of luck.
Thank you for the message. I am new to packrafting and really it's only to get into areas that you cannot with a raft (I.E. Schafer Meadows MFF and Bob Marshall SFF) via car. I am planning to fly into Schafer next year with my raft and can't wait to see that stretch of river.
 
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