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Discussion Starter #1
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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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 don’t 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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Glacier Rafting.

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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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Discussion Starter #8
Got off the river a few days ago, when we put on the West Glacier gauge was 7000ish and dropping.

The first section of good whitewater was really tight in a 14' oar rig, and there was one pretty substantial ledge drop that could warrant a scout. Luckily we were able to keep the right side up and not get too stuck in the boulder gardens. Below Granite Creek, it was channelized enough that I could keep it in the flow.

Camps are what they are, but we had small footprints and minimal gear so we made it work. Fishing was okay, saw a bunch of mountain goats. Great trip, would do again
 
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