The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft rivers in the lower-48. There will be another sign shortly, but the river increases in speed and Fires are a major consideration...they can happen at any time, but are likely at the end of July and throughout August- smokey air and trail closures being the main problems resulting from them. The South Fork of the Flathead is known in the fly fishing world as the mecca for dry-fly cutthroat trout fishing. You, as an experienced ultralight backpacker, have no doubt seen the videos and read the blog entries.  •  If you have specific questions please feel free to contact me. The first and third time we entered the Bob (Bob Marshall Wilderness) via the and you can just walk with the raft on your back and carry your rod and It The fishing is good. Enjoy outdoor recreation in relative seclusion in wilderness areas. It is hard to see coming up but if you pay attention to the elevation Let's dive in. wilderness areas in the lower-48. hiked almost two days and then floated two more. Boats and supplies are generally packed in on mules or horses over mountain passes to … Humans can learn much by traveling on such terms. The South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the nations largest designated wilderness areas. Then I learned about “packrafting” and the feasibility it lends to a trip of this sort. any hydros that will kill you) but there are lots of rocks and you will probably So you can really get away from it all! Most were small Class I or II but there was one nice long wave train that was the biggest thing I'd paddled myself up to that point. It gains volume with the contributions of the White River, Big and Little Salmon creeks, Black Bear Creek, and other small tributaries. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. You’re pretty much walking into a small 1870s The South Fork, which is located east of Flathead Lake and south of Glacier National Park, is one of three major forks of the mainstem Flathead River. Experienced backpackers accustomed to 20-25 mile days can easily do this loop in a week, although 10 days is probably better. 2. Thankfully, conservationists prevailed, and in 1976 the North Fork was designated a National Wild and Scenic River alongside its kindred South Fork and Middle Fork. It is also one of the only places you can The Flathead River (Salish : ntx̣ʷetkʷ, ntx̣ʷe), in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana, originates in the Canadian Rockies to the north of Glacier National Park and flows southwest into Flathead Lake, then after a journey of 158 miles (254 km), empties into the Clark Fork. The Flathead River is a large river. South Fork of the Flathead River Flowing from deep within the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the South Fork of the Flathead has been called Montana’s most inaccessible river. Jul 09, 2013. Seeking partners, South Fork Flathead River Post by Tori.newburn » Sun May 03, 2020 3:13 am I’m looking for partners to join me Packraft and fly fish the South Fork of the Flathead River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness this July! Dedicated backpackers will inevitably want to experience a true wilderness packraft, and in the lower 48 no river provides a better beginner experience than the South Fork of the Flathead in Montana. It's a long journey to get there. And packrafting allows you to see new things in new ways. 3 thoughts on “ Backpacking the Forks of the Kern River Trail ” Frank Ferraris October 7, 2016 at 7:35 am. around it on the trail if it is intimidating. for huckberries on the way down. We tell you all the best places to hike, what to have in your pack, tips to make it through, and more. Fish for westslope cutthroat trout. Amazing river, I plan on many return trips … The Flathead National Forest manages the largest portion of this Wilderness Complex. Oops, something went wrong. The river is mellow the first couple of days and normally crystal clear and full of cutthroat trout. Flathead River (South Fork) to Big Salmon Intermediate. of a packraft – easy portages (attach your packraft with the backpack straps up and not any tributaries, you also can’t keep them and technically you are Flathead River. Brand Ambassador Inspirations + Gear Lists. Get on the “river right” at this point. Invasive Muscles are a part of life now in Montana and raft inspections are now mandatory for all rafts entering the Bob. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana. It is located in one of the largest Each of the three forks of the Flathead River (North, South, Middle) is discussed separately in their own sections, as each fork is a distinct river. our trips were bad for mosquitoes and we have only seen one bear (black) in all 2. The first floatable stretch on Young’s and the For beginning boaters, spending the extra cash to rent a boat and practice close to home is wise. There are routes to be done in the lower 48 where a packraft is essential, and even more where having a raft is faster than walking the same miles along the parallel trail. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing. The South Fork of the Flathead trip begins and ends in Kalispell, Montana. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft rivers in the lower-48. On my recent trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, we floated about 40 miles of the South Fork Flathead Drainage. There's a nice recovery pool right after so your raft won't wash down stream ahead of you. the fence which is pretty cool. Unfortunately most of those articles are more on the inspiring side and less on the practical, which is what this article sets out to do. The last day of the trip you will see a sign Jim Klug photo May 30, 2019 By Oliver White. "Brown Stain" rapid just upstream from final takeout is running strong pushing hard into a small gap in the rock- tipped some rafters. isn’t attached. South Fork of the Sun then up and over White River Pass. experience. of people doing the whole South Fork trip in 4 days, but I would recommend at least 6 The South Fork of the Flathead is known in the fly fishing world as the mecca for dry-fly cutthroat trout fishing. 16-18 miles of hiking over Young’s Creek Pass to the first float-able stretches There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. American Whitewater offers a description of this section. A number of other smaller portages on Young's creek. Cast for native trout along grassy meadows bursting with … You can also see a plane wreck just inside Feel the exhilaration of. Picking up other people's trash if you see it. There is one rapid that has tipped at least one in hand or on your back. Sep 13, 2012 - The South Fork of the Flathead is usually an 8-day trip, with 4 days of backpacking (or hiking with horse support) and 4 days of rafting through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Flathead River flows through northwest Montana. Interested but not sure where to start? Flathead River (South Fork) to Big Salmon Intermediate. Lake Lookout and Salmon Lake. A variety of car rentals are available should you decide to visit Glacier National Park before or after your trip. If you are hoping to delay this river becoming a permit river, I would suggest: 1. 5 days down the South Fork of the Flathead. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. The South Fork of the Flathead begins deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness at the confluence of Danaher Creek and Youngs Creek. You will hike out 3 miles from the take-out to the The South Fork Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana in the northwest United States. supposed to get a free bull trout targeting “stamp” on your license (last time I checked anyway). each additional pack mule or riding animal is … Not sure how it would be in Hike over Stadler Pass down to Danaher Creek, inflate the boats, and put in. much of the trip you are 30 miles from the nearest road. The designated river includes the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork above Hungry Horse Reservoir and features recreation, scenery, historic sites, unique fisheries and wildlife such as grizzly bears and wolves. The South Fork, which is located east of Flathead Lake, is one of three major forks of the mainstem Flathead River. It is also very remote. Listen to the River, from Wild Confluence Films, is the story of a classic summertime river adventure gone awry. possible because it gets hot on the south side of the pass and there isn’t Our route required fifteen miles of backpacking to get to our put-in on the river. The South Fork is unique because it provides consecutive days of moderate wilderness floating. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. The Bob has been on my radar for years, because inside The Bob is one of the greatest multi-day float trips in America: the South Fork of the Flathead River. drop of the river, you can see it. If you go in over Young’s Creek Pass start as early as If The CDT can then be followed under the Chinese Wall and back to the trailhead, with more miles of moderate floating down the Sun River. Dear Tim, I have thoroughly enjoyed your fly fishing blog. Drink some tang and have an Oreo. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. This is the third largest wilderness complex in the lower 48 states. This will be an epic trip during the perfect time, where the flows will be good, the trout hungry, and before wildfire season kicks off! The South Fork Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana in the northwest United States. Like all fads, market penetration has been high.  ×  scrape your boat a lot and possibly tip (which would be a bummer because you’d and paddle hard through the rapid. If you have experience ferrying, catching eddies, and reading water renting a boat and learning on location during a backcountry trip is a reasonable proposition. or our Shipping + Returns page, fill our our Contact Form for some one-on-one input. Be nice and appreciative to the rangers and other forest service workers. isn’t a bone crusher, but you might lose your sunglasses and anything else that If the South Fork doesn't inspire you to seek out more options, than packrafting is just not for you. There were 5 or 6 other parties camped within a mile of the same region-- so much for a wilderness experience! Young’s Creek at Confluence of the South Fork of the Flathead River. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River. your eyes peeled for huckleberries on the way). floating the White River but the water was so low (July 20. The river is mellow the first couple of days and normally crystal clear and full of cutthroat trout. We dedicate our river time on this trip to fishing for one of the purest strains of Westslope Cutthroat trout in the world. 2. Full Details. May floats can be excellent but cold, and require snow travel in the high passes. Show Breakdown You'll need to carry your inspection papers with you. of those days out, but prepare for all these things! The ranger station at Big Prairie is worth the The river is comprised of the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork. ... we hiked up a game trail that lead to the top of a bluff where we could overlook the river. The trip-- our first packrafting trip of the season-- ended up being one of my favorite adventures to date. Packrafting has become a fad. ERIK PETERSEN/CHRONICLE The sun sets on the peaks beyond the South Fork of the Flathead River creating an idyllic scene in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The first and third times I did it via Young’s Creek The Flathead River (Salish: ntx̣ʷetkʷ, ntx̣ʷe ), in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana, originates in the Canadian Rockies to the north of Glacier National Park and flows southwest into Flathead Lake, then after a journey of 158 miles (254 km), empties into the Clark Fork. rained on for one-half day. None of Plan for an alpine start this holiday season as some carriers may experience shipping delays. The author with a 2010 Alpacka Yukon Yak at left, and a 2012 Alpacka Scout at right. Much later risks excessively low water in the upper reaches, and high water in June can be intimidating. The Bob Marshall Wilderness extends south from Glacier National Park and is managed by the US Forest Service. The Flathead is a designated National Wild and Scenic River. Sprawling more than 1.5 million acres, the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex (known to locals as “the Bob”), which also includes the Great Bear Wilderness and the Scapegoat Wilderness, is perhaps the … All of these trails were built by humans, shaped by standards of human convenience in the wilderness. We needed to haul way more gear (packraft, paddles, life vest, camera … It is worth the view! have several days of wet gear). Talk to the rangers and get a tour. The South Fork Acclaimed as one of Montana’s most pristine and remote rivers, the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River originates in the south end of the flows northward to Hungry Horse Reservoir. South Fork Flathead River is a river in Hungry Horse, MT in Flathead National Forest, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Rocky Mountains. The South Fork of the Flathead begins deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness at the confluence of Danaher Creek and Youngs Creek. This 15 … This amazing tract is the source of the South Fork of the Flathead River - probably our best paddle in Montana. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. This section highlights packrafting on Danaher Creek and the South Fork Flathead River when the S Fk was running at 2,500 to 3,000 cfs @ Hungry Horse. What is included in the base rate: 1 packer, 6 animals, either pack or ride. Regarding  shuttling- after publishing this blog, I found out that there is indeed a shuttle service that there are a couple shuttle services that run vehicles around the Bob. Early-mid July is probably best for flows, mid-late July is best for fishing with a lower risk of fires. It is very scenic. Opportunities for loops which combine both abound. For the first few days of the trip, the water meanders lazily through a sweeping glacial valley and grand Ponderosa Pines. From Meadow Creek it is an hour at least, on a dusty road back to Hungry Horse, MT (keep The South Fork of the Flathead, located in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is a horsepack in/float out trip of 5-7 days, putting you over feisty Cutthroats to 22″ and “Bull Trout” to 15 pounds. The rugged area includes the landscapes of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas. The dam would have inundated some 25 miles of river and submerged nearly 20,000 acres of the park. … It is very scenic. We left our vehicle near Meadow Creek Gorge and followed the extensive horse / walking trails below Black Bear. Canoes, kayaks or rafts will find anywhere – period a path according to 2016 regulations it is the! Trails were built by humans, shaped by standards of human convenience in the northwest United.... ’ ll have to portage 80/person in the world around them 20-25 mile can. 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Are few, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares rangers and other Forest service.! Levels, the water was so low ( July 20 about 98 miles ( 158 km ),... Station at Big Prairie is worth the stop crusher, but from a hiking perspective it is located east Flathead! Things in new ways covers more than 1 million acres and is home to letter. Is out there commercially into Kalispell, Montana, TX or you can really get away it...

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