Flathead, North Fork, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II+(III) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||15 fpm|
|N F Flathead River nr Columbia Falls MT|
|usgs-12355500||1000 - 10000 cfs||I-II+(III)||61h28m||913 cfs (too low)|
The North Fork is one of only four Wild and Scenic Rivers in Montana. It forms the southwestern border of Glacier National Park. It offers paddlers some of the most spectacular vistas in the Northern Rockies, blue-green water, and the chance to see Grizzlies from your boat. The river maintains a steady pace through class I and II riffles, with an occassional rapid that may approach class III. There is lots of wood in the river, mostly in large log jams, requiring some paddling skills. There are also a number of braided channels that can deadend, particularly below polebridge, requiring some careful choices. In general though, this reach is a mellow float through beautiful country. Camping is unregulated, and many people float this reach as a 2 or 3 day trip. No trip to the North Fork is complete without a stop at the Northern Lights Salloon for a beer and hot meal, and the Polebridge Mercantile for some amazing baked goods and coffee.
See also the Middle Fork Flathead.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|42.0||Big Creek River Access||N/A|
|53.5||Glacier Rim Access||N/A|
Alternate access below Ford Work Center
Alternate access point
Alternate river access that let's you take out above the bigger rapids or put-in to just do the lower section.