Flathead, Middle Fork, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||35 fpm|
|M F Flathead River near West Glacier MT|
|usgs-12358500||1000 - 20000 cfs||I-IV||00h35m||833 cfs (too low)|
This is the multi-day Wilderness run of the Flathead River National Wild and Scenic River. It begins in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, traverses the Great Bear Wilderness, and the take-out is on the southern border of Glacier National Park. Quite the pedigree - and it is more than deserving.
While most visitors choose to fly into Schafer Meadows, kayakers and packrafters routinely hike or paddle down Granite Creek 8 miles to enjoy the final 18 miles or so of the Middle Fork. It is a spectacular run with gin clear water, grizzly bears, and eagles. It often feels like snorkelling from a boat because there are so many fish and the water is so clear.
Check out this low water video of the run below Granite Creek: Wild and Scenic Montana, Episode 3: Middle Fork Flathead River from American Whitewater on Vimeo.
Note: the putin lat/longitude coordinates listed above are at Schafer Meadows (no auto access; horse or plane only); this would be the Upper West Fork Flathead.
Photo courtesy of, and copyright by, Randy Clark.