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)||01h00m||2890 cfs (running)|
The North Fork is one of only four Wild and Scenic Rivers in Montana. It forms the southwestern border of Glacier National Park offering paddlers some of the most spectacular vistas in the Northern Rockies, blue-green water, and the chance to see grizzlies from your boat (be sure to use proper food storage practices for bear country).
See also the Middle Fork Flathead.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-48.6||Upper Kintla Rapids||II|
|-47.6||Lower Kintla Rapids||II|
|-15.3||Big Creek River Access||N/A|
|-11.0||Great Northern Flats||N/A|
|-7.6||Upper Fool Hen Rapids||III|
|-7.0||Lower Fool Hen Rapids||III|
|-3.7||Glacier Rim Access||N/A|
Alternate access below Ford Work Center
Alternate access point that allows for a stop at the Polebridge Mercantile and Northern Lights Saloon.
Alternate river access at Big Creek Campground that let's you take out above the bigger rapids or put-in to just do the lower section.
Fool Hen Rapids (class III) are about 8 miles below Big Creek and 3.5 above Glacier Rim
Lower Fool Hen is about half a mile downstream of Upper Fool Hen.
About one mile above Glacier Rim you will encounter a pour over extending from the right bank to the middle of the river (or farther at some levels). This is a dangerous flipper but easy to avoid if staying alert to downstream obstacles. Stay to river left and look it over. It can be impressive.
North Fork Flathead (MT) Gets New Protections
March 10, 2010
Congress Passes River Conservation Bills
December 13, 2014
Remembering Oz Hawksley, Co-Founder of American Whitewater
October 10, 2017
Letter from John Craighead on the issue of dams and the need for wild rivers.