Upper Twin Creek, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||III+(V+) (for normal flows)|
|S F Flathead R ab Twin C nr Hungry Horse MT|
|usgs-12359800||4500 - 11500 cfs||III+(V+)||01h08m||301 cfs (too low)|
Upper Twin Creek is an extremely scenic stream flowing through cave-riddled limestone and mudstone gorges. It is primarily a Class III run, but with a mandatory portage and occasional wood that could pose serious challenges if lodged in the vertical walled canyons, Upper Twin requires solid backcountry and paddling skills. For those with the skills and sense of adventure it is a visual wonderland well worth the hike-in for a packrafting or kayaking trip.
Hike the South Creek Trail a couple flat miles from near the Spotted Bear River to where it crosses Nanny Creek, and slip down Nanny Creek to Upper Twin. Cobble rapids in an open valley shortly lead to a limestone wall towering over river left, complete with a small cave mouth with water flowing out of it. This is the sign to get out on river right (upstream or immediately downstream of the first little ledge) and hike uphill and downstream to a rough trail about 50 feet above the creek to PORTAGE an unrunnable and beautiful double waterfall through a natural arch. The trail bends around the corner and you can lower yourself and boats down a steep dirt bank to the base of the falls. Enjoy the view!
After one Class IV drop immediately below the falls the Creek flows for several miles through a spectacular pale grey limestone gorge with overhanging cliff walls, cave mouths, and waterfalls pouring in. The limestone eventually turns reddish and then gives way to red and blue-gey mudstone, all the while with nice class II and III whitewater. Strainers in some of the vertical walled canyons could pose serious issues, so be careful. Take out where the East Side Road crosses the Creek, just upstream of its confluence with the South Fork.