Flathead, South Fork, Montana, US
2. Mid Creek to Cedar Flats
||IV(V+) (for normal flows)
The Slot - Meadow Creek Gorge
The Slot - Meadow Creek GorgePhoto by D. Schroeder @ 11,000+
The Meadow Creek Gorge section of the South Fork Flathead has an odd reputation due to the fact
that it sees a fair amount of raft traffic compared to the more maneuverable kayaks and also
because the overall difficulty changes drasticly when flows are high. I have heard some serious
horror stories regarding trips down the gorge spanning rafting, inflatable kayaks, and hardshells,
but have no idea which are true and which are legend. I can say this....
At high water, say 8,000 cfs and up , the Meadow Creek Gorge is serious business. Though the 4-5
individual rapids are not technically demanding class V, the squirelly boil lines, random surges,
enormous whirlpools and unthinkable consequences of a swim make this a solid class V run at the
very least. Very competent class V boaters have pulled off this section above the "Slot"
rapid due to the unruly big water encountered at high flows. Everything has been run up to 17,000
The high water Meadow Creek Gorge experience is unmatched in Montana for big water intensity and is
very well worth a pilgimage up the unending road around Hungry Horse Reservoir. Make sure to check
out the very short and steep section of Jungle Creek on the way to the put-in and also take a look
at Gorge Creek, which is just up the road from the campground. I have not paddled the Meadow Creek
stretch at medium or low flows, but have gathered that it is much less intense though somewhat more
technically demanding at medium flows. Either way, it is gorgeous in that area. You won't be
disappointed. Input from someone that knows the run at these flows would be appreciated.
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Last Updated: 2007-03-26 21:27:17