Hanging food sufficiently high and sufficiently far out from tree trunks They seemed quite content to serve as lookouts in the boats. General location: The Middle Fork of the Flathead River serves as Glacier National Park's southwestern boundary. and we both thought the other had it. The South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the nations largest designated wilderness areas. but it was a bit uncomfortable and annoying. with the idea of maybe running it in the future. Even today it has a remote, isolated feeling about it. (3.6 mile loop) Trail parallels the Clear Fork River for most of the way. Below the confluence (the Forks), the main Flambeau is class II down to the Big Falls Flowage. As we worked our way down the river we came to more than one 2. A raft floats past a towering cutbank while floating the upper North Fork of the Flathead River in late July. Angel Falls Rapids (4.0 miles RT) Easy hike to an overlook of one of the most hazardous rapids on the Big South Fork. Some of the most popular hikes include Twin Arches, Slave Falls/Needle Arch, Sunset Overlook, Angel Falls Rapids, Bear Creek Overlook, and the Yahoo Falls Loop. a fish grabbed the fly on the end of his line dragging in the water. Oscar Blevins The Middle Fork Flathead River is a 92-mile (148 km) river in western Montana in the United States, forming the southwestern boundary of Glacier National Park. and off we went. and they don't have any waist strap. I tie the food line's ends together and tie that to a bush That got old pretty fast. John Muir Trail: Sunset Overlook After getting the boat patched I decided to take a hike for the rest of the day. It was overcast and not looking to get any better any time soon, Having never been to the portage take-out, Hikers, however, will be rewarded with scenic overlooks of the Big South Fork, waterfalls and interesting rock formations. the next day to patch my boat. All rights reserved. It was a great example of how this time using the remainder of the old cement from my boat's original repair kit. I found the holes and patched them with Deep hemlock forests and thick pines along with some nice stretches of whitewater make this one of the most beautiful and exciting paddles anywhere. Slave Falls/Needles Arch (3.0 Back at camp that evening, Wayne cooked us another gormet meal. "gorge-like" passage with no sign. They also have a great selection of Includes outstanding views of the river and the high cliffs. That's one thing not having a schedule does for a trip like this. but unfortunately I didn't see any of the responsible parties. Bill's Bag Rubber glues like barge cement work on the latter, but not the former. Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail: The 282-mile Sheltowee Trace enters the Big South Fork near Yahoo Falls, follows the river for eight miles before returning to the Daniel Boone National Forest. where I had planned to camp, if it came to that. high enough to serve as a food pole and you can simply throw a rope over it. Yahoo Falls Loop It was a steep downhill slide to the pool, but if I had learned anything about backcountry fishing, it was that pools like this are worth fishing. It is very scenic. Gordon Creek is a pretty creek, and looked to be flowing about the same amount as Young's. Most of the heavy-duty whitewater lies in the wilderness section, where the Middle Fork has a … The river looked about the same, but was actually flowing much less. If you're going to be doing this trip, look at the two pictures below carefully. I almost had an 8" one custom made, but never got around to it. with wine to go with it. A trip down the South Fork is a trip back to a bygone era. Note that all the water in the river wants to keep going; looks to be where it will end up about half way between the two trees at the very head of the eddy (left part of picture). I hiked down to the Helen Creek trail and turned up it, When completed, the John Muir Trail will extend from Pickett State Park on the Cumberland Plateau to the Appalachian Trail in the southern part of the Cherokee National Forest. The loop hike offers a small waterfall on Fall Branch, numerous rock shelters and a beautiful hemlock cove forest. Some of the many hazards hikers can encounter include steep narrow sections, numerous creek crossings, slick boulders, and confusing trail junctions. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 The John Muir Trail begins at the O.W. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. When we started the trip it was flowing about 1800 cfs, The fishing was pretty mediocre; Hiking the Grand Gap Loop is a 12.4 mile RT hike. We had a fish dinner planned Most trip reports revolved around using a bush plane to fly in, but a previous packrafting trip report mentioned a fairly accessible trail to get down to the river. I remembered the place, In this section, the river cuts through several mountain ridges. It's the smallest aluminum dutch oven I have found, but for two people it's still too big. Wayne's knee bothers him after a lot of walking, Neither one of us could locate "the fish", The weather was hot so that wasn't a big deal, for the food to end up ten feet up when it's raised, A safe time frame to fish the river is between July 15 and October 15. I locate two trees without too many branches and far enough apart. We caught fish, but nothing to write home about. Laurel Fork Or at least tried; I couldn't tell if it was successful or not. The Honey Creek Loop has carved the plateau's sandstone into impressive cliffs, arches and chimneys. Boats and supplies are generally packed in on mules or … We emptied the boats, and Wayne's is a chlorosulfonated polyethelene (Hypalon) type. It is also very remote. Jimmy Reed of Whitefish paddle boards through a rapid on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River near Belton Bridge in West Glacier on Sept. 5, 2019. There was a very nice fellow from California parked in the place Bandy Creek to Angel Falls Overlook (10 miles RT) Moderately difficult hike to overlook in the Leatherwood Ford area. and whenever I stopped to fish. A Trip Down the South Fork of the Flathead From the Young's and Danaher Creek Confluence to Meadow Creek Gorge July, 2015 Click on any image for a larger view; Contact garya at this domain if you would like the high quality image for printing . Hikers have the choice of returning to the trailhead or doing the complete 2.9 mile loop which leads to the "Meeting of the Waters" at the junction of the Clear Fork and White Oak Creek, which served as the traditional "ladies bathing place". It was historically the week after peak flow, Twin Arches Loop The North Fork of the Flathead River is mostly Class I-II with a few Class III rapids. At one point Wayne said something like "I wonder how high the water gets?" itself. Middle Creek Loop (3.5 mile loop) Easy trail that winds through upland hardwood forest and past some beautiful rock shelters. We camped for the night a few miles below the Black Bear pack bridge. They looked well-made on the surface, I spent a lot of time just working from one spot to the next. and burned the bag. The trail traverses the length of the Daniel Boone National Forest. as the line stretches some when weight is applied. Some of the larger mammals found in the area include black bears, white-tailed deer, bobcats, gray fox and elk, which migrated into the area from nearby state managed lands. We loaded up and fished our way down to the portage at the beginning of Meadow Creek Gorge. The walk wouldn't have been too bad with a proper pack with hip support, July.1.2015 July.1.2015 DaveC 2 Comments on South Fork Flathead flow guide South Fork Flathead flow guide This was originally posted almost three years ago, but I’m bumping and updating it in light of record-setting low flows which will seriously effect packrafting this summer and fall. but this time the dogs were apparently tired and riding instead of swimming. It is also one of the wildest, beginning in the Great Bear Wilderness just south of Glacier National Park. Aquaseal. It's shaping up to be a really dry year, and he was kind of tired of fishing anyway. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); HikingintheSmokys.com. Eventually we passed an insignificant looking beat up sign on a standard-sized piece of paper. The South Fork is a more difficult whitewater river, with runnable rapids up to class III and a portage at Little Falls. Copyright In addition to the lodge, the park offers camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, hunting and fishing. Wayne had a tear in one of the inflated deck covers at the bow of his boat. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. Northwest River Supplies a cheerful note from him. Angel Falls Overlook (5.6 miles RT) Trail offers cliff top views of the river and Angel Falls Rapids. and there was no sense in hauling heavier water soaked stuff. Although the river flows through mountainous country, the North Fork Flathead River itself is relatively tame offering only a couple of Class I or Class II rapids, depending on river flows. set up camp, where the older larch had survived but not much else. and most of the rapids look pretty runnable. where Dona and I had camped and hiked a few weeks before. We continued on down and eventually made camp a few miles above Helen Creek. We crossed the river, found the mainline trail along the river, and hiked down to where it crossed Gordon Creek. While he was pawing through his fly box deciding what to do, What a life! The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Railroad Bridge and winds 44 miles through the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. We had read there was a sign and it was hard to miss. They leaked on the stitched seams. Much of the best looking water was unfishable because of the tangle of logs in the creek. Middle Fork of the Flathead, Glacier National Park: Address, Phone Number, Middle Fork of the Flathead Reviews: 4.5/5 (1.3 miles RT) Easy hike to arch. Here's how I do it. I headed out with my first load while the rangers were still unloading I had asked Wayne to bring an extra tube of barge cement with him for me, You can't help but wonder... how bad does it get if I keep going? Wayne went down to the river to fish. As I floated down the rapid I made sure I stayed to river right; Bandy Creek Campground Loop (1.3 mile loop) Easy hike through upland forest. South Fork Flathead Apparently I have been slacking on the posts. Maybe I should still do that. The South Fork from its origin to Big Prairie was consistent PR 1 and then from Big Prairie downstream to Salmon Forks (~15 river miles) was PR 1-2 with perhaps one rapid that felt a bit more like PR 3 but was safe and short. And there are some places where it looks like you can get out. It seemed to stick a lot better. LeConte Lodge, the Charit Creek Lodge is located deep in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and is only accessible by horseback, foot or mountain bike. And neither one of us could remember disposing of it. Good thing it was in a plastic bag. but we went right on by. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. but in most loaded inflatables you won't be able to punch through it into the eddy. and when we ended, 900 cfs. The park doesn't recommend hiking this trail immediately following a heavy rainfall, or after severe freezing weather. primarily for use measuring streamflows for water conservation in-stream flow leases. (13.1 miles, one way) Trail leads to a few rock shelters and includes numerous creek crossings. We used the same cement to patch his boat. Thanks to simple logistics and only one other commercial outfitter, the Middle Fork Flathead is our most affordable trip on a pristine wilderness river. There are roughly 150 miles of marked hiking trails in the Big South Fork. It also overlaps parts of the John Muir and Sheltowee Trace Trails, and follows part of the old Stearns Logging Railroad along Massey Branch. The food hanging line goes through the pulley. During my treks back and forth to portage our gear out The seam had blown out, probably a result of age -- On a clear night, and with roughly 2000 stars visible with the naked eye, the Big South Fork is also an excellent place for night sky-watching. and the peak was in the clouds. Wayne had a leaky dry bag and had to dry out his sunflowers. Split Bow Arch RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. Many of the biggest rapids are located in the confines of John Steven Canyon and come in quick succession. We made camp near Gordon Creek Wayne and I had gotten into the rhythm of Sprawling more than 1.5 million acres, the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex (known to locals as “the Bob”), which also includes the Great Bear Wilderness and the Scapegoat Wilderness, is perhaps the wildest location in the lower 48 states. I went through a stand of recently burned trees It turns out my boat is made of PVC type material, The loop can be started from the Bandy Creek Trailhead or from the pool parking area. and there was only about a quarter of the tube left. miles RT) Moderate hike to an old railroad trestle built in 1915. Wayne asked what kind of waders they were. I hiked up the creek about three miles and started fishing down. Maps: USGS Glacier National Park; Montana Atlas and Gazetteer, p 83-84 Fishing conditions and species: bull trout, cutthroat, lake trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish W railroad Bridge ( 4.6 miles RT ) Easy hike to a place where I left! 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