Flathead River

Polson, Montana

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Whitewater paddlers know the three forks of the Flathead River. These famous whitewater streams tumble from the spine of the Rocky Mountains near Glacier National Park to feed the largest natural lake in the West. It is a gentler, though still impressive, river that leaves Flathead Lake and winds 70 miles through the sparsely populated Flathead Indian Reservation. With the exception of the 7-mile canyon of Class 3+ whitewater playground from Kerr Dam downstream to Buffalo Bridge (not included in this trip), the lower Flathead is broad, deep, and friendly. The surrounding hills are cloaked in juniper and bunchgrass, rather than the larch, aspen, and beargrass familiar to visitors to the three forks.
Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest

by Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North (The Mountaineers Books)

Whitewater paddlers know the three forks of the Flathead River. These famous whitewater streams tumble from the spine of the Rocky Mountains near Glacier National Park to feed the largest natural lake in the West. It is a gentler, though still impressive, river that leaves Flathead Lake and winds 70 miles through the sparsely populated Flathead Indian Reservation.

With the exception of the 7-mile canyon of Class 3+ whitewater playground from Kerr Dam downstream to Buffalo Bridge (not included in this trip), the lower Flathead is broad, deep, and friendly. The surrounding hills are cloaked in juniper and bunchgrass, rather than the larch, aspen, and beargrass familiar to visitors to the three forks.

©  Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Polson
Distance: 54
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 3 days
Class: Class I
Season: Best: Virtually year-round
Local Contacts: Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes at Pablo
Local Maps: USGS Buffalo Bridge, Round Butte, Melton Ranch, Sloan, Dixon, McDonald, Perma
Driving Directions: Directions to Flathead River

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Apr 2018