Whitewater Rafting on the Flathead River | Montana
The Flathead River is fed by three forks originating in the Canadian Rockies, north of Glacier National Park, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, in Northwestern Montana. Cool, clean, clear water pulses through the Flathead Valley flowing southwest to Flathead Lake before emptying into the Columbia River.
The Middle Fork of the Flathead River offers great opportunities for whitewater rafting. It is federally designated as a "Wild and Scenic" River. 1/2 day, full day or multi day trips are available from any of the four raft companies that operate under contract with the US Forest Service. Glacier Raft Company will fly you in during June or use mules to pack you in during July and August, into the Great Bear Wilderness. Multi-day raft trip options are offered for the Great Bear Wilderness, located at the headwaters of the Middle Fork.
Raft trips are also offered on the North Fork of the Flathead River by three of the same local rafting companies. Although not as wild as the Middle Fork, there are some rapids to look out for. The river is the western border of Glacier National Park and affords spectacular views of the mountains. Montana Raft Company and Glacier Raft Company offer three-day raft trips, starting at the Canadian border, for a distance of over 30 miles to Blankenship Bridge. Overnight and full-day trips are available as well.
Great Northern Whitewater Raft also offers whitewater kayaking courses and trips.
Wild River Adventures has established a carbon-neutral program that now offsets 100% of the climate-altering carbon emissions generated by power and fuel consumption associated with each of their trips.
For more information on these companies, please visit their websites.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO- Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Glacier National Park
Some motorized use – non-motorized use permitted with inspection as per GNP requirements
Glacier National Park: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/boating.htm
Lake McDonald (Across street from Public Boat Ramp)
May 12 – May 31, 2018
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
June 1 – October 31, 2018
7:00 am to 9:00 pm (Hours adjusted for waning daylight)
Kalispell Region 1 FWP Office (Meridian Ave) Inspection Station *Check website for seasonal hours
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday - Friday
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/habitat/ais/watercraftInspection.html
Typical Class of Water
Class I - III *Class III - IV water can be experienced on Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River