Northfork Flathead River

Activity Details

From Missoula: 181 miles

Activity Type(s): Overnight/Multiday Floats

Difficulty: Medium


The North Fork Flathead River begins in British Columbia, and travels for 47 miles before spilling over into Montana. Throughout it’s length in Montana, it forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park. Upstream of Big Creek, the North Fork Flathead River has a “scenic” designation, meaning no motors are allowed. Down stream from Big Creek, the river has a “recreation” designation, with a maximum speed of 10hp. However, with all the rapids, twists and turns and gravel bars, any floater is highly unlikely to see any boat with a motor on it.

The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. Other than the small town of Polebridge, which has no electricity, the North Fork does not pass through a town of any size for it’s entire length. The river itself is moderately wide and flows quickly.


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