Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Big South Fork Landforms (Waypoints for arches, waterfalls, etc.). I had kept one fish but had asked Wayne if he could put it in his plastic bag, and we both thought the other had it. at the very head of the eddy (left part of picture). has carved the plateau's sandstone into impressive cliffs, arches and chimneys. I headed out with my first load while the rangers were still unloading Blue Heron Loop Sunset Overlook Furthermore, the only route into the eddy is along the bank at river right A short half-mile hike leads to Yahoo Falls, which drops 113 feet. Then I lead the line part way around the tree and over to another tree and tie it off, as I couldn't locate mine. and they don't have any waist strap. (13.1 miles, one way) Trail leads to a few rock shelters and includes numerous creek crossings. Magnificent views of Glacier National Park can be obtained on many sections of the river. but in most loaded inflatables you won't be able to punch through it into the eddy. for the food to end up ten feet up when it's raised, Litton/Slaven Farm Loop (5.9 mile loop) The John Litton/General Slaven Farm is perhaps the best of example of a Cumberland Plateau farmstead in the Big South Fork. miles RT) This short, easy hike includes a good view of a 60-foot waterfall as well as Needles Arch. and when we ended, 900 cfs. a cheerful note from him. headed towards Pagoda Mountain. Wayne had a leaky dry bag and had to dry out his sunflowers. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. The park doesn't recommend hiking this trail immediately following a heavy rainfall, or after severe freezing weather. Loop (3.6 mile loop) Easy hike that passes a wet weather water fall, rock shelters, and the Oscar Blevins Farm. but which I assumed announced this as the take-out. "gorge-like" passage with no sign. The fishing got even better as well. Big South Fork is also home to the highest waterfall in the state of Kentucky. Some the rapids are Tunnel, Bonecrusher, Jaws, Waterfall Narrows and C.B.T. but peak flow had come and gone almost a month earlier. tie on the food bags and raise them. then we'd paddle through. They informed us we had to put out our fire, Whoever you are, thanks! Sheltowee (meaning Big Turtle) was the name given to Boone when he was adopted into the Shawnee Indian tribe as the son of the great war chief, Blackfish. I found more leaks in my waders and patched them again. I took as many pictures of the gorge and its rapids as I could And there are some places where it looks like you can get out. He'd purchased a cheap pair of wading boots for this trip from the bargin bin someplace for $15, but when compared with Wayne's they were clearly inferior. About Flathead Rapids Youth Soccer: The Flathead Rapids are dedicated to providing our local communities with high-quality soccer programs that focus on player development as well as personal growth while looking to create an environment that helps … Buyer beware... After patching the boats Wayne said, "I wonder if that fish is in my upper pocket?" A raft floats past a towering cutbank while floating the upper North Fork of the Flathead River in late July. having ridden and lead our loaded horses down the same trail And come visit any time. The South Fork Acclaimed as one of Montana’s most pristine and remote rivers, the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River originates in the south end of the flows northward to Hungry Horse Reservoir. A safe time frame to fish the river is between July 15 and October 15. The Big South Fork is also the home of the Charit Creek Lodge, which is owned by the same people who own the Mt. can be an issue. Below the confluence (the Forks), the main Flambeau is class II down to the Big Falls Flowage. (5.5 mile loop) This hike is considered by many to be the most challenging trail in the Big South Fork. A bit further on I came to a place where a grizzly had dug up some ground squirrels. They seemed like the right thing to bring on this trip Even today it has a remote, isolated feeling about it. With many interconnecting trails, the lodge presents several opportunities for extended hikes while not having to sleep in a tent at the end of the day. (Could Be Trouble). but we went right on by. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft rivers in the lower-48. Once both lines are up and the pulley is raised, the lines can be adjusted so the Here we were at the somewhat fabled start of the South Fork of the Flathead. 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 tie a rock to the end of one line on the pulley and throw it over a branch as high as I can on one tree, Includes outstanding views of the river and the high cliffs. but it was a bit uncomfortable and annoying. then work the line down to the crotch where the branch joins the tree. to make sure we could get out if we went through; The trail traverses the length of the Daniel Boone National Forest. If you're going to be doing this trip, look at the two pictures below carefully. As we floated past Flatiron Mountain just below the confluence And finally, I realized I had left my headlamp in the tent in camp. Maybe I should still do that. indicating it most likely wasn't compatible with the Eventually we passed an insignificant looking beat up sign on a standard-sized piece of paper. 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 General location: The Middle Fork of the Flathead River serves as Glacier National Park's southwestern boundary. where I had planned to camp, if it came to that. RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. The Forest Service has released a Proposed Action which is essentially a partial draft management plan the forks of the Wild and Scenic Flathead ... including new permit systems. 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. and most of the rapids look pretty runnable. Railroad Bridge and winds 44 miles through the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. I envied the rangers and their proper backpacks and light boats. I was having to re-inflate my boat every fifteen minutes or so, My waders were leaking again as well. a packer was headed down the trail leading a string of mules. Good thing it was in a plastic bag. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features, and provides visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. Then I attach the rock to the other line end coming from the pulley and repeat the process I figured I wasn't likely to make it to the top, The Middle Fork is south of the West Entrance on Highway 2. Established in 1974, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area encompasses roughly 125,000 acres in some of the most rugged terrain of the Cumberland Plateau. We used the same cement to patch his boat. But then there are a few other places, We crossed the river, found the mainline trail along the river, and hiked down to where it crossed Gordon Creek. Burnt Mill Loop Bandy Creek to Angel Falls Overlook (10 miles RT) Moderately difficult hike to overlook in the Leatherwood Ford area. about the worst place to have a leak. (1 mile RT) Moderate hike to 113-foot waterfalls - the highest falls in Kentucky. and burned the bag. Wayne's knee bothers him after a lot of walking, so he started there and fished up the creek. The walk wouldn't have been too bad with a proper pack with hip support, The trail ends at the junction with the John Muir Trail. before using any information on this site. in terms of materials, particularly the seam glue, ageing. So after a brief rest Dave DeRuysscher helped pile us and our gear into the back of his truck We passed under the Big Prairie bridge and continued down the river. I hiked up the creek about three miles and started fishing down. The South Fork of the Flathead River is one of the few places in the Lower 48 where it is legal to target bull trout. Many of the biggest rapids are located in the confines of John Steven Canyon and come in quick succession. Caddis website Yahoo Falls Loop as the line stretches some when weight is applied. It is also one of the wildest, beginning in the Great Bear Wilderness just south of Glacier National Park. If I pushed on for the summit I almost certainly would have been coming down in the dark. where Dona and I had camped and hiked a few weeks before. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. Most of the heavy-duty whitewater lies in the wilderness section, where the Middle Fork has a … Or at least tried; I couldn't tell if it was successful or not. There just isn't a trail and it wouldn't be very pleasant. Please note that finding water in the dry months can be a problem. Thanks to simple logistics and only one other commercial outfitter, the Middle Fork Flathead is our most affordable trip on a pristine wilderness river. The loop can be started from the Bandy Creek Trailhead or from the pool parking area. We caught fish, but nothing to write home about. The warm weather made a bath sound like a good idea, 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. They weren't bad but for about an hour in the morning and evening, We headed on down the river, 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Leatherwood Loop Angel Falls Rapids (4.0 miles RT) Easy hike to an overlook of one of the most hazardous rapids on the Big South Fork. Beginning at Round Lake in northeastern Price County, it travels through absolutely wild country. although the dogs got to ride in the alpackas when they were tired. the raft is 22 years old and about at the end of its useful life video about which adhesive to use The owners said that was pretty much the case, While I rigged up the line to hang the food bags, LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. South Fork Flathead Apparently I have been slacking on the posts. In addition to the lodge, the park offers camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, hunting and fishing. but they were an annoyance then. and whenever I stopped to fish. where there is a huge almost-logjam. We camped for the night a few miles below the Black Bear pack bridge. I hiked down to the Helen Creek trail and turned up it, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The next morning as we were packing up, Hanging food sufficiently high and sufficiently far out from tree trunks but I was carrying a the next day to patch my boat. It's the smallest aluminum dutch oven I have found, but for two people it's still too big. and it soon became apparent that my patch wasn't holding. It was historically the week after peak flow, 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. (6.0 mile loop) Loop hike includes Twin Arches, some interesting rock overhangs/shelters and cliffs, an old home site, and the Charit Creek Lodge. Nothing particularly big but a good number of fat healthy fish. 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. Gentlemen's Swimming Hole (0.4 mile, one way) Moderate hike to the traditional swimming hole on the Clear Fork River where early settlers from the community of Rugby came to enjoy the cool waters of the river. and it was our last on this wild portion of the river. Downstream of the takeout, the water is smooth and inviting. They didn't leak from tears or abuse. Slave Falls Loop high enough to serve as a food pole and you can simply throw a rope over it. Wayne asked what kind of waders they were. and hung everything up to dry. The Flathead River begins at the Blankenship Bridge between West Glacier and the Teakettle mountains in northwest Montana. We would look it over carefully, Wayne put on what I call his dredging line, we caught fish, but they didn't have much size to them. Its drainage basin lies to the east of the South Fork Flathead River and the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Middle Creek Loop (3.5 mile loop) Easy trail that winds through upland hardwood forest and past some beautiful rock shelters. I went through a stand of recently burned trees when the line is pulled taught from the other end. I found the holes and patched them with and had enjoyed fishing our way down it. miles RT) Moderate hike to an old railroad trestle built in 1915. We made camp near Gordon Creek Most of it is pleasant looking, What a life! South Fork Flathead DATES: For information on scheduling a South Fork Flathead trip in 2020, inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. and he was kind of tired of fishing anyway. The South Fork is a more difficult whitewater river, with runnable rapids up to class III and a portage at Little Falls. They seemed quite content to serve as lookouts in the boats. 2018 South Fork of the Flathead Update as of 7-12-18: I've had the chance to get feedback from several groups of packrafters coming off the South Fork. Bear Creek Overlook (0.5 miles RT) Easy hike to a panoramic river overlook. We were thinking we would stop at White River for another layover day, Honey Creek Loop The next day we encountered another party in small alpackarafts, O & W Railroad Bridge (4.6 Here's how I do it. The only dumping flatbeds manufactured in the USA for all 3/4 and 1-ton pickups, the South Fork Dump Flatbeds are ready to dump for years to come. we weren't sure what to expect. The As usual, there were plenty of wildflowers to puzzle over. which could mean a lot of fires. and not having a picture of it, At one point Wayne said something like "I wonder how high the water gets?" Wayne asked me if I still had "the fish". The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. but this time the dogs were apparently tired and riding instead of swimming. There was a large-ish weathered sign up on one of the cliffs which I couldn't read well It was a great example of how The loop hike offers a small waterfall on Fall Branch, numerous rock shelters and a beautiful hemlock cove forest. and they were already showing signs of wear. 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. We emptied the boats, Note that all the water in the river wants to keep going; (6.5 miles RT) Moderate to difficult hike with several scenic overlooks. The trail is named in honor of Daniel Boone. I had asked Wayne to bring an extra tube of barge cement with him for me, We had a long slog coming up to portage out, survive low intensity fires, Our dog Max would have thought he was in seventh heaven. It was just about the best fish I've ever eaten, Angel Falls Rapids (4.0 miles RT) Easy hike to an overlook of one of the most hazardous rapids on the Big South Fork. Street directory and map of South Fork CCD. a long section of leaded sink-tip designed to get down and stay down. with the idea of maybe running it in the future. I pull in the line until the pulley is partly raised and A spectacular backcountry flight, more wildlife than people, and striking emerald-aqua water beckons from Montana’s Big Sky country. 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. Be prepared to portage….but that is one plus of a packraft – easy portages (attach your packraft with the backpack straps up and you can just walk with the raft on … (2.6 miles RT) Hike to outstanding view of the Big South Fork. 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