South Fork Flathead Inflatable Kayak Adventure

April 11, 2024

Located just south of Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall wilderness is the second largest wilderness in the lower forty-eight. The South Fork of the Flathead is the main artery through this grand landscape. This trip encompasses miles of hiking through pristine wilderness followed by paddling beautiful gin clear water in inflatable kayaks through wide open spaces, finishing off squeezing through Meadow Creek Gorge, a beautiful, narrow limestone canyon with water trickling through hanging gardens. With hiking, fishing, paddling, horse packing, and campfire cooking, this is a true Montana Wilderness adventure!

The trip begins outside Seeley Lake, Montana at a gorgeous ranch where we will enjoy a cowboy dinner, orientation, and staying in a classic Montana cabin. The following day begins early as we need to get the mules loaded with our gear and drive to the trailhead. On the first day, we will be hiking around 16 miles. For the first 5 miles up to Pyramid Lake we will gain 1800 feet of elevation. The climb crescendos with awe-inspiring views down into the Youngs Creek drainage overlooking Pyramid Peak, Leota Peak, and Marshall Mountain. That evening we set up camp on Otter Creek which feeds into the South Fork Flathead. The next morning we load the mules and hit the trail. At this point, we are deep into the Bob and there is ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. We’ve seen wolves, bears, and elk on this stretch of trail. The hike on day two is around 8 miles and ends at the Youngs Creek. After a dip in the cold mountain stream, you will feel revitalized and refreshed. We should arrive early in the afternoon with ample time to relax or fish. 

Days 3-6 will be spent on the water. Once we are on the water we will have much more freedom for side activities and adventures. Your trip leader will discuss many opportunities with you and can tailor the experience to your group’s desires, since this trip is a for small group, six to eight guests max. There are options for up to two layover days if your group is into long days of hiking and exploring or options for shorter days on the water with more time for relaxing in camp or fishing the famous waters of the South Fork for West Slope Cutthroat trout. 

On days 7-8, we will be running Meadow Creek Gorge. The low water offers a great opportunity for kayaking and exploring a place that not many people get to see. There are numerous rapids that we can stop and scout and there will be some short portages. It is an experience you won’t forget. On day 8 you can expect to be back to Kalispell by late afternoon/ early evening with enough time to clean up and have a nice dinner to finish off this Montana adventure.