The Middle Fork and the North Fork of Flathead River border Glacier National Park, the 3rd most visited park in the national park system with over 2 million visitors a year. They come for some of the most rugged and scenic landscape in the country and one of the most beautiful rivers. The outfitters in the gallery and infographic below provide Flathead River rafting experiences on the river that may include hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing in remote regions of Montana. But first, a brief explanation of why the Flathead River is rated as one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in America.
Click on photos to see larger images and links to outfitters. See more details on outfitters in the infographic below.
A Brief Introduction to the Flathead River and Why Flathead River Rafting is one of the Top Outdoor Experiences in the Country
The Flathead River system has its headwaters in the Canadian Rockies and picks up water and force on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It gets its name from the Flathead Indians, named by Lewis and Clark, who lived in the region. In 1976 Congress named 219 miles of the Flathead River a National Wild and Scenic River. Most of the river is protected by either Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where the Middle Fork originates, or the Great Bear Wilderness. The river consist of four main parts, the North Fork, the Middle Fork, the South Fork and the main river. The Wild and Scenic designation includes the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork above Hungry Horse Reservoir. It includes rugged landscape and wildlife including grizzly bears and wolves. The lower Middle Fork and the entire North Fork are boundaries to Glacier National Park. Most of the acclaimed whitewater rafting takes place on the Middle and North Forks. Here is how rafting outfitters characterize rafting on the Middle Fork.
Fly or hike in to access this pristine landscape then spend four days on the Wild and Scenic Upper Middle Fork which boast Class II-IV whitewater and matchless trout fishing.
In addition to the great whitewater, hike to a mountain lake, fish for native trout, and relax around camp for five glorious days in the Great Bear Wilderness.
This whitewater rafting adventure is more wildlife than people.
Flathead River Locator Map Including the Middle, North, and South Sections
Click the upper right-hand corner of the map to see the original map where you can enlarge and move around freely to see more details of the natural environment around the Flathead River.
Outfitters Who Provide Whitewater Rafting Trips on Montana’s Flathead River
|Outfitter||Flathead River Rafting||What They Say About Themselves||Located||Other Activities|
|Flathead Raft Company||Most popular trip is 1/2 day. Runs 2 trips a day. 1, 2 and 3-night trips||We are a family run business that just wants to show you and your family a great time with all the Flathead area has to offer||Polson, MT||Sea kayak trips, inflatable kayaks, SUP|
|Glacier Guides Montana Raft||Half and full-day trips. Multi-day trips||No more than 9 guests per raft on whitewater trips||West Glacier, MT||Hiking, biking, fishing|
|Glacier Raft Company||Half and full day trips. Multi-day trips||Family owned and operated since 1976. Considered Montana’s longest running river outfitter||West Glacier, MT||Fly fishing, kayaking, horseback riding|
|Wilderness River Outfitters||Multi-day trips on the Middle and South Fork||38 years later WRO is still providing quality wilderness adventures into pristine wilderness areas||Lemhi, ID||Hiking, Fishing, Horseback riding, climbing, and rappelling. Other rivers in the Northwest|
|Wild River Adventures||Scenic and whitewater raft trips on the Middle and North Fork||We have been offering quality outfitted trips in this beautiful part of the world since 1985||West Glacier, MT||Camping, fishing, horseback riding|
Every effort is made to compile profiles of the top Snake River rafting outfitters who are professional, popular with their customers, and committed to environmental excellence. No advertising fees are involved. If you have had a good experience on the Ocoee with a rafting outfitter not included here and they meet the above criteria, add their name and contact information in the Comments box below and BG will follow up. Outfitters must have a website to be included.
See short profiles and a locator map of the top 24 whitewater rafting rivers in the U.S.