4. Float Your Fancy

Glacier National Park, Montana.

Apr 8, 2011
Outside Magazine
Glacier National Park

The Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead, Montana

Snowpack in the Flathead River drainage was up 25 percent this winter. That means the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead—a 50-mile Class III–IV beauty on the southwestern border of Glacier—will be raging through June and the whitewater will linger through July. So you've got options. Want big rapids? Book Glacier Outdoor Center's four-day trip in June. From West Glacier, 12 guests fly on a puddle-jumper to Schafer Meadows, a grass airstrip in the Great Bear Wilderness, and float 60 miles to West Glacier. To mix rapids and trout, sign up in July, when the river's still full but channelized, and nymph for westslope cutthroats in the slack water. And if you're a diehard angler, go in August, when the water is clear and low, the temperature hovers in the eighties, and cutthroats smack hopper patterns off the surface. $1,495; glacierraftco.com