Paddling Tips Glacier NP Area?

-- Last Updated: Jul-30-08 11:15 AM EST --

Wife and I heading to Glacier for our 11 days of vacation. Figuring 5 days travel time, 5-6 in the area. Would like to do a WW rafting trip one day. Looking at the Kintla Lake campground as a nice, remote spot for a few days?

Also, boat selection. With the 1700 miles each way, I hate to bring two boats. I thought our Bell Angler might be better (14'6") on 4wd gravel road to get to Kintla Lake, and will be more stable on the car in heavy winds out west, and is also easier to solo. Also better "Fishing" boat. But the 16'6" Bell Northwind may be better if the water kicks up, and has better glide. Hate to take both, since it will decrease gas mileage further.

Fishing, any and all tips appreciated. Would like to fly fish more than spin. Trout my favorite, but also love smallmouth.

Also, travel route from SE MO. Noted that the famous/infamous Sturgis bike rally going on when we head out there. Will make motels on I-90 corridor on the way more difficult to come by. Anybody go there via I 94?

Any and all imfo on must see places, places to camp, places to paddle, boat selection, roads and routes, and fishing would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. WW


– Last Updated: Jul-31-08 8:57 AM EST –

I have taken 94 out-no problems. There is so much to see it is hard to know where to start! You are traveling to PARADISE so you don't want to waste any time getting there. I am totally jealous. This is one of the best places on earth. HAVE A GREAT TIME! I have never paddled Glacier just hiked. non-paddling activities-Last time, I took a day horse ride to Sperry Chalet & I would highly recommend it. Also a very short, easy hike to Avalanche Trail will take your breath away & leave you speechless.

You might already know this, but make sure to have your gas tank full, lodging arranged since services can be a ways away. You are wise about S Dakota with Sturgis. I drove through the night all the way through the state!

Thanks, Mystical
Will try to check those areas out. I’ve wanted to go there for such a long time and have not due to the distance. I’m turning 48 during the trip, IT’S TIME! Thanks, again. WW

GNP trip
Kintla is nice, the camp ground is small though. Bowman is very similar but less remote. Its camp ground is much larger. If you are into backcountry camping, both have nice sites but they may be full, check with the park. Be sure to stop at the Ploebridge store for their great baked goodies.

Thanks You Two
Figured there may have been a few more paddlers here who had been there. Four more days and I’m outta here! WW

Both sites , Kintla and Bowman,
can be real busy this time of year. Bowman, especially. It’s amazing how far people will travel on bad roads to be ‘out in the wild.’ It’s all beautiful though and great paddling. At Bowman, there is a campsite at the end opposite the main campground accessible by water but it can be full, too, especially on weekends.

We’ll be there around the middle of the August and, if you’re interested, drop me a pm and we could meet up for a paddle. We’re meeting our son and his kids for an annual get-together (grandsons birthday).

I used to live there
The campground at Kintla is small, but it is a beautiful setting. You may hear wolves howl. There is a backcountry campground at the eastern end of the lake that is a great base camp to hike further into the park. It is also set up with bear poles to hang your food and cooking clothing so not to attract bears. I have paddled there with tons of gear, while backpackers have arrived exhausted from six miles of an up-and-down trail. As for whitewater, you will be driving past the North Fork of the Flathead, which is a beautiful river running along the boundary of the park. It is fairly mellow in August, with perhaps a couple of Class II rapids, which you can also portage easily if you choose. If you want a bit more action the Middle Fork of the Flathead has some nice sets of rapids, although in August, you probably won’t see anything more than Class III. I learned to whitewater paddle a canoe and kayak on those rivers. McDonald Creek flowing out of McDonald Lake is also fun. Hope this helps. Have a great time. Email me if you have more questions.

Modified my Bell Northwind by removing the rear thwart, moving the stern seat forward and raising it for kneeling so it will be easier when I paddle solo. Three more evenings of work and I’m gone; CAN’T WAIT! WW

Here’s a picture of Bowman:

Just saw that picture of Bowman. Can I hitch a ride if I can get an extra two weeks of vacation this year :slight_smile:

Ok, not really relavent to your question
But I thought I would share.

I was at the Many Glacier area the week before July 4. Brought our inflatables, and paddled Swiftcurrent Lake, did the 1/4 mile portage to Lake Josephine, paddled that, then drifted back down the river between the two lakes (class 1ish, I would guess). Great experience to drift past a moose resting on the shore.

Thanks All
Toesnorth, hope to see you in a few days. We have no “Set” itinerary, but plan on being in Bowman or Kintla By Wednesday. Thanks everyone! Terry

Sturgis crowd mucks things up
This is too late for the OP, but in case anybody else is heading in the vicinity, the Sturgis mobs turn Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and possibly Glacier, into noisy, no-vacancy disappointments. We’ve gone to Yellowstone twice, both before and after Sturgis, and we were extremely glad we were doing mostly kayak camping (the kind that Harley guys don’t do). Those guys turn a national park into a rolling advertisement for loud engines and herd mentality. Same for the nearby towns. They even filled up Lewis Lake CG back when that never filled up any other time.

It stinks because that time frame is a good one to do paddle camping trips there.

Sounds Like a Great Trip!
Have fun!

Just Got Back

– Last Updated: Aug-19-08 4:37 PM EST –

Pikabike, you're so right. The Going to the Sun road would have been so much nicer without those two Harleys behind us all the way to Logan Pass.

Kintla was great, the road was not. I will never complain about the piddly 2.5 miles of gravel to get to our place again. Kintla took us over 2 hours after we left pavement. Was well worth it, though. Waking up on my 48th birthday with the loons calling from such a beautiful setting was oh so special! Unfortunately we ran out of battery power in our Olympus WP before I got a chance to take an underwater pic in that ultra clear water.

Made new friends at Kintla, a couple from Bozeman. Ironically, one's parents recently moved to within a couple hours of us. Also, made friends with the guides from Wild River. Took them out to dinner and enjoyed their company and got some great paddling stories.

Came back through Yellowstone and the Tetons. The only thing open in Grand Teton Nat'l Park was the stores with booze, so I couldn't get my permit to paddle this year; didn't say whether or not I PADDLED, but I couldn't get the permit. The moonlight was beautiful on String Lake Saturday evening!

More un-packing to do, thanks to all who helped. BTW, what happened to you "Toesnorth?" Looked for you at Kintla. WW

Nice Trip
What a wonderful way to spend your B-Day Terry! Chuck & I hope to get to paddle with you and Margaret again later this fall :o)

McDonald Creek looked beautiful
Pretty blue-green water. I’m not wild about shuttle trips, but I sort of wish we had paddled that creek and paid for the shuttle service (current was too strong to paddle upstream).

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