Paddle like crazy. Splash through Screaming Right Hand Turn, pound through Jaws and hit the wave train of Bonecrusher. At Glacier National Park, rafting kicks into action late May through August. That’s when rubber rafts full of paddlers bounce down the rapids of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
As a designated Wild and Scenic River, the Middle Fork delivers Class II-III whitewater on a seven-mile stretch through John F. Stevens Canyon. In June high water, rapids can churn up big. But mid-summer settles them into splashy fun in between clear blue-green swimming holes. If swimming, prepare for chilly water as the glacier-fed river remains cold throughout summer. When paddling through Bonecrusher, smile for the photographer capturing your ride.
For families, the whitewater washes downstream at a tame level suitable for kids, but tumbles with enough spray to amp up the fun. For those seeking a more placid adventure or families with tiny kids, scenic floats offer calmer rafting below the whitewater section.
Of the four rafting companies based in West Glacier, Montana Raft Company knows the river. They run half-day, full day and multi-day trips. Other trips combine horseback riding, hiking or barbecue dinners with