Bask near the crystal waters of the North Fork of the Sun and find out what a delight it is to travel along her banks and wade these cool waters. This year, we are offering a journey dedicated to exploring the beauty of the river. August is the perfect time to spend along the river. Even if the days are hot or a bit hazy, the river always offers the perfect solace. You can fish for trout in the pools and eddies along the way or eagerly anticipate where the current will take you as you enjoy short pack-raft floats.
Entry and egress are big hiking days, since we want to spend as much time along the river as possible. To start our trip, we trek over Route Creek Pass and make our first camp at the headwaters of the North Fork, near Wrong Creek. This is a 14-mile day over the pass with an elevation gain of 2100’ over several miles, but the hike is in green timber and travels through a handsome section of country. We have the chance to spend the next day recovering near a beautiful stretch of water.
From here we make our way downriver, with one layover day at each camp. Those new to pack rafting have plenty of time to fish and float and get the feel of things, both between camps and on layovers. For those who prefer hiking, the moving days are moderate, with more challenging hikes offered on the layover days. Day hikes include adventuring up Wrong Ridge or making our way to Beartop Lookout, which gives us views of the entire North Fork Valley. Once we near the mouth of the river and the head of Gibson Reservoir, we bid the river good-by as we head out of the mountains. The 12-mile trek out to reach the Mortimer Trailhead has little elevation change.
Guests have the option of hiking or pack rafting between camps or doing a little of both while we’re along the North Fork. Those who are interested in pack rafting can rent a raft from Backcountry Packrafts in East Glacier for an additional charge of $275. Rental includes paddles, PFD, helmet, and repair kit. Let us know if you are interested, and we can reserve a raft for you. We have an experienced river guide devoted to making your journey downstream both safe and fun.
For anyone who wants a dedicated fishing trip, this is it. Nights are spent in gorgeous river camps with ample time to get better acquainted with the waters. This relaxing backcountry adventure offers great swimming holes, plenty of day hiking options, and good opportunities to see wildlife as well as the option of bobbing downstream in a pack raft.