Many of you have already enjoyed the crystal waters of the North Fork of the Sun in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and know what a treat it is to travel her banks and wet wade those cool waters on a hot summers day. Now we are offering a journey dedicated to the experience. And for those that have yet to experience the great valley, the North Fork of the Sun River is a jewel of the wilderness and traveling its’ reaches offers a variety of adventure depending on your desires. You can fish for trout in the pools and eddies along the way, dip into these same pools when the temperatures get hot, or enjoy short pack-raft floats downriver.
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. The hike includes an elevation gain of 2100’ over several miles, but it is mostly in green timber and the trail travels through a handsome section of country. We have the chance to spend the next day relaxing near a beautiful stretch of water.
From here we make our way downriver, with one layover day at each camp. Those interested in pack rafting have plenty of time to float short sections of the river on layover days. 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 pack rafting short sections of the river where the flows are high enough. 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.