Exploring the Headwaters of the Sun River

North Fork of the Sun River

Trip Details

Trip Date:

08/19/2019 - 08/25/2019

Trip Type:

Stock Supported

Number of Days/Nights:

7 Days - 6 Nights



Distance with Day Hikes:



Price Per Person:





  • North Fork of the Sun River
  • Pack rafting
  • Swimming
  • Floating
  • Fishing
  • Relaxing by the river


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.


Please call or email for more details.
(406) 289–0863


Deposits are non-refundable, and the balance is due by May 15th  unless otherwise specified.  The balance is non-refundable after this date.  We do not give refunds for any reason. This includes but is not limited to; route changes due to wildfires, smoke, floods, trail conditions, or unprecedented weather events.  We do not give refunds if personal health inhibits you from participating on a trip.  Because of this, we STRONGLY recommend purchasing trip insurance.  We recommend Global Rescue’s Signature Travel Insurance.

Trip Rating Definitions



  • 5 - 8 mile travel days along river grade trail with some undulating terrain, but no major changes in elevation. All hiking is on maintained trail.


  • 6 – 10 mile travel days with some of those days requiring changes in elevation of 500 – 1200 ft. over several miles. Short portions of route may be off-trail.

Moderately Strenuous

  • 8 – 12+ mile travel days with some days having a combined change in elevation totaling 2,500 feet, or more, over several miles. Off-trail hiking and routing finding with short portions of limited exposure possible.


  • 7 – 12+ mile travel days with regular changes in elevation over a few miles. Frequent off-trail hiking over uneven terrain with areas of exposure and route finding involved. Previous backcountry experience required.

*Please note these descriptions are used for travel days only and are our attempt to provide a rating for the overall trip difficulty. On layover days we will offer optional hiking opportunities that may not be in keeping with the rest of the trip difficulty rating.

Additionally, changes in elevation are meant to represent the days’ starting and ending elevations, but not necessarily the total elevation lost and gained throughout the course of the day. If you have questions or concerns regarding trip difficulty and your abilities please contact us.