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Montana whitewater, Swan River

Lake county, Bigfork Dam to Flathead River section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III-IV     1.25 miles
  The Bigfork Dam to Flathead River stretch of Swan River is 1.25 miles long and it is classified as a class III-IV section by American Whitewater. The scenic beauty of Lake County and the cool fresh water make the trip here worthwhile. The starting location is a reasonable drive from Kalispell, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. This is a very short section so no need to bring snacks. There are campgrounds
    quite near the river where you can camp. Great exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors have a lot of people coming here. The average Montana whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit easier to master
than those in other states, so don't forget that quite a few of the sections in this state are pretty easy. There are some good sections to paddle in this river system, the Bigfork Dam to Flathead River section is one of them. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking in  
this general area you'll find lots of paddling rivers.

Briefly about the general area:
Going to Yellow Bay State Park near Swan River is a delightful thing to do; you're sure to encounter some wonderful people from Bigfork here. A trip to Wayfarers State Park when you're here at Swan River is a good idea; going for a hike along the Wolf Creek Trail will let you absorb the natural beauty of this neighborhood. This is such a wonderful river. One of the best things about Swan River is its proximity to Long Beach. While you're here at Swan River you can take a hike along the Noisy Creek Notch Trail.

Swan River, Bigfork Dam to Flathead River road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Swan River.
 Whitewater Near Swan River:
Swan River, Lake County, 4 miles away
      Class III-IV - 1.25 miles long (Bigfork Dam to Flathead River)
Whitewater Outfitter - Snappy Sport Center, Flathead County, 19 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Wild River Adventures, Flathead County, 20 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Great Northern Whitewater, Flathead County, 21 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Flathead River - Middle Fork, -blank- County, 21 miles away
      Class II - 6 miles long (West Glacier to Blankenship Bridge)
Flathead River - North Fork, -blank- County, 22 miles away
      Class II(III) - 12 miles long (Big Creek to Glacier Rim)
Flathead River, Lake County, 22 miles away
      Class II-III - 10 miles long (Kerr Dam to County Road Bridge)
Flathead River - Middle Fork, -blank- County, 24 miles away
      Class III - 9 miles long (Moccasin Creek to West Glacier)
Logan Creek, Flathead County, 28 miles away
      Class IV-V - 4.5 miles long (Upper)
Logan Creek, Flathead County, 28 miles away
      Class II-III - -blank- miles long (Lower)
 Ski Areas Near Swan River:
Blacktail Mountain, Montana , 24 miles away, 1440 foot drop, 4 lifts, 24 runs
Whitefish, Montana , 30 miles away, 2353 foot drop, 11 lifts, 83 runs
Montana Snowbowl, Montana , 47 miles away, 2600 foot drop, 4 lifts, 37 runs
Marshall Mountain, Montana , 52 miles away, 1500 foot drop, 3 lifts, 23 runs
Castle Mountain, Alberta , 65 miles away, 2850 foot drop, 5 lifts, 59 runs
Teton Pass, Montana , 85 miles away, 1010 foot drop, 2 lifts, 26 runs
Fernie, British Columbia , 98 miles away, 2816 foot drop, 10 lifts, 114 runs
Discovery Ski, Montana , 99 miles away, 1670 foot drop, 6 lifts, 48 runs
 Marinas Near Swan River:
Woods Bay Marina and RV Park, Bigfork , 2 miles away
Marina Cay Resort, Bigfork , 4 miles away
Bigfork Marina, Bigfork , 4 miles away
Echo Lake Marina, Bigfork , 4 miles away
Eagle Bend Yacht Harbor, Bigfork , 6 miles away
 Beaches Near Swan River:
Long Beach, Flathead , 4 miles away
 Hotels Near Swan River:
Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn And Suites, Kalispell , 15 miles away
Bridge Street Cottages, Bigfork , 15 miles away
Glacier Mountain Lodge, Columbia Falls , 16 miles away
Historic Tamarack Lodge, Hungry Horse , 17 miles away
Red Lion Inn & Suites Ridgewat, Polson , 18 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Swan River:
Ronde'vue Park, Bigfork, 2 miles away
Woods Bay Marina and RV Park, Bigfork, 2 miles away
Outback Montana RV/Tent Campground, Bigfork, 2 miles away
 Trails Near Swan River:
Wolf Creek Trail, Flathead , 7 miles away
Noisy Creek Notch Trail, Flathead , 8 miles away
Alpine Trail, Flathead , 9 miles away
Jimmie Ridge Trail, Flathead , 10 miles away
Peterson Creek Trail, Lake , 10 miles away
 Public Lands Near Swan River:
Glacier National Park, West Glacier - MT , 21 miles away
Wayfarers State Park, Montana , 4 miles away
Yellow Bay State Park, Montana , 7 miles away
West Shore State Park, Montana , 12 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Swan River:
Eagle Bend Golf Club, Bigfork , 5 miles away
Frontier Road House Golf Club, Kalispell , 13 miles away
Polson Country Club, Polson , 17 miles away
 Lakes Near Swan River
Jessup Mill Pond, Flathead , 9 miles away
Flathead Lake, Lake , 9 miles away
Lion Lake, Flathead , 15 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.