Looking for Bob Marshall advice

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humanpackmule
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:46 am

Looking for Bob Marshall advice

Post by humanpackmule » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:39 pm

We are heading to the Bob Marshall Wilderness in about two weeks to do some packrafting. I'm looking for some insight on our route. In particular I'm interested in water levels and given current conditions and the time we have, if the trip seems overly ambitious or about right.

We plan on starting and ending at Benchmark and we have seven days to burn. On day seven we need to be back in Great Falls so one of the guys can catch a flight. I think the only real "must dos" are paddle a bit, fish and see the Chinese Wall.

We've arranged horses to take us from Benchmark up and over Steadler-Hoadly divide and down to Danaher Creek. From there (like everyone else it seems) we were thinking about floating down the South Fork of the Flathead and picking up the trail to hike up and over Pagoda Mountain. From there we were hoping to float down the White River until we hit the confluence with the south fork of the White. From there we were going to go up and over White river pass and float the South fork of the Sun down to the packbridge where we would pull out and hike the five or so miles back to Benchmark.

We originally thought about just heading up White river pass once we reach it while floating the South Fork Flathead. Not sure if that would be a better idea or not.

So does the Pagoda Mountain route seem reasonable for 7 days with a fair amount of time to get in some fishing? Would it be wiser to just head up White River pass?
Anything we need to know about or suggestions for a great trip?

Thanks for your time.

DaveChenault
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Kalispell, MT
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Re: Looking for Bob Marshall advice

Post by DaveChenault » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:11 pm

The White isn't going to be be floatable at all. Neither is Danaher, and likely not the Sun either. The S Fork above Big Prairie is going to be very slow, with a fair bit of dragging and avoiding gravel bars. Below Big Prairie you'll be floating full time, but in the <2 mph range.

Floating, fishing, and hiking Pagoda might be too much depending on pace. You can always hike up the White, which will have good fishing in the lower 5 miles.

You'd want the S Fork to be around 3500 cfs for this trip to be doable, which is almost unheard of in late July.

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