S. Fork Shuttle???

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jsa
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by jsa » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:11 am

Hi there. New to the forum. Glad to have found it!

We're hoping to do the South Fork trip July 11-15, 2020. We're stuck with the shuttle.

We're planning to park and set-off from the Lodgepole TH north of Ovando. If flows are good, we might put in on Young's Creek, otherwise, we'll hike on to the confluence and put in at the Youngs Danaher Junction and float to Mid-Creek.

How have people handled the shuttle at Meadow Creek? Have you done the shuttle yourself, or did you pay for a service? Any ideas?

This trip is going to (suppose to?) be our substitute honeymoon since overseas travel was canceled due to the pandemic...

Thanks!

adventuregrrl
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:10 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by adventuregrrl » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:01 pm

I've been trying to find a shuttle service as well. Please update if you find one! Thanks!

hellcat
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:29 am

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by hellcat » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:22 pm

Well, There are two common ways. First, people usually have two cars and they spend a day shuttling one car to the takeout and the other to the trail head. The second is to contact one of the horse packer outfits, they usually know people who do this sort of stuff. Typical shuttle will run you about $400- $500 per car load to get from Spotted Bear/Meadow creek all they way around to Lodgepole. I know it sounds like a lot but if you crunch ALL the figures it is not an unreasonable price. Those are the easiest ways to logistically do it.

But if you're in for a real adventure there are a couple of other ways to go about it...

MS2
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 6:48 am

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by MS2 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:53 am

Give Tommy at 4 River Shuttles a call. 406.370.5845. He did my SF Flathead shuttle a couple of years ago. As Hellcat mentioned, it's not cheap, but it's a hellva shuttle! Or, reach out to Hellcat as he is the SF savant and knows all the shortcut routes that would eliminate a prolonged and expensive shuttle.

hellcat
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:29 am

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by hellcat » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:26 am

Ha MS2. Thanks for the kind words. 'Savant' just means A**hole in French, I believe. And it's the truth to be honest. I wouldn't even have shown up here this year but last night all my plans got changed. I was headed to the Frank in two weeks. I figured out a way to bypass (legit) the Salmon permit system (and 'NO", I'm not telling anybody my secret). But those plans changed so I'm headed back to the Bob in 10 days. Hopefully I get that 5K flow. Whatcha up to this year MS2?

MS2
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 6:48 am

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by MS2 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:32 am

Hilarious, I would never call you an asshole! Looks like my packrafting is over for the season, but I was able to get in a Colorado Extravaganza which I posted over in the Colorado section. Have fun in the Bob, and sorry your Frank trip fell through. That place is truly one of my favorite, but I was born and raised in Idaho so I'm probably a little bias.

sapoguapo
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:49 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by sapoguapo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:59 pm

As others have said Tommy is your man for the shuttle.

I happen to have a trip to the S. Fork starting on July 11th as well, maybe I'll see you out there.

Just so you know, the Lodgepole trailhead is closed until September due to roadwork from a landslide. Tommy first told me that this might happen when I first called him to do a shuttle for us, and I called the ranger at Spotted Bear to confirm. So you'll need to access Youngs via Pyramid Pass or some other way.

Looks like the snowpack is way above normal so low water shouldn't be a problem this year. It might get pretty rowdy if it heats up during the dates that we're there. Yeehaw!

grimm
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:21 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by grimm » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:50 pm

Tommy is great the last time I used him

FYI, I have heard that Lodgepole TH is closed for repair starting July 1st. Better check with that district forest service before you plan you trip leaving from there. You might not be able to park anywhere near it (ie. miles away)

jsa
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by jsa » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:34 am

Thanks, everybody! We'll keep Tommy in mind for our next adventure. We managed to talk my inlaws into dropping our car at Meadow Creek. We're heading up this weekend with two cars. We'll leave one with my wife's folks in Bigfork, and they'll shuttle it to the take-out for us sometime between now and the end of our planned trip.

Lodgepole Creek trail is closed, so now we're going in from Pyramid Pass. That's adding some over-ground miles to our trip, so I'm wondering if anyone has any beta on Young's Creek? I think we'd like to put in sooner than later. I read a report that "about ½ mile from the start of the Youngs Creek Gorge, there is a strainer on a blind right corner. Recommend portaging all blind corners." Anyone have any beta on that strainer by any chance?

Also, it looks like flows will be could be around 5000cfs on the South Fork. Anything to know about Young's or S. Fork at that level? Seems like it should be pretty good, but we don't want to take any chances with strainers and blind corners, so just wondering how manageable Young's would be at that level.

Thanks! We're excited for our first Packrafting Trip in the Bob!

Cheers.

jsa
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by jsa » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:20 am

sapoguapo wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:59 pm

I happen to have a trip to the S. Fork starting on July 11th as well, maybe I'll see you out there.
We're going to either camp at the Pyramid trailhead Friday night, or, if we get an early enough start and the weather is good, we might try to push for the east side of Pyramid Pass and camp there the first night just to break it up a bit. Are you planning to put in on Young's? If so, it'd be good to float that section together if you're up for it. I'm just a little nervous about the reported sweeper in Young's gorge... Happy to connect in a private message if you want to chat about it some more! This is a first time trip for us...

jsa
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by jsa » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:38 pm

Had a great trip. The much-ballyhooed full-channel strainer upstream from the mouth of the Young's Creek Gorge was easily avoidable at the levels we floated. We put in on July 11, when the S. Fork was reading around 3,000 cfs and we had plenty of time to pull out and negotiate our boats under the log, which was of considerable size.

Our friends floated Young's about two-weeks prior to us when the flows were closer to 7500 at the Twin Creek gauge and they had a REALLY bad time with that strainer that involved a popped boat, a lost boat, a lost paddle, and an 8-hour separation of members of the party. We didn't experience any of that horror at 3,000. (Everything worked out OK for my friend and his crew. They found the boat, patched the other boat, and managed to score someone's "spare" paddle.)

For our trip the conditions were great, if not a little crowded at times.

And regarding the shuttle... my wife's parents came through and not only left the car at the take-out, but they left a cooler full of ice-cold beer, too!

backcountrypackrafts
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:03 pm

Re: S. Fork Shuttle???

Post by backcountrypackrafts » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:47 am

For future reference Sheila with Montana Adventure Shuttles can meet you at the take-out and drive you back to the Trail Head. She's also out of Missoula- (406) 493-2345.
Just another option to have if 4 Rivers is unavailable.

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