Exploring Montana; The Clark Fork river

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Clark Fork River


Montana property near the Clark River
Clark Fork River Sunset
Fishing Clark Fork River
The Clark Fork River originates at the confluence of Silver Bow and Warm Springs Creeks near Butte, Montana and winds 340 miles through western Montana to northeastern Idaho. Just inside the Idaho panhandle, the river reaches its end at Lake Pend Oreille, the largest lake in the state of Idaho. I- 90 follows much of the river from Butte, to northwest of Missoula.

Many Montana rivers flow into the Clark Fork River. Just east of Missoula, the river receives Montana's Blackfoot River. The Clark Fork continues northwest of Missoula, through a lengthy valley along the Bitterroot mountain range, and through the Lolo Nat'l Forest. It receives the Bitterroot River 5-6 miles west of downtown Missoula, and receives the Flathead River from the north near Paradise. It receives the Thompson River from the west near Thompson Falls in Sanders County. At Noxon, the river is impounded by the Noxon Rapids Dam to form a 20 mile long reservoir.

The Clark Fork River in Northwest Montana is well known for it's diversity and the abundant variety of recreational opportunities it offers. Boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, & skiing, are just a few of the popular past times enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Or, just sit back on a quiet evening and enjoy the beautiful sunset!

For a Driving Tour of the Clark Fork River, begin at Alberton, Montana near the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork River. Some of the best kayaking and white water rafting in the state are available here.

Travelling north, you will pass through Superior, St. Regis, DeBorgia and Haugan. Back on the river, turn onto Highway 135 at St. Regis. Continue until you reach Highway 200 then turn left, where you can visit the spectacular dams of the Clark Fork, (Thompson Falls Dam, Noxon Rapids Dam and Cabinet Gorge Dam). The Noxon Rapids dam is the largest, and forms the 28-mile long Noxon Reservoir.

For more information on specific Clark Fork River in Northwest Montana points of interest, including campgrounds, boat launches, picnic areas, and more, please click HERE.


The photos on this page were taken from a variety of areas. Please click on any photo to see a larger version. You will need to use your scroll bars for the larger versions of the panoramic photos.

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