Montana Outdoors

January 22, 2008

Winter on the Flathead

About five miles before the Flathead river flows into the Clark Fork, there is a stretch of the river that I just have to visit when we get one of our brief periods of really cold weather. The air is clear and the sun is out, but the temperature is well below zero and my fingers grow numb after every three shots.

It’s a fairly large river, but it does freeze completely across in some places, like this one..

Flathead River in winter

In others, large sheets of ice float on through channels in the middle of the river. (They will form an ice jam in a narrower place a little farther on down stream.)

Flathead River in winter

Besides his alfalfa in the summer, the rancher here also has a nice winter harvest of scenery!

Along the Flathead

The tall mountains in the background are part of the Coeur d’Alenes, and the slopes are within the Patrick’s Knob roadless area. The elevation of the river is about 2,500 feet, and the tall peak is 7,000 feet. I sure hope we can keep that area protected and roadless!

Flathead River in winter

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