Flathead River Flowing Out of Canada

In this scene, the North Fork of the Flathead River flows from its headwaters over the horizon in these mountains to the north in Canada. This is on the border between Canada and Montana. The mountains on the horizon to the right are part of the Akamina – Kishinena Provincial Park. The North Fork is considered the upper headwaters of the Flathead River, in a valley northeast of Lake Koocanusa in the Clark Range. It then meets the Continental Divide and turns south, winding through a broad glacial valley across the border.

Below; the Wild and Scenic Flathead River follows the contours of the North Fork Valley south across Numa Ridge, Quartz Ridge, Cerulean Ridge, Loggin Ridge, Camas Ridge, and Howe Ridge. In the distance is Huckleberry Mountain, where the Flathead River cuts through the pass between Glacier View Mountain and Huckleberry Mountain.  The snowcapped mountain ridges from the right are; Cyclone Peak, Winona Ridge, Demers Ridge, and Glacier View Mountain.

In the lower foreground of the image above, Akokola Creek arcs horizontally, carrying snowmelt from Reuter Peak and Numa Peak above, flowing down towards the Flathead River. The North Fork Flathead River flows from within British Columbia, Canada, south into Montana. It is one of the three primary forks of the Flathead River, which is the main source of Flathead Lake and a tributary of the Columbia River through the Clark Fork River then the Pend Oreille River.

This area is an important wildlife area in that it helps to preserve and protect the habitat of the last self-sustaining grizzly bear population in the United States, as well as a winter range for goats and bighorn sheep. In the image below, from the middle of the Flathead River looking north towards Canada during autumn.

The ancient trade and hunting trails were known to a number of tribes such as the First Nations Akamina-Kishinena. They passed their knowledge of these important routes to the next generation in a succession lasting over thousands of years. The knew where the animal’s network of trails and paths ran and they used all these routes to traverse this rugged wilderness in the long North Fork Flathead River Basin.

Above; The Flathead Wild And Scenic River gently curve through the eastern side of the North Fork Valley. In the middle of the image lies The Big Prairie and the mountains along the distance are the Whitefish Range and the snow-capped mountains of the Smoky Range are on the far left.

For centuries the First Nation Cree people hunted and camped along the river, traveling far from their northern homelands to hunt Elk in the meadows, rollings hills and streams below the long line of mountains.

This scene below displays the entire western entrance to Glacier National Park. In the bottom right of the image, the Flathead River begins is sharp westerly turn in the pass at Huckleberry Mountain (on the right side of the image). Across the distance on the horizon, Saint Nicholas Mountain towers above the mountains of Glacier National Park.

The bottom right of the image above is the Flathead River, the image below is that exact spot looking north from the river. The First Nations Kootenai or Ktunaxa called the river: kqaskanmituk,  they followed the river upstream and trekked around the mountains through South Kootenay Pass to the northeast, in order to reach the plains and prairies on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains to trade with other tribes and hunt buffalo.

In the image below, the partially frozen Flathead River moves past Glacier View Mountain on the left and Huckleberry Mountain on the right.

In this sequence of three following images, this is a semi-circular bend in the Flathead River lensed over a period of time to capture the contrasting seasonal views. This first image is during the summer season, the pass to the North Fork Valley is on the left and Huckleberry Mountain is on the right.


This next scene is during the fall months when everything is brightly colored with fall hues. The Flathead River is running perfectly clear snow melt from the surrounding mountains and storm clouds are drifting across the pass to North Fork Valley to the left.

This last image in the sequence is during mid-winter with the Flathead River partially frozen but still flowing strongly southward to join with the Middle and South Forks before flowing into Flathead Lake.

 

 

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