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Clearwater Canoe Trail

Flathead lake + Mission Range, Montana

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Clearwater Canoe Trail

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  • The  put-in is along a narrow channel off the main river.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Starting out on the Clearwater/Seeley Lake Canoe Trail.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Paddling along the Clearwater River.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • The Clearwater River offers dramatic views.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • A lush section of the Clearwater River.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Entering Seeley Lake.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Lily pads in bloom.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Lily pads on Seeley Lake.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • Seeley Lake.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • The ranger complex on Seeley Lake.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
  • A local lodge rents kayaks and provides a shuttle.- Clearwater Canoe Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy paddle with scenic views. Exceptionally clear water. Shuttle available.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Flathead lake + Mission Range, MT
Congestion: 
Low
Site characteristics: Water: 
River
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Pro Contributor

The Forest Service provides a put-in spot on a designated canoe/kayak river trail on the Clearwater River above the inlet to Seeley Lake. This route is flat and unobstructed with fabulously clear water all the way to Seeley Lake. Turtles are plentiful, as are a variety of birds. There are a few alternate channels along the way to explore, with ever-changing views of the surrounding woods and mountains. There are not many places to land a kayak on the river due to overhanging brush and swampy terrain, but the lake has miles of shoreline to explore with lots of beaches and take-out spots. The entire upper 80% of the lakeshore is national forest land with some private leases.

From the put-in, it is about 2.5 miles on the river to the entrance of Seeley Lake. There is a Forest Service take-out about a quarter-mile from the lake inlet. If you'll be renting a boat at the Tamarack Lodge or using their shuttle service, it is another mile to their dock on the east shore of the lake.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

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Who's Done It
1 Members
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