Montana Class III Rowing School

Montana's Premire Rowing School

Welcome to Montana’s premier class III whitewater rowing school and your chance for river training.  This is your chance to gain experience maneuvering oar rafts or catarafts on the Flathead River.  A prefect setting where the class II and III rapids are ideal for beginner and intermediate boaters bordering Glacier National Park. Learn from our professionals and certified instructors. This course offers instructor supervised rowing practice and safety training. If you’re totally new to rafting this course is great. Participants with some basic rowing experience will benefit from tips and techniques to navigate the river. The ultimate opportunity to learn by doing while you are on vacation and take home an experience not just a story.

Course Objectives
Our objective is to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on rowing experience while supervised by our instructors. Other objective highlights include:

  • Improve individual rowing skills
  • Develop river running strategy
  • Become familiar with a variety of rafting and camping equipment
  • Leave with an understanding of camp and river etiquette
  • Develop a foundation and awareness for river and whitewater safety practices


The Great Northern is based at the west entrance to Glacier National Park in Montana and after completing our training you will leave with a solid foundation of river rafting and our small class setting is perfect for adapting the course to individual needs.

Your success starts here!

Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Flathead River boardering Glacier National Park


What does your next Adventure Vacation look like?

Our whitewater rowing school is designed for individuals who want to improve their rowing skills on a multi-day rafting trip. Each participant will have the opportunity to learn from both group and one-on-one lessons. Participants wil learn the skills required to efficiently row a raft or cataraft on rivers with class II-III rapids. This course includes advanced river reading, safety considerations, and tips and techniques rowing techniques.

Start planning your Glacier Park Adventure Vacation!

This is an excellent course for a beginner boater who wants to learn the basics of running whitewater. We cover fundamental river safety and boating skills, including maneuvering rafts. After two days you will gain experience reading and running class II-III whitewater.

Course Length: 2 Days

Course Price: $850/person  *Private trips and dates are available. Call for details. 

Course Dates:

  • July 1-3 2021

Skills covered in the Rowing School:

  • Hydrology and Reading Water
  • Throwbag Training
  • Raft Flip Drills
  • Equipment and Camping Preparation
  • Hands-on Rowing Practice on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
  • Discussion of River Rescue Techniques

What to Bring: 

Required Equipment:

  • Personal Flotation Device
  • Drysuit or Wetsuit
  • Helmet
  • Sturdy Footwear

Great Northern has rental equipment available. Call to reserve.

Typical Itinerary

Every rowing school is a little different allowing us to tailor the course, but we try to follow the schedule below:

Day 1: Equipment preparation and rowing mechanics
Day 2: Boat maneuvering, scouting, and rope work
Day 3: Introduction to pushing and rescue techniques, raft flip practice.

At the end of this course students should have the confidence and skills to scout and row Class III rapids.

This course takes place on the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Flathead River. There are 3 forks to the Flathead River.


Length in days: 3
Length in miles: 30-50
Overall difficulty: III
Highest difficulty (#): IV- (2)
Rapids/day: ~8
Gradient: 18 feet/mile
Signature Rapids:
Staircase, Tunnel, Bonecrusher, Jaws
Types of boats:
Oar boats/Catarafts
Minimum recommended age:

Your next fulfilling adventure Vacation.