Glacier National Park Packrafting Courses

Montana Packrafting Courses to get you into the Wilderness

Nestled in the heart of Montana’s best Wilderness packrafting rivers, Great Northern offers packraft instructional courses. Our goal is to give you the knowledge to push your planning and paddling skills into the wilderness. The Flathead River System offers a unique setting with a wide variety of options for hikers and paddlers.

Make packrafting courses along the southern boundary of Glacier National Park on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River your next big adventure. There is no hiking component to our packraft courses. These courses are river based and you should expect to be in and out of the packraft multiple times throughout the day. Additionally, we’ll be learning to swim in the river and lots of paddling.

Essentials of Packrafting

This 2-day packrafting course is designed to prepare students for the river portion of a packraft trip and does not involve a hiking or backpacking component. The majority of this 2-day course will be spent outside as we practice skills on the river. The course does involve swimming in the river in wetsuits or dry suits.

Our two-day packrafting courses will blend foundational paddling skills and river navigation as well as safety and rescue you would need to create your own packraft trips. We will also teach the foundations of the “Leave No Trace” philosophy as well as packing considerations and campsite planning. 

Course Dates

Summer 2022. Call our office for private courses.

Course Price


Skills Covered

The first day will begin with a classroom session where we’ll introduce the concept of packrafting and gear review. Following some lake practice we’ll move to the river to explore river navigation skills and make our way down to the campsite along the river. Day 2 is spent expanding navigation skills and working on rescue skills. Throughout both days the course covers Leave No Trace topics.

Sidecountry Packrafting

This two-day course is designed for packrafters looking to paddle on more demanding rivers and competently plan and execute longer trips in sidecountry or wilderness settings.

The first day will begin with a short classroom session where we’ll introduce some packrafting concepts and planning ideas. Day 1 finishes with campsite selection and a riverside overnight camping. Day 2 is spent working on navigation and rescue skills. Throughout both days the course covers river corridor Leave No Trace topics.

Course Dates

July 9-10 and July 30-31 2022

Course Price


Skills Covered

Students will learn how to navigate the river’s terrain while implementing Leave No Trace concepts. Challenges may include Long days in the river. Swimming and paddling in cold, glacier fed waters boardering Glacier National Park. Navigating your own packraft in Class I-III whitewater depending on your course selection.