Rowing School

Get first hand experience on the Flathead River with our Oar Rafting and Rowing Classes

Our rowing courses give you, the student, the opportunity to spend time on the river rowing a variety of boats. From center frame rafts to stern frames, or bring your cataraft, we can build a foundation for rafting and river navigation skills. Building foundational rowing skills will enable you to lead and organize your own successful multi-day river trips.

Learning to row takes practice and experience and our professional trained river guides and certified instructors provide a supportive environment. At the Great Northern Resort, we believe it takes time spent both on and off the water for the students to learn and feel get comfortable with the basics of river running.

Oar Rafting Course

The Oar Rafting course is for individuals interested in learning the skills required to efficiently row a raft on rivers with class II-III rapids. The 2-day rowing course utilizes daily stretches of the river for those not wanting to camp.

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 oar-rigged boats. After two days you will gain experience reading and running class II-III whitewater.

Course Dates

  • April 24-25 2021.
  • June 26-27 2021.
  • July 10-11 2021.

Course Length

2 days

Course Price

$325/person for the group class.
Private instruction is available. Call for details.

Skills Covered

  • Hydrology and Reading Water
  • Safety Talks
  • Throwbag Training
  • Raft Flip Drills
  • Equipment
  • Rowing Techniques for an Oar-Rigged Boat or Cataraft
  • On Water 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

Suggested Equipment

  • Locking Carabiner
  • Throwbag (so you can practice with what you will use)
  • River Knife
  • Whistle

Great Northern has rental equipment available. Call to reserve.

Rowing School

Our rowing school is designed for individuals who want to improve their rowing skills on a multi-day rafting trip. Students will have the opportunity to learn from both group and one-on-one lessons. Participants will learn the skills required to efficiently row a raft or cataraft on rivers with class II-III rapids.

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

  • 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: 18

Course Dates

July 1-3 2021

Course Length

3 days

Course Price

$850/person.
Private instruction is available. Call for details.

Skills Covered

  • 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.