North Fork Flathead


Tucked away in the remote northwestern corner of Glacier National Park is an area known as Kishenehn. Before the North Fork Road existed, a road/trail existed on the east bank of the North Fork Flathead River (now known as the Inside North Fork Road) that went from the Belton Train Station all the way up to Canada. When oil was discovered in the region, a road was built off of this to Kintla. The oil dried up pretty fast, but today, the old road still exists to Kintla, but where it turns off, to the Canadian border, it’s only a trail.

This trail follows the North Fork Flathead River all the way to the border passing meadows, treed areas, swamps, ponds, two creek crossings and a patrol cabin with a bunch of out buildings. It’s truly a wild and remote area and is home to elk, moose, grizzlies, black bears and wolves.

From the patrol cabin, another trail shoots off and follows Kishenehn Creek up to the Canadian border again along the west bank. This too bounces between treed walks and open meadows. At one point, you can cross over Kishenehn Creek and follow the old Kintla Fire Trail which works its way towards Starvation Creek, crosses it and goes up and over Starvation Ridge and drops down to Kintla Lake where it joins the Boulder Ridge Trail. The Kintla Fire trail takes you through swampy areas as well as lodgepole forests and fantastic stands of larch trees.

Overall, this area is fantastic and is another corner of the Glacier National Park that feels truly wild and without crowds.

Starvation Creek

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3 responses to “Kishenehn”

  1. Mark Hufstetler Avatar
    Mark Hufstetler

    A great post, Jake, about one of my favorite corners of the park. Both the trail along the river and the one over Starvation Ridge are surprisingly cool hikes. (Just don’t convince TOO many people to head up that way! Wouldn’t want to lose the solitude. 🙂

    If anyone’s interested, I did a piece on Kishenehn’s history that’s in an e-magazine available here:

    1. hike734 Avatar

      Fantastic article! I’ll be sharing it out on facebook and twitter and hope that folks see your comment. (also noticed a bunch of photos from my good friend Steven Gnam) 😀

    2. Tyler Ley Avatar
      Tyler Ley

      Great article! How did you get to Grizzly Wide pass? I tried looking it up but it’s not a known place. I would be very grateful for any information about accessing the Kishinena creek from the logging roads on the Canadian side too. Are the roads that lead south from Fernie accessible? Would a rental car make it on the Flathead Valley Road and Kishinena Creek road? Thanks in advance for your insight!


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