Crazy Packrafting Idea in the Beartooth Mountains

I have a crazy idea for a packrafting trip in Montana. What if you put in at Canyon Lake in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and then followed the chain of lakes down? From Canyon Lake you have Fox Lake, Ivy Lake, Big Moose Lake and Widewater Lake. Looks like a decent trip even if all you did was paddle the lakes.

Any idea what the creeks would be like between these lakes? The upper sections look steep and probably shallow but I wonder if Crazy Creek would be floatable from Ivy Lake? I know there are some big drops near Highway 212 so you’d have to get out before that.

Anything in Wyoming and Montana sounds good this year. Great Snowpack up there. I would make the commitment to go with you if I wasnt confined to my mountain bike for transportation to and from. Sometime I would like to run Clarks Fork Box on the Yellowstone at base flow of 250 cfs.

I’m not so worried about water levels, I’m worried about going over a waterfall! I’ve looked at Google Earth and topo maps and there are clearly some rapids and some narrow gorges in there plus lots of elevation drop. Claass II or easy III is about all I’m up for right now. I think I’ll have to take it slow and do lots of portaging.

When were you thinking of doing this trip?

That sounds like quite the adventure.


I don’t know exact dates yet but sometime in June or July. It should only take 2-3 days so I can schedule it pretty easily. Want to come?

Did you ever do this trip?