Wild River Pioneers
Adventures in the Middle Fork of the Flathead, Great Bear Wilderness & Glacier National Park
2nd Edition

by John Fraley

published by Farcountry Press

  • From its headwaters, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River flows 92 wild and scenic miles through the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wildernesses and alongside Glacier National Park. It also flows through history, carrying the stories of explorers, trappers, prospectors, railroad builders and train robbers, moonshiners, hoteliers, horse packers, wilderness rangers, and more. Author John Fraley (Heroes of the Bob Marshall Wilderness; A Woman’s Way West; Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers) knows this river and its stories as well as anyone, and Wild River Pioneers is his collection of true tales about shootouts, grizzly bear attacks, a murder (and a hanging), secret caves, fortunes won and lost, a wily Josephine Doody bootlegging in Glacier National Park, and an ice cream–eating pet bear.

    • 2nd Edition updated with new information and images

    • Meticulously researched from primary sources and in-person interviews

    • Amply illustrated with historical photographs

364 pages, 6 x 9, 92 b/w photos, 2 illustrations, 2 map(s), softcover

ISBN 10: 1-56037-794-1
ISBN 13: 9781560377948


Rangers, Trappers & Trailblazers





Wild River Pioneers
Adventures in the Middle Fork of the Flathead, Great Bear Wilderness & Glacier National Park

Wild River Pioneers align=

John Fraley align= John Fraley came to Montana as a teenager to attend the University of Montana, where he received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. He continued his education at Montana State University and received an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management. John worked for the state wildlife agency for nearly forty years, mostly in the forks of the Flathead River. He retired in 2017. For thirty-four years he has also served as an adjunct instructor at Flathead Valley Community College, where he teaches wildlife conservation and other courses. John has written numerous magazine articles on the history of the Flathead country. His other books include Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers; A Woman’s Way West; and Heroes of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. John’s wife, Dana, and children, Kevin, Heather, and Troy, share with him a love of wandering around the backcountry of the three forks of the Flathead River.

Praise for Wild River Pioneers: Adventures in the Middle Fork of the Flathead, Great Bear Wilderness & Glacier National Park

The Middle Fork of the Flathead is arguably the wildest of the state’s rivers, one that John Fraley knows better than anyone alive. Those of us who still cherish our “wild river heritage” and the people who shaped it can thank John for his detailed research and the wonderful narration that has resulted. John has not only preserved a vital segment of our outdoor history but has transformed it into literature. —Bert Gildart, Montana author and photographer

Raging through the Flathead’s wilderness, the Middle Fork was born wild, and the pioneers who first explored it over a hundred years ago seem equally untamed. John’s book is a spellbinding history of those daring, valiant, and sometimes “different” people. I’d buy the book just for the chapter on Josephine Doody. —George Ostrom, Montana’s most colorful newsman and author

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263