North Fork of the Flathead River

Lesson Cornerstone Curriculum Content Standards: Science
Site Description Trails and Terrain
Wildlife Present On-Site Educational Programs
Seasons Access
Parking & Entrance to Site Google Earth Driving Directions Link
Group Size Limits Fees
Restrictions Other Suggestions
Site Services Contact Information
For Additional Site & Lesson Plan Information

Lesson Cornerstone:


Curriculum Content Standards: Science

(3) Students, through the inquiry process, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics, structures and function of living things, the process and diversity of life, and how living organisms interact with each other and their environment.

Site Description:

The Big Creek Outdoor Education Center began in 1927 as a Forest Service Ranger Station and home base for Big Creek of Glacier Institutefire crews. In 1988, the Glacier Institute established its current outdoor education program at Big Creek. This is a truly peaceful location on the North Fork of the Flathead River and opportunities abound for hiking, biking, bird or wildlife watching and enjoying the outdoors. The Glacier Institute’s Big Creek Outdoor Education Center is operated under special use permit with the Flathead National Forest. Staff lives on-site and is available to assist students.

Trails and Terrain:

There is trail access from Big Creek.

Wildlife Present:

Visitors may observe the presence of various wildlife.

On-Site Educational Programs:

Glacier Institute publishes an annual catalog of educational programs available for school groups. The catalog is also posted on the website.


Spring, summer and fall.Big Creek of Glacier Institute Photo


Access is from the parking lot.

There is some disabled access.

Parking and Entrance to Site:

Big Creek is approximately 23 miles north of Columbia Falls up the North Fork Road. Portions of the North Fork Road are unpaved.

There is ample parking.

View the Glacier Institute campus map.

Google Earth Driving Directions:

Big Creek Outdoor Education Center of Glacier Institute

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Big Creek Outdoor Education Center of Glacier Institute 48.601513, -114.166530 Big Creek Outdoor Education Center of Glacier Institute


Group size limits:

Group sizes are limited to 40 people.


Fees are specific to the educational program and arrangements.


All U.S. Forest Service regulations apply. Please call for specific details.

Other Suggestions:

A gear list is located on the website.

Site services:

Services are provided with programs arranged in advance. No drop-ins.

Contact Information:

Glacier Institute Main Office, 755-1211

For additional site and lesson plan information:

Glacier Institute