River Rafting and Floating
Montana’s many rivers are popular for white-water rafting and more leisurely float trips. The most famous white-water rivers are the branches of the Flathead near Glacier National Park and the Gallatin and Yellowstone near Yellowstone National Park. These rivers are also popular with kayakers. Other river trips will take you to remote areas of wilderness reached only on multiday float trips. The Wild and Scenic designated portion of the Missouri, downstream from Fort Benton, is a favorite for naturalists and devotees of Lewis and Clark. The Smith River takes anglers through limestone canyons to otherwise unreachable fishing holes.
River trips are offered by many guide services, and boats can be rented in most river towns. For most multiday trips, advance reservations are required; in fact, for popular rivers such as the Smith, you’ll need reservations many months in advance. Most white-water guide services offer day and part-day trips that require only a day’s advance reservations.
Dependable and experienced guides are listed in the text. For a complete list of guides, contact the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (406/449-3578, www.montanaoutfitters.org). Travel Montana’s handy Travel Planner also contains a list of licensed outfitters.
Windsurfing hasn’t been particularly developed in Montana, but occasionally a sail goes up on Flathead Lake. Strong winds on the Blackfeet Reservation and around Livingston have generated talk, if not actual windsurfing sites.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition