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Old 08-24-2014   #1
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Upper Missouri River Breaks Trip

Not a white water trip but full of history and outstanding scenery.

Just finished a nine day canoe float on UMR Lewis and Clark "Missouri Breaks" area.

Visited Ft Benton, put in at just above Coal Banks Landing and boated down to Kipp Recreational area.

Breaks area is just outstandingly beautiful bluffs with next section just as nice but rolling hills and last section ok just above Kipp area. Last campsites above Kipp landing in real bad shape. Others in good shape. Evidently a massive ice dam across the river caused much damage to the environment as per a River Ranger we talked to at Kipp.

If you like the Lewis and Clark story, the area is full of good information and museums. We also visited Pompey's Pillar, Little Big Horn Battle field and Devils Tower just over the state line. All are recommended. We purchased a ten audio CD detailed history of Little Big Horn that made the trip home go much faster. Awesome detail on the best to date knowledge of what happened at the battle. Custer basically walked into it and was out gunned big time. If the CD's are correct - Many of Custer's Top officers had a serious whisky problem that in my opinion created even more problems for the 7th Calvary. I did not know how important paddle wheel steam boats were to the entire Missouri River and this battle.

We had strong down river winds every day of the trip. Don't know if this is normal or not, but with the current and wind we were doing GPS measured speeds of around 4 or more MPH that made for easy / short paddling days. A couple of short but awesome electrical storms but mostly overcast days. River started out clear but after the first storm muddy as the San Juan.

The more I see of Montana (did the Smith earlier this year), the more I am impressed by the history, scenery and wide variety of boating in the state. The area has a bunch of micro breweries - all of which have great tasting room products with some offering tasty food as well.

Long drive for us flat land boaters, but well worth it in my opinion.

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Old 08-24-2014   #2
openboat's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
We did Coal Banks to Judith Landing years ago and had a very relaxing, fun float. Great campsites along the way, and fun to compare the rock outcrops to the Bodmer paintings we printed off before launching. Great history.
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