Kayaking Missoula - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-01-2010   #1
 
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
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Kayaking Missoula

I just moved to Missoula, MT. Class III/III+ boater. Was looking for any suggestions about paddling around here and what rivers are around my ability. Moved from Vail, CO. Used to running the Eagle and Shoshone. Thanks. becca

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Old 04-02-2010   #2
River Gypsy
 
Swannanoa, North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca10380 View Post
I just moved to Missoula, MT. Class III/III+ boater. Was looking for any suggestions about paddling around here and what rivers are around my ability. Moved from Vail, CO. Used to running the Eagle and Shoshone. Thanks. becca
Alberton Gorge will be your staple - only 30-40 minutes from town. You can run it pretty much year round.

Lochsa is not too far, and is world class class III or IV depending on level. It should really start running in another 3-4 weeks.

Those two and Brennan's Wave in town will probably be your staples, with longer weekend trips required to open up more options.

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Old 04-02-2010   #3
 
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Whitefish, Montana
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Don't forget about the Yak river.....NW Montana....runs into the Clark Fork....a narrow gorge run class IVish......short season but fun run....
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Old 04-02-2010   #4
 
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
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Originally Posted by purpleyak View Post
Don't forget about the Yak river.....NW Montana....runs into the Clark Fork....a narrow gorge run class IVish......short season but fun run....
Correction the Yaak flows into the Kootenay river not the Clark Fork....
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Old 04-02-2010   #5
-k-
 
Denver via GJ, Colorado
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For a lazy warm up, the Blackfoot is a good class II-III for some general entertainment. Fair amount of flat water, but great scenery, although most of the runs have great scenery.

Also check out the Flathead section below Polson. This is a less talked about, big water style class III+. I have not been on it myself, but read a few good write ups, and photo's I have seen show some quality drops.
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Old 04-02-2010   #6
 
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at my house, Montana
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Most people that consider themselves III/III+ top out on the Gorge around here, the Lochsa is quite a different river than the Gorge. If you want to check it out I recommend you go with some people you know and trust, and that know that river. The bonus is you can always bail if it's more than you want since it's roadside.

A lot of Class III boaters start the season on the Gorge (if they like cold boating), then head to the Blackfoot when it comes up. The blackfoot is fun at high water, it gets more continuous wave trains than the Gorge's pool drop, but the blackfoots rapids are more mellow, but longer. Then when the Blackfoot dries up, head back to the Gorge. That's what I used to do before I became a Lochsa addict. The gorge is boatable much of the year but a cold snap will freeze it over and it can take a month or two for it to clear. This happened early this December and didn't clear until the end of Janury.

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Missoula

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Missoula: Clark Fork River at St. Regis

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Missoula: Blackfoot River near Bonner

Check out the kayak shop on the hip strip, Higgins just south of the river on the east side. The name changed and since I'm not a yakker I don't know it. You can probably hook up with some boaters there, or by playing around the wave. It's still early here for most, but I saw some yaks on cars downtown today and more and more people are getting out. If you want to get out now, I'd go talk people up at the kayak shop. Once the main season hits, it'll be easy to just go to put-ins and jump in with others.
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