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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I have a question about the Yellowstone River , I am planning a 2022 trip down the Yellow stone, but looking at several options.

1. What is the water like through hellroaring canyon late June, Early July?
2. Where is the put in , with taking out at Gardiner, MT?
3. Are river permits required for Hellroaring Canyon and or a float below Gardiner?

Thank You Everyone.
 

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Hello Everyone,

I have a question about the Yellowstone River , I am planning a 2022 trip down the Yellow stone, but looking at several options.

1. What is the water like through hellroaring canyon late June, Early July?
2. Where is the put in , with taking out at Gardiner, MT?
3. Are river permits required for Hellroaring Canyon and or a float below Gardiner?

Thank You Everyone.
1. You cannot legally boat in Yellowstone National Park, so Hellroaring is a stealth, illegal goal. Will not recommend. If you feel like running from NPS rangers, late june/early july flows will be likely be on the high side but coming down, there are some mandatory portages I've been told.
2. Again, this is highly illegal, but from what I have heard is you put in at the confluence of the Lamar and Yellowstone (sneak down from a bridge). Highly illegal and unless you are under the cover of darkness high potential to get caught. You can also hike in from the hellroaring trailhead, but its hard to be sneaky with your boat for the 1-2mile hike.
3. No permits are issued in YNP, so none needed. But you might want to get a lawyer on retainer first. Below Gardiner, no permits needed and some fun class III water.

In case you can't tell, you will be breaking the law if you run Hellroaring and I highly discourage from doing so. American Whitewater has long been trying to open some of the rivers in Yellowstone and illegal runs work against that goal.
 

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I guided on the Yellowstone for a bit and if you didn't feel like breaking the law, you have a couple cool options starting in Gardiner...

1) The town section. Put in at the river access in town and take out at either the airport or Brogan's Landing. This is a stretch with some fun features but pretty approachable, depending on the water level.

2) Yankee Jim Canyon. Put in at Joe Brown or Slip n' Slide and take out at Carbella. Good for some fun in the canyon, again depending on the water level, and you can lap the whole thing running shuttle a few times in an afternoon. Above 15,000cfs the canyon just keeps getting cooler.

There is a pretty big chunk of flat water separating them. We had lots of time to chill and have lunch with rafts, and there is little island you can hang at.

As far as multi-day stuff, I'm not sure what most people do after Carbella. Once you get out of Yankee Jim, it's pretty much all flat water with lots of access points throughout the valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@gnarsify thanks for the beta, that is why I am asking because I do not know the extent of the boating in Montana. I know you can do the Yellowstone below Gardiner but did not know if you could do above, my intent is to be fully legal and enjoy my time on the river.

Below Gardiner is that class III play boat or more river runner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@MorgP thank you , this really helps, I am looking for multi day. I am mostly a Grand Canyon river runner, and an east coast kayaker, so I am looking for more river running out west.
 

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@gnarsify thanks for the beta, that is why I am asking because I do not know the extent of the boating in Montana. I know you can do the Yellowstone below Gardiner but did not know if you could do above, my intent is to be fully legal and enjoy my time on the river.

Below Gardiner is that class III play boat or more river runner?
I'm not a kayaker (I push rubber) so I can't get into the nuances of what style kayak is best but there are some play holes. Yankee Jim has three named rapids and at high water (which you might catch the tail end in late June), remind me of some of the roaring 20's rapids in The Grand. Nothing too technical, but around 12,000cfs and up it gets pushy. As MorgP said, above 15,000 it gets real fun and exciting. It is short though, especially at higher flows.

@MorgP thank you , this really helps, I am looking for multi day. I am mostly a Grand Canyon river runner, and an east coast kayaker, so I am looking for more river running out west.
I run several multi-day trips a year on the 'stone. It does mellow out substantially after Yankee Jim and might be a tad boring in a kayak. Lot's of fisherman and recreationalists in Paradise Valley but the views are stunning and there are several good campsites. Montana stream access laws are pretty liberal, so you can more or less camp anywhere below the high water line. But if you're looking for adrenaline pumping lines, the Yellowstone is not the place to be. If you are looking for a mellow camping trip and some fishing it can be hard to beat for a front-country float. Below Livingston, there are a couple of fun play waves (not a kayaker but I do river SUP occasionally), Mr. Bubbles just below Springdale is probably the best and well known play wave.

I live in the area and run the Yellowstone a lot, so let me know if you need any more beta or have questions. I'll answer as best I can.
 

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@hp1cart Not a multi-day but...you could always plan to car camp and hit the Snake in Jackson, run up and lap the Yellowstone, and then run the Gallatin outside of Bozeman. Like gnarsify, I'm not a kayaker, but that would get you through some fun spots on 3 western rivers and cut out lots of flat water time. Not sure if that helps, but I figured I'd put it out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@MorgP and @gnarsify thanks for the beta, I am looking for just a float this time. As I enjoy not only kayaking but also pushing rubber, I am used to the Zotars in the canyon. One last thing if you guys know anyone selling theirs please let me know , I am starting to look for the whole compilation. Thanks all again.
 
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