Upper Missouri River, Montana
June 28-July 5, 2021
Initiated by Peg Davis 
pegdavis at u dot arizona dot edu
Text 520.628.8985
This 149 mile paddle passes through Wild, Scenic and recreational sections. We leave from the town of Fort Benton, Montana where we will camp the night before, then paddle to Kipp Recreation Area at the Route 191 bridge. Use kayaks or canoes. I have paddled this stretch before and enjoyed it greatly. Check our the Upper Missouri Breaks Nat. Mon. BLM Web map & Info here

Trip schedule:
Day 1. Monday, June 28: Shuttle the vehicles to the take out at Kipp. If we leave at 6 AM, we should be back by noon and can launch around 1 PM. This requires full boat packing completed on Sunday.
Launch and float to Little Sandy CG (developed) and camp.  This is an easy day to shake out the boats and gear.

Day 2/3.  Tuesday/Wednesday.  We float to Eagle CG (developed) which is 10 miles and stay at Eagle two nights.  Plenty of time to hike, explore, photograph.
Day 4.  Thursday. Float to Hole in the Wall CG (developed) and stop to hike and explore.  Continue down river to either Pablo CG (primitive) or Slaughter CG (developed).

Day 5. Friday.  Float to Judith CG (developed).  Probably be there around noon.  People who can only do a short trip will pull out as planned.  When ready we continue down river.  Probably camp along the river. 

Day 6. Saturday. Float to Gist CG (primitive) area and camp.

Day 7. Sunday.  Float to Lower Woodhawk CG (developed) area and camp.

Day 8.  Monday. Float to Kipp CG (developed) and pull out. Some will need to drive to the put in to pick up the shuttle car.

Actual camping sites used will depend on how we paddle, weather and places we stop to explore. Takeouts can be through deep mud, so use footwear that can’t be pulled off. Prepare for highs of 90, lows of 50, heavy rain, blazing sun and strong winds, though usually, the weather is lovely.

The river usually moves at around 3 mph so 6 hours of floating would move us 18 miles without paddling at all.

If you look at the Boater’s Guides or any Montana guides for the Upper Missouri River, you will see lots of interesting spots along the river you might want to stop and explore: natural history, old homestead sites, Lewis & Clark campsites.  

The developed campsites all have toilets and the primitive sites have nothing (so Wagbags needed).  We are not required to use existing camp sites but we will if they are clean and not crowded.

YOU CANNOT DRINK RIVER WATER even if you filter or boil it because of agricultural pollutants. Carry a minimum of one gallon a day/person in your boat. I will let you know if there will be any refill sites we pass, but be prepared.

There are no rapids along this river. Risks are high winds and rain storms. I will stop for either. If you have not done a long boat trip before, this is a good introduction. You will need all camping, eating and personal gear to keep you comfortable for eight days since we pass through NO towns. Wearing a PFD is required at all times on the river. Covid safety CDC guidelines, whatever they are at the time, will be followed. 

If your vacation time is limited, we can arrange for you to leave at Judith Landing on the fifth day, but decide before June 27. This complicates the car shuttle.

Bonus day! Tuesday, July 6. I want to float the 15 mile flatwater section from Carter Ferry fishing access to Fort Benton. Camping and car shuttle planned on the 5th.

Please contact me with any questions.