by | July 17, 2019

The Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers merge together just five miles east of Missoula and offer some of the finest rafting and scenic river tours Montana has to offer.  In the heat of summertime, there is nothing more inviting than spending a day on the river. 

Here are three great options for easy float trips here in the Missoula valley. All sections are a great introduction to rafting and are ideal for families with young kids, beginner rafters, or anyone who needs to cool off after a hot day of land-based adventuring! 

Hellgate Canyon Float

This is our classic summertime “town float”! You’ll cruise through dramatic Hellgate Canyon and past the University of Montana, and on down through vibrant downtown Missoula. This is the most popular section for inner-tubers and stand-up paddle-boarders, as well. When you pass through Brennan’s Wave, there’s a good chance you’ll see a flock of colorful local kayakers and river surfers – always excellent entertainment!  

Milltown to Downtown Float

This float allows you to experience two classic Montana rivers in one day! River users put-in on the Blackfoot above historical Milltown, then cruise through the confluence with the Clark Fork River. Floaters pass the site of the old Milltown Dam, through East Missoula, and on toward the hustle and bustle of downtown Missoula proper.

Kona to Harper’s Float

Just a  few miles west, or downstream, of Missoula, this section of the Clark Fork River  boasts abundant scenery on a stretch known for its tranquility, swimming holes, and spectacular bird watching.

Etiquette for River Runners

It’s important to know the local code of ethics for enjoying Missoula’s rivers. Let us know if you have any questions, or if you need a little extra guidance on how to respectfully and safely float our rivers.

  • No glass. If you bring beverages, bring them in cans. Golden rule of the obvious: NEVER, EVER throw your cans or bottles in the river..
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Whatever you bring to the river (or river access) with you must also leave with you. 
  • Change clothes discreetly. Bring a towel or sarong for an easy quick-change privacy shield! 
  • Do not play loud music. Please don’t ruin our wilderness experience with your music. Even though you’re in Montana, not everyone wants to hear pop country on their river trip.
  • Follow the laws and rules of the area that you are using. Educate yourself about the local regulations and norms for the land and water you’re recreating on,
  • Consider taking a few minutes to pick up litter left by others. Taking good care of our rivers is a community effort. Thanks in advance for your help!