In early spring, the Big Blackfoot River is a fun Class III river, with splashy whitewater. Mid to late summer, the Blackfoot River is ideal for clients who are leaning more towards a scenic float trip, with a few small rapids in between the calm sections.
There is quite a bit of history surrounding the Blackfoot River. It was made famous by Norman Maclean’s book, A River Runs Through It, and an acclaimed movie followed. The Blackfoot Valley provides critical habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals including grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, moose, elk, osprey, bald eagles, and pileated woodpeckers. The Blackfoot River is also a blue ribbon trout stream providing habitat for fish species such as bull and cutthroat trout, as well as rainbow and brown trout.
The Big Blackfoot River area was on the route between the Great Plains and the Continental Divide. The Nez Perce name for the Blackfoot is Cokahalishkit, which means ‘river of the road to the buffalo’. Capt. Meriweather Lewis and nine soldiers followed this trail on their return trip of discovery in 1806 after learning of the route from the Nez Perce of Idaho.
In 2008, the Milltown Dam was removed at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers. After 100 years of being dammed the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers were free-flowing again allowing people to float two rivers in one day.