2 Rivers + 2 Hours = Missoula Fun

By JASON SHREDER

There are some great river towns out there.  Many towns, such as Boise, Asheville, and Bend boast great river opportunities in or close to town and seem to attract folks who put recreation on a pedestal over work.  Missoula falls right into place with these towns but certain opportunities separate Missoula from the rest.

Brennan’s Wave, located in the heart of downtown Missoula adds a “cool factor” to Missoula and just upstream the icy cold Rattlesnake creek pours into the Clark Fork River.  If you continue to navigate upstream on the Clark Fork River you will discover one of the best gems in the State of Montana:  The Blackfoot River.

For years, the Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers wanted to be friends but were separated by Milltown Damn.  In 2012, the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers flowed freely for the first time in more than a century.  This was a game changer for local river recreationist.  Now, folks can put in on the Blackfoot River and float right through the confluence and directly to downtown Missoula.

Clark Fork River Missoula Montana photo by Jason Shreder

Thumbs up to Missoula’s Clark Fork River. Photo by JasonShreder.

Putting in at Weigh Scales (last fishing access site on the Blackfoot River) and floating to Silver Park (last take out in downtown Missoula) is a true gem.  Here are some reasons why you should consider this when you come visit Missoula:

  1. Float takes less than 2 hours and is short and sweet
  2. Great for all ability levels and ages (consult a local outfitter before you go)
  3. Can float 2 rivers in 1 trip
  4. Plenty of places to stop and have a riverside picnic
  5. Float through Hellgate Canyon
  6. See downtown Missoula from a different perspective
  7. Get to float through the legendary Brennan’s Wave
  8. Great view of the University of Montana
Blackfoot River Photo by Jason Shreder

Kayaking the Blackfoot River. Photo by JasonShreder.

Although this is a Class I-II rated section, there are still hazards and it is important that you are personally prepared and responsible before you float.  Any local Missoula raft company or outdoor shop will be happy to give you information on river condition, flows, and steer you in the right direction.

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Visit Jason Shreder's blog archive  The water might be cold, but Jason’s got tons of awesome kayaking posts to keep you warm in his blogarchive.

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Jason Shreder plans to keep on shredding in 2012.

Jason Shreder is the owner of local whitewater company Zoo Town Surfers. He loves Missoula, the great community, and all the awesome water that surrounds it. He’s constantly moving and 90% of that movement involves kayaking, rafting, river surfing, working, and hanging out with his awesomely supportive wife and dogs.