Montana is a state of mythic proportions. It is home to 12 tribes that have lived on the land long before European settlers arrived.
The name Montana is from the Latin for mountainous. There are at least 100 mountain ranges and sub-ranges and from their slopes run hundreds of creeks and rivers. Perhaps the best-known is the Missouri, which starts in southeastern Montana where the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson join. Other legendary rivers include the Yellowstone, Flathead, Bitterroot (made famous by the book and movie The River Runs Through It), the Marias, Kootenay and Clark Fork. Of these, we offer trips on two of the most illustrious – the Clark Fork and Upper Missouri.
For one-day whitewater rafting fun, it’s hard to beat the Clark Fork. Named after William Clark, who, with Meriwether Lewis, led the Corps of Discovery through Montana in 1805 on their way to the Pacific and again in 1806 as they made their way back to St. Louis. Just west of Missoula and not far from the border with Idaho, the Alberton Gorge section of the Clark Fork is one of the state’s most exciting white water rafting trips. Flowing through a roadless canyon, this fun-filled intermediate Class III rafting trip is the perfect summer rafting adventure. It’s also a world-renown fishing river. When the Clark Fork leaves Montana and flows into Lake Pend Oreille, it is the largest river in the state.
Even more well-known is the mighty Missouri, the 15th longest river in the world. It starts in southwest Montana and flows north before turning east for a long transverse across the state to North Dakota and on to the Gulf of Mexico. The name comes from Indigenous Missouri and means “people with wooden canoes.” It flows through mountainous canyons and the spectacular Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. A designated Wild and Scenic River, ROW Adventures offers 3 to 5-day canoe trips through the enchanting White Cliffs section.
Almost all of Montana’s rivers flow from the Rockies, as they run through the state on their way from New Mexico to Alberta and British Columbia. Some of the more colorful names of Montana’s mountain ranges are Anaconda, Bitterroot, Beaverhead, Big Snowy, Flathead, Horn, Judith, Pioneer, Purcell, Rattlesnake, Tobacco Root, Whitefish and Wolf. When winter snows melt in the spring, Montana’s rivers flow.
We invited you to join us in the Big Sky State for some of the best river adventures in the world!