Western Montana River Flows Update: We have been busy teaching Swiftwater Rescue Classes and Raft Guide Schools throughout Montana and as far away as California this spring. Fortunately we have had a normal high-water season on the Blackfoot River and Clark Fork River near Missoula. We monitor USGS River Gauges daily for both rivers.
The Blackfoot River is currently flowing at 6,000 cubic feet per second. This is 10 times the volume of low water in August but less than one third of the volume we experienced during high-water in 2018. At 6,000 ifs the Blackfoot has fun class II and III family whitewater and wonderful scenery. We love floating the Blackfoot River during early season high-water when the Alberton Gorge flows are too high for our raft trips. Our half day trip covers 16 miles and our full day trips cover up to 26 miles at high water on the Blackfoot. We provide complimentary wetsuits and splash gear for our early season trips on cool days.
The Alberton Gorge ranges in flow from under 2000 cubic feet per second at low water up to 60,000 cfs at high flows. It is currently flowing at about 25,000 cfs with high volume big Class III features, powerful eddy lines and hydraulics. Many of the rapids are covered up and disappear at higher flows. But the rapids that remain are spectacular.
Heavy snowpack, cool temperatures and recent rains led to historic flooding near Yellowstone Park earlier in June. Gardiner Montana is located at the North End of Yellowstone Park and home to the best whitewater rafting on the Yellowstone River. Our friends and fellow river guides over there are working hard to repair flood damage get their rafting companies up and running as soon as the Yellowstone river reopens.
Safety Tips: As rivers reopen, alway go rafting with experienced boaters or professional guides. Always know your flows and get a conditions update from a reliable source such as the forest service, FWP, a local boating shop. or outfitter. Wear a life jacket and wetsuit so your ready for a swim in cold spring runoff. Never boat alone, use the buddy system and have a back up plan.
If you would like any additional information on river conditions please give us a call at 406-214-0245.