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The Blackfoot River is perfect for a whitewater or scenic raft trip with Montana River Guides. What a beautiful river the Blackfoot is,…easy to see why so many locals love it so much. The Blackfoot pours into the Clark Fork River just east of Hellgate Canyon upstream of Missoula. With its headwaters to the north in the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wildernesses, the Blackfoot tumbles out of the mountains, meanders through willow-choked meadows, and picks up speed again as it rushes toward Missoula.
We’ve been guiding the Blackfoot River since 1994 and we teach many of our river rescue classes on the river because it has so many different features at a variety of river levels. At high water in late May and June, the Blackfoot holds big class II and III whitewater with long continuous sections of fast moving rapids with big waves. As the water level drops the rapids become smaller, the Blackfoot’s river rocks reappear creating a fun, technical class II whitewater run that requires precise maneuvering. With its fast-moving currents, clear pools, friendly whitewater, and mountain scenery, the Blackfoot is truly a classic Montana River. Known for legendary dry fly fishing, the Blackfoot was the inspiration for Norman Maclean’s book, A River Runs Through It.
We run several different sections of the Blackfoot, depending on river flows. Missoula kayaking and Pack Rafting are optimal late July through September. We’ll customize the trip and select the float trip best suited for your group. The upper section starts at Harry Morgan and takes out near Russell Gates. We also float from Russell Gates to Roundup, and from Roundup to Johnsrud.
For a more active adventure where you do the paddling, follow your guide down the beautiful Blackfoot in our sit on top kayaks.
Check out the VIDEO of Inflatable Kayaking on the Blackfoot!
Contact Us to Learn More about Custom Trips on the Blackfoot!
With its headwaters atop the Continental Divide at Roger’s Pass, the Blackfoot starts peacefully and picks up speed, power and fun whitewater before it empties into the Clark Fork River east of Missoula, Montana. Flowing 132 miles, the Blackfoot runs through some of the most productive fish and wildlife habitat in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Look for elk, moose, black bear, and mule deer as your float along the Blackfoot’s crystal clear riffles and heart pounding rapids. The tributary streams to the Blackfoot River provide crucial spawning and rearing habitat for the federally listed bull trout and the west slope cutthroat trout. The Valley is at the southern edge of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem which supports the largest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states. The Blackfoot Valley has kept its biological diversity thanks mostly to the ranchers that manage the valley floor.