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Upper Missouri National Wild & Scenic River, Montana

May 8 - May 15

Upper Missouri National Wild & Scenic River, Montana

8 Days     May 8th    thru   May 15th       150 river miles   Class 1  it is an ACA trip

It is 777 miles from, Denver to the put in at Fort Benton

Contact Trip Coordinator Mat Bozek at matbozekx@gmail.com to register

 

We will be camping 7 nights on the river.  This is the famous “White Cliffs” / “Missouri Breaks”

Section of the Missouri River.   No little kids, no dogs, NO WHINING allowed.

 

Mandatory equipment will include an alarm clock for each tent.  Yes, an alarm clock! for the mandatory 8 AM start each day.  This section is known for high upriver winds, and we will be on the water each day by 8 AM so as to get to camp by early afternoon to avoid the worst of the winds.   Aside from high winds, other hazards include rattlesnakes, ice cold water, falling cottonwood branches, soft crumbly rock (on hikes) and all the usual other hazards of river travel, as well as some (minor) potential for spring blizzards.

 

We will be camping in a mix of “primitive” and “developed” boat camps (and potentially just bushwhack camping if necessary).   River toilets are mandatory, except that WAG Bags are an acceptable alternative if you put them into a waterproof container.  Everyone will be responsible for their own Poo – No S***!.  I’m not hauling yours.  The river water is not fit for drinking, even if filtering, as it contains agricultural runoff of fertilizers and pesticides (and it’s not known as The Big Muddy for nothing).  Everyone is required to carry enough drinking water for the full trip.  I expect to carry 7 gallons myself – ½ gal for first and last days and a full gallon for each day between.  Recommended is a gallon per person per day.   At 8 lbs/gallon, that 56 pounds to start with (per person, at least).

 

I hope to get to camp early enough to allow time for some hiking in the afternoons.  I am planning on 6 camps and 6 travel days, with one day in reserve to use as a layover, or makeup day if needed.  May is the highest flow rate, so I anticipate a fair current – expect to paddle at least one or two 30 mile days, which means you need to be in good enough physical condition to paddle (not float) for 6 to 8 hours each day. If the current is flowing at 2 mph and we paddle at 3 mph, that’s 5 mph and 6 hours of actual paddling time to cover 30 miles.  Could be more or less depending on conditions.

 

The shuttle service in Ft. Benton has a 10 passenger van – we may have to adlib if there will be more drivers. We may opt to do our own shuttle if we arrive at Ft Benton soon enough   We may need to use two shuttle services, or maybe pre-shuttle some of our vehicles.  Depending, shuttle service will cost a minimum of $40 per driver – could be double that or more)  The shuttle is 150 miles one-way, which is why I prefer to use a shuttle service.

 

FEES:  aside from the shuttle fees, you should bring enough cash to pay for camping at the pay campgrounds if we are forced to use them (varies from $5 to $12 per site)

BLM River Trip Fees = $4 per person per day = $28 per person – we will pay at the Coal Banks Landing ranger station..

Details

Start:
May 8
End:
May 15