Best Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing in Montana

This list represents the most popular flatwater kayaking & canoeing in Montana. Use this list to plan your next Montana flatwater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Kootenai River: Canadian border to the Idaho border


This big, clear river courses through heavily-forested mountains, providing good fishing and excellent scenery along the way. Scenes from the movie "The River Wild" were filmed here. The river is mo…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Eureka, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 100 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Missouri River: Three Forks to the Montana-North Dakota border


The river that carried Lewis and Clark across much of Montana is a trout-filled mountainous stream in its upper reaches and a broad, scenic prairie river in its lower two-thirds. This is a trip throug…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Three Forks, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Various
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Yellowstone River: Wyoming boundary to North Dakota boundary


The longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, the Yellowstone tumbles down a mountain valley, traverses prairie grasslands and meanders through cottonwood groves on its way to meeting the Mis…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Gardiner, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Marias River: From Two Medicine River and Cut Bank Creek to the Missouri River


The isolated Marias River originates east of Glacier National Park and features spectacular badlands and sandstone cliffs reminiscent of the Missouri River. Its suitable for beginners its entire leng…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Cut Bank, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 170 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Clearwater River: Clearwater Lake to the Blackfoot River


This aptly named river flows through pine forests and mountain meadows with the famous Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and the towering Mission Mountains to the west. Its mostly a Class I river…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Seeley Lake, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 46 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Flathead River, Main Stem: Confluence of the Middle and North forks to the Clark Fork


This wide river with aquamarine waters flows tranquilly past the spectacular Mission Mountains. Its almost all Class I water except for a whitewater section (Buffalo Rapids) with Class III and IV rapi…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Hungry Horse, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 158 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Whitefish River: Whitefish Lake to Stillwater River


Note: See Trail Review (below) for updated info on this river run. The slow-moving Whitefish River meanders past grassy meadows and willow-lined banks, providing a quiet escape close to town. A Class…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Whitefish, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 26 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Clark Fork River: Warm Springs Creek to the Montana-Idaho border


The Clark Fork starts out small, but exits the state as Montana's largest river. It meanders through pastures and woodlands with Interstate 90 paralleling much of its route. The river is mostly Cla…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Warm Springs, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 333 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Blackfoot River: Anaconda Creek to the Clark Fork River


The Blackfoot is a glacial stream, lined with large rocks, that occasionally gets squeezed into short canyons. The result is a dashingly beautiful stream that provides outstanding whitewater excitemen…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Lincoln, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 132 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. South Fork Flathead River: Confluence of Danaher and Youngs Creeks to the Flathead River


The South Fork is a fairy-tale wilderness river that flows through the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, with crystal clear waters, native cutthroat trout, and an occasional grizzly bear. The r…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Hungry Horse, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 100 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Sun River: Gibson Dam to the Missouri River


The Sun River starts in a deep canyon, runs through prairie grasslands and finally meanders past cottonwood bottoms on its way to the Missouri. In the upper river, horizontal upthrusts create ledges o…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Augusta, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 101 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Dearborn River: Scapegoat Mountain to the Missouri River


Crystal-clear waters rush through narrow canyons with sheer walls and spectacular rock formations on this highly scenic small stream. Its Class I and II water, with rock gardens, rapids and sharp dro…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Augusta, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 67 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Madison River: Wyoming border to the Jefferson River


Montana's most famous fishing river, the rapid-flowing Madison cuts a beautiful swath through a broad valley, passing by lush meadows and broken timber. The river is all Class I except for two section…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Three Forks, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 133 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Jefferson River: From Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers to the Madison and Gallatin Rivers


Once traversed for its entire distance by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Jefferson meanders peaceably through thick cottonwood bottoms while providing good fishing and excellent wildlife viewing.…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Trident, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 83 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. North Fork Flathead River: Canadian border to the Middle Fork


Born of glacial torrents, the North Fork of the Flathead flows wild and pure out of Canada and then rushes southward 58 miles through Montana, forming the western boundary of Glacier National Park. Th…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Cabin Creek, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 58 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Big Hole River: Skinner Lake near Jackson (MT) to Jefferson River


Amber waters flowing over cobbled bottoms and through scenic valleys create on of Montana's most famous fishing rivers. Swift flows, numerous snags, and obstructions make this river too difficult for…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Jackson, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 156 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone: Montana border to the Yellowstone River


East of Yellowstone National Park in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains, the Clarks Fork meanders through isolated cottonwood groves and beautiful prairie country. This river is Class I for its…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Belfry, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 73 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Ruby River: South of Alder to the Beaverhead River


This small, sinuous stream snakes its way through the historic Ruby Valley, providing excellent fishing along its way. Its Class I all the way. Practiced beginners can handle this river at low flows…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Twin Bridges, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 103 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Smith River: Its confluence to the Missouri River


One of Montana's premier floating streams, the Smith River cuts a narrow swath through a spectacular canyon. Its colorful cliffs, abundant wildflowers, outstanding wildlife, and excellent fishing brin…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
White Sulphur Springs, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 125 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Beaverhead River: Clark Canyon Dam to Jefferson River


Sinuous and serpentine with a jungle of vegetation, the Beaverhead meanders through rock canyons and broad valleys. High interest for Lewis and Clark aficionados. Excellent birdwatching or waterfowl h…
From the guidebook "Paddling Montana"
Dillon, MT - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 80 miles
Published by Falcon Guides