Flowing through the heart of Missoula, MT, the Clark Fork River offers a unique river experience right in town. We offer two different “Town floats” – the classic Milltown to Downtown is a scenic 7 mile float starting in East Missoula, passing through Hellgate Canyon, a small drop near Jacob’s Island (University of Montana) and then the popular surf wave downtown at Caras Park named Brennan’s Wave. Contact for rates and to book your float trip.
Fly-Fishing in Missoula
Kelly Island – River left, mile 209
Day use only; concrete boat ramp and latrine (at Spurgin Road Access); access for trailers. There are three access points to Kelly Island. Discharge of weapons restricted as posted on-site.
Directions: (1) Spurgin Road Access – Interstate 90 and Reserve Street (Exit 101) in Missoula south on Reserve Street to Spurgin Road, turn right on Spurgin Road, right on Clements Road, left on Spurgin Road to site. (2) Mullan Road Access – Reserve Street to Mullan Road, west on Mullan Road 3.5 miles to Cote Lane, follow signs. (3) Seventh Street Access – Reserve Street to Spurgin Road, right on Clements Road, left on Spurgin Road, right on Humble Ave.
Kona Bridge – River left, mile 205
Day use only; concrete boat launch; latrine. Hunting and/or discharge of weapons prohibited.
Directions: 4.9 miles west of Missoula on Mullan Road to Kona Ranch Road, west 0.9 mile to site.
Deep Creek – River left, mile 200
Day use only; gravel bar boat launch. Hunting and/or discharge of weapons prohibited.
Directions: 4.9 miles west of Missoula on Mullan Road, turn onto Kona Ranch Road and follow signs for about 6 miles.
Harper’s Bridge – River right, mile 200
Day use only; proposed improvements for this undeveloped site include a gravel boat ramp. Hunting and/or discharge of weapons prohibited.
Directions: 8.1 miles west of Missoula on Mullan Road to Harper’s Bridge Road, 1.5 miles to site.
Erskine – River right, mile 190
Day use only; no boat launch (0.5 mile walk to river). Discharge of weapons restricted as posted on-site.
Directions: In Frenchtown, turn south onto Ducharme Street, then west on Mullan Road for 2.2 miles to FAS sign, then south 0.7 miles.
Missoula is one of the best kayaking towns in the United States and is often called a “whitewater mecca.” If you’re a kayaker visiting Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks, or you’re just passing through on a road trip, Missoula is a must stop! Missoula has a world class wave right in downtown Missoula — Brennan’s Wave. Missoula is also within a 2 hour drive of some great whitewater like the Lochsa, Salmon, and Clearwater Rivers, as well as countless other creeks and drainages. You will find that you don’t have to travel very far to find great kayaking when you’re in Missoula. Zoo Town Surfers
Scenic or Whitewater Missoula
Zoo Town Surfers offers custom white water and scenic raft trips. Whether you prefer your trip to be whitewater, scenic, sightseeing, full day, half day or for just a few hours, our professional and friendly staff will help plan your next rafting trip. Missoula rafting is at it’s best with Zoo Town Surfers. Also offered are custom trips to meet your needs.
Rattlesnake National Recreation & Wildeness
This is a 60,000 acre wilderness area located just to the north of Missoula and offers a variety of hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and mountain biking opportunities – all on developed trails.
The southern boundary of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness (RNRAW) is four miles north of Missoula, Montana. There is a trail that takes off from the main trailhead into the National Recreation Area along Rattlesnake Creek to within three miles of a scenic cluster of high alpine lakes in the wilderness. The elevation varies from 3600 feet at the NRA entrance to 8620 feet on McLeod Peak.
The Rattlesnake trailhead is also the start of the best mountain bike riding in Missoula. There is an extensive network of trails which allows for a multitude of loops which can cater to bikers of all skill levels. The largest drainage is the main corridor of the Rattlesnake. There is a wide doubletrack dirt road that follows the creek. Three gulches feed into the main Rattlesnake each of which has its own system of trails. From South to North, these are Sawmill Gulch, Curry Gulch and Spring Gulch. These gulches are all connected to each other. Photo: Chuck Pelly
Pattee Canyon Recreation Area
This 3,200 acre rereation area is located on the east side of Missoula with a 27 mile trail system. Open year round to non-motorized use and is available for day hikes, dog walking, horseback riding, and x-country skiing.
The picnic area offers several individual- and group-sized picnic sites. The roads are paved and the group sites have trash collection receptacles and accessible vault toilets. Drinking water is not available at the picnic area. A host may be on-site during summer months.
Blue Mountain Recreation Area
4,900 acres recreation area offering off-raod trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and ATV enthusiasts. There are also two wheelchair accessible loops, handicap parking and restrooms. Great views on this 41-mile trail system in Missoula.
Clark Fork River, Bitterroot River, Blackfoot River
The Clark Fork runs through the city of Missoula, MT. and is easy to access for fishing, surfing, and rafting.
the Bitterroot River runs 75 miles south through Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley offering superb fishing.
The Blackfoot River has gained fame from the movie “A River Runs Through It” and is excellent fishing.