Glacier NP paddling

I’m starting to plan my paddling destinations for next year, and I just picked up a new guidebook about paddling in Glacier NP. I went to the GNP website and it looks like all boating, both motorized & non-motorized is suspended indefinitely due to AIS concerns. Anyone have any info on this? Adding some GNP paddling after a Yellowstone trip looks like a nice idea so I’m bummed if this extends into 2017. Here’s what was on the website.

Date: November 10, 2016

Contact: Lauren Alley, 406-888-5838

In response to the recent detection of invasive mussel populations in central Montana, Glacier National Park is issuing an interim boating closure within all park waters, in accordance with the park’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Action Plan. The closure includes both motorized and hand propelled watercraft.

The 2014 plan calls for this immediate closure when invasive mussels are detected within a waterway in the State of Montana, as was announced on November 9 by Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

The park will begin an assessment period to conduct testing, inspect park boats, and evaluate the risk boats pose to park waters and waters downstream from the unintended introduction of invasive mussels. The assessment will likely include the evaluation of further tests of waters across the State of Montana during the summer of 2017. The closure will remain in place during the assessment period, which will extend until the nature of the threat is better understood.

Yellowstone Lake
n the Snake River past Moose WY beat Glacier waters.

there are checkpoints

I drove out
to the West Coast this summer and stopped in GNP, first time visit. Paddled on Lake McDonald with my SOF. It was a good day. I went through 4 boat inspections in Montana, Idaho. The inspectors were not so concerned about kayaks as they don’t stay “parked” in the water. They really pinged the out of state boats with a “ring around the collar” at the water line.

To bad about the muzzles getting in up there, I don’t think we can stop the damn things.


– Last Updated: Nov-13-16 4:51 PM EST –

Glacier after a Yellowstone trip. No need to travel further to Glacier if we cán't paddle there. Maybe Flathead Lake or some other Montana lakes?

wow lookit that Lake !

if you do rivers, Yellowstone above Pompeii’s Pillar on down is a good trip

the Yellowstone has an Amtrack hsuttle. Wudbe in here for a search.

Have you considered SW Alberta?
You may wish to consider Waterton Lakes and Cameron Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada. It’s the northern extension of Glacier National Park, MT. There are nearby lakes (and relatively easy whitewater venues) nearby: Police Outpost Lake, Payne Lake, Belly and St. Mary’s River. Hiking, biking options, too. For smaller nearby lakes consider Beaver Mines and Beauvais Lake south of Pincher Creek. Just 1 hour north is highway 3 which leads you into BC and other paddling, hiking, bicycling venues such as the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. Mountain bike on ski trails, fly fish in the national and provincial forests above the town, hiking trails abound. Clear, cool, dry summers. Do Crowsnest Lake, right on the boundary – clear, cold, subject to fetch. Less crowded and with fewer harassed travelers, this section of the Canadian Rockies offer a lot of outdoors adventurers and is less visited by visitors.

Doesn’t give you the bragging rights of Glacier, but you may find yourself returning – no way you’ll be able to do everything that region promises in a summer.

If you want a kayaking & canoing/camping adventure, have you considered the Upper Missouri Breaks from Fort Benton to Kipp Recreation Area? The Bureau of Land Management produces a great section by section waterproof guide ($15 - several years ago)of the section from Fort Benton to Judith Landing. Many outfitters on the latter stretch.

Alberta (and BC) check all boats coming into the province. Waterton Lakes is also in Glacier NP, so the Canadians may reciprocally close Waterton Lakes – check.

And the Canadian loonie is down – .75 to the American dollar.

Been spending my summers in the lower Canadian Rockies for over 16 years, e-mail me if you wish more information about paddling places. For whitewater instruction contact Chuck Lee in Pincher Creek and the instructors at High Level Canoe & Kayak in Lethbridge. Both outfits rent boats.

I’ve been whitewater rafting for 20 years and I’m now making the change to flat water kayaking. So many wonderful places to explore.

Lake Powell & parts of the lower Colorado in Nevada/Az/Cali for the spring & fall. Yellowstone & points north for the warmer months.

I’ll be spending the cold, snowy days of winter here in Utah studying guide books, maps, and picking the brains of paddler folks.

Another MT possibility to consider
is Holter Lake near Helena (“Gates of the Mountains”)some beautiful scenery also. Just an FYI.

All of the above posts under the user name ewharper74 are actually mine. I started this thread before the switch and it disappeared. Now it has reappeared, but under the wrong user name.

Sure hope this closure doesn’t last. Kintla Lake, Two Medicine, and Lake McDonald are 3 of the prettiest places I’ve dipped a paddle.

I never dipped a paddle in Glacier but didn’t mind. The scenery and the hiking was awesome…

@kayamedic said:
I never dipped a paddle in Glacier but didn’t mind. The scenery and the hiking was awesome…

You need to, Kim, it’s an incredible place to paddle, if a bit dizzying; In Kintla, the water is so CLEAR it made me feel dizzy looking into the depths… Think Superior but CLEARER

We were there no one was boating… the winds were high… even the tour boats weren’t operating
We might go back next summer. We are dragging a canoe across Canada to paddle the Yukon and Alaska… Glacier is on the way home. Nice pix!

@kayamedic said:
We were there no one was boating… the winds were high… even the tour boats weren’t operating
We might go back next summer. We are dragging a canoe across Canada to paddle the Yukon and Alaska… Glacier is on the way home. Nice pix!

I remember a few days the wind was really high and it would have been ugly to paddle. As I recall, we WERE the only canoe paddlers and only paddlers period except for a few Rec kayaks on Lake McDonald? I would love to see the other side, in Canada sometime!

Its quite interesting in Waterton. The campground is very nice and you walk to town… Campground is right on the water. Great boat cruise down to Goat Haunt. We saw half a dozen grizzlies.