I'm considering a trip on the Marias River and the Missouri from below the reservoir to the confluence at Loma and then onto Judith Landing.
I'll be paddling with my wife in our own canoe in June.
I did the Missou from Ft. Benton to Kipp solo a few years ago. I'd like to get input from others on the Marias River. Have any suggestions for arranging a shuttle? Any suggestions for camping on the Marias or "things to see" along that part of the route?
I did the Loma - Kipp run last year. We used Adventure Bound out of Ft. Benton for our shuttle. They were great, and I think they also do a Marias shuttle trip. Maybe give them a call.
More Info Please
Thanks for the input so far, but it seems my query didn’t get return much info about what I’m most interested in. I used Adventure Bound for my previous trip on the Missouri and I will probably contact them again when I have a better idea of what the Marias is like. I’ve read the account in the Montana guide book by Falcon Publishers but I’d like something more concrete especially about camping on the Marias. Can I find good spots on BLM land? Will I have to be concerned about running into angry ranchers? What about drinking/cooking water on the Marias? Any info on these subjects would be appreciated.
I would contact Adv. Bound to get better details on the river from them. They do some guiding for bigger groups, and they’ll know the river well. Also, call the BLM office for that area. They’ll be able to give you good details as well. Sorry that I don’t have any more specifics, beyond what’s printed in the Falcon Guide.
This river is on the east side of the great divide and it can get very windy. The water can get very cold even in the summer,and it may be muddy at times. There is a book by Curt Thompson titled "Floating and recreation on montanas rivers. It is a must have for montana floaters. I myself much prefer the rivers of western Montana such as the clark fork, the North fork and middle fork of the Flathead, and my fave, The wonderful Lower Flathead
river. This lower section of the Flathead is full of smallmouth bass and the water is quite warm in the summer (up to 85 deg F by july).
The best part of floating this Lower Flathead is the fact that it is on the Rez. and permits are required. So the result is a very pleasant trip with no outfitters or crowds.
You can buy maps when you get here or I will send them to you. You will need Lonesome Lake and Ft. Benton. The public land is clearly marked and occurs about where you need it. We will mark points of interest and do our best to make sure you have all the info you need to have a good trip.
Think of the Marias as a little Missouri river with clear cool water and no people. Its about 60 miles of paddling from Circle bridge to Loma. We did a 4-day guided trip this past season and it worked out just right…on mid morning on the first day, off at noon on the last. Average summer flow is about 620cfs. The current is considerably slower than the Missouri. It is also shallow in places. We went about 7/10. A repeat guy (Hi Stuart if you’re reading this)went from the Circle bridge into the Mo and on to Judith Landing in about a week.
Thanks all for your kind words, it means a lot to us.
Michael & Meredith Gregston
Adventure Bound Canoe