Missouri or Yellowstone rivers

-- Last Updated: May-06-08 4:16 PM EST --

Ok, my last river I have questions about for an extended canoe trip are the two in the title.

I've just been reading about them and they look good. Anyone done sections? What I was wondering most was:

Difficulty level, especially I read the Missouri is a faster flowing river than the Mississippi.

Again, water quility? Not too much cow poo, or runoff?

It looks like the Mo. is damned and wide through much of the Dakotas, does this make it a lake with no flow? Make it more of less difficult or fun?

I've been to Montana a little and the Dakotas and it looks like the river route is really remote. How many miles do you think a slow paddler would make in a day, and how many days on average between towns to resupply.

Thanks for all your help. This is a good board.

been there done that
I’ve done all the Missouri

and parts of the Yellowstone. I live on the Yellowstone.

Two different rivers.

The MO in Montana is similar to the Yellowstone. A good current, riffles, bends, sand bars, islands, some houses, some cattle land, good sceanary on both. Maybe less crowed on the Yellowstone as far as houses, but the MO has some beautiful sections including Gates of the Rocky Mtns, and the WhiteCliffs section.

There are dams on the MO,you will have to portage. There are only diversion dams on the Yellowstone, You may or may not have to portage depending on water levels.

The Yellowstone is basically the same river its whole route, while the MO is divided into three types of rivers… The Upper is like the Yellowstone as mentioned before. The Middle is the big reservors…and I mean big. Lake Oahe has the same amount of shoreline as the east coast of the USA. The last section of the MO, is the Indusrial section, more towns, factories, pollution, crap, barges, FAST current…about 5-7 mph.

The reservors dont have a current unless your on the ENDS etc. Nothing but big lakes, with lots of wind! I paddled close to 40 miles per day on the Lakes, but the average is about 25-30 etc.

The Yellowstone you can make 40-60 miles per day but most opt not to paddle that hard. Pleanty of camping on both. Dont worry about cattle, its a part of the western culture and what founded the west. You cant avoid seeing cows, except sections of the Missori but they are few and far between. The reservors are LOW as far as water levels…about 50 feet lower than normal due to drought and poor water management by the Army Corp of engineers. There are exposed submerged trees sticking out…can be dangerous especially in the wind, to high center on one that pops up.NOT GOOD!

You can do the Whole Missouri from Three Forks to St. Louis in about two months+ on a steady pace. The Yellowstone you can do in about 20 days.

Email me back if you need more info.

there are plenty of towns but you have to plan, most are limited of supplies, maybe best to send food to post offices general delivery. you can go a week at times between towns.

Some of the GOOD times to resupply for easy access, close to river and have good supplies are

Townsend, Great Falls, Ft. Benton, Wolf Point (Be careful here, its on the indian reservation and you need caution-email me if you want more info) Williston, New Town, Washburn, Bismark, Mobridge, Chamberlain, Yankton, Sioux City, Omaha, Jefferson City, Plattsmouth, Kansas City, Lexington, Glasgow, Booneville, Herman…that should get you there.

The weather dictates your speed. I like to paddle- plus I have a rudder on my canoe which allows be to cover 20% more distance than someone without a rudder.


Question… you have a rudder on your canoe you said, are you referring to the Kruger or did you buy an aftermarket rudder and attach it yourself?

yeah i have a kruger but have paddled other canoes with after market rudders etc

sure saves a lot of time and effort and allows you to paddle 10-17 hours a day and not be trashed when you reach camp.

What’s wrong with WP?
Never felt it was threatening??

whats wp? im lost

Wolf Point

where do you get aftermarket rudders for canoes? How pleased were you with them? Tell me about how they attach and and other info you care to share.


Its also called Stab City in Montana. About 10 years ago it was the highest per capita murder city in th whole usa! I had a friend kayaker get assulted and nearly killed and his teeth kicked in at wolf point. Many i know are shot at by drunk from the bridge during the weekends. Always camp on the south side which is not the reservation…

After market rudders? some of the yak manufactureers will sell their rudders. Ive seen rudders on Minn II, Prisms, Jensen boats, SUndowners to name a few. I think i saw one on an old town tripper once too or similar design.

I’ve lived in Montana since 1961 and never heard of what you are atributing to Wolf Point. As to the north side of the river, I have a cousin who lives on the N side near the bridge, no danger there. My wife’s cousin was the Chrysler dealer there for many years and I was married about 20 miles west of Wolf Point. Guess I just can’t get worried about Wolf Point.