Seeking a Western US Multiday river trip


I’m looking for a multi-day river or river+lake trip in the Western US. I’ve done the Green in Utah (Here: ) and though I’ve thought about the Sacramento and the Willamette I think I’d prefer something a bit more remote.

I’ve no WW experience though so class I-II would be the max I’d be comfortable messing with on a solo and very little of the class II.

Any suggestions?




– Last Updated: Mar-29-13 10:06 AM EST –

I just sat in on a trip report given by some guys who went last summer. I've never been, but it sounds like it might work for you. It's pretty remote, and they emphasized several times that there was nothing over class II except for some gorges that were not necessary to run.

canoe trip

– Last Updated: Mar-31-13 4:49 PM EST –

Upper Missouri, MT 150 miles from Ft Benton to Kipp Bridge.
Green River, UT
John Day River, OR
Snake River, ID
Yellowstone River, MT
North Platte River, WY
Colorado River, CO

Missouri Breaks Montana 3-5+ days

One of the best flat water paddle trips in the Lower 48.

Unchanged since Lewis and Clark. Great camps, sceanery, history, wilflife and more.

how many days ?
two days is “multi-day” so’s 22 days

how long a trip are you looking for? - that makes a diff in what to recommend - I’ll just add a few more suggestions

The Smith River in MT would work - its a permitted river, but you could check for mid-week openings or cancellations (probably not good for mid-summer - might get too low)- generally a 5 to 7 day trip at CII

If you want to see the Southwest canyon country similar to the Green River trip, you could do the Gunnison to Colorado - Put in on the Gunnison R at Delta, CO and take out at Westwater UT - about 50 miles on the Gunnison, and maybe 35 to 40 on the Colorado- one portage around a dam on the Gunnison, and one or two spots of CII - the Colorado from Loma to Westwater (one spot of CII at Black Rocks) is also permitted now, but a mid-week permit isn’t too hard to get - just do a general google search for BLM/ Ruby Horsethief - that could be a 4 or 5 day trip - shuttle servie available

The White RIver from Rangeley CO to Just short of the Ute Reservation lands in UT is an interesting trip - lots of sweepers to avoid, and one CII that can mostly be skirted - generally a 3 day trip

For a different “flavor” of the Green R, you can put in below Flaming Gorge Res and do a 3 day trip with one CIII to portage (world class trout fishery)- shuttle service available

Hi - I’ve been looking into options for out west rivers - the Snake looks promising. There’s also a great one out in Montana - the name escapes me it’s about a hundred miles with only class I’s. Diana

solo trip

– Last Updated: Feb-09-15 3:38 PM EST –

Damn True,
If you really have no WW experience, may I suggest you don't learn how to run Class II rivers in a loaded solo boat by yourself? Dumping your outfit and/or busting up your boat could be catastrophic 50 miles from any help.

The N Platte R in Wyo is a great river for long trips, starting a few miles below the Colorado line.

The Break

I should have been more clear. My bad. 5-8 days works best for my schedule. West of the Rockies I can do a bit longer trip within that span as the drive-time is reduced.

western multi-day canoe trip
For an incredible multi-day trip consider floating the North Platte River from the Saratoga, Wyoming area to the Whalen Diversion Dam just below Guernsey, WY. (340 miles) You need a portage cart with large wheels for the very long portages on secondary roads and 4WD trails. While technically not wilderness, you may go for long periods without human contact. Spectacular scenery, solitude, tremendous variety with flora, fauna and topography. Check the Launch Site Map for descriptions. All class I and easy Class II, or dams. Seasonal flows are averaged out by dam releases. (recommend May through October)

North Platte !
Yes, very good recommendation. I went over a NP trip in Google Maps/ Earth, State Parks, supply and probable shuttle service. All positive factors with apparently a reasonable human environment.

Look at Weather Underground’s almanac for weather. Green River WY has a water park for your practice.

western rivers
Get some movng water experience before running any western rivers, especially without a group of trained people. I led a trip last year on the Willamette R from Eugene to Albany. I only invited people that knew how to paddle, but some had little moving water experience. We ran into a chute with a lot of velocity that had strainers in the runout. We had some swimmers and it could have been bad, even though it was a Class I rated run.

Missouri White Cliffs
I second this suggestion. Go early or late in the season and you won’t see many people at all. There are outfitters in Fort Benton who can pick you up at James Kipp (takeout). Easy 8 day trip. No WW at all. Lots of scenery, off river hikes,