Upper Missouri Breaks

We are kayaking from Coal Banks to Judith Landing and have read the BLM information, but no mention is made of overnight storage of fresh trash and food. I have e-mailed BLM in Fort Benton for information, and hopefully they can advise or reassure. We are carrying mainly freeze dry paks, but want to carry (if space permits) veggie sticks and fresh (and if not, dried) fruits. We plan to camp at either hole in the wall (no trees) or the primitive site 6 miles below that (if we make good progress where there are cottonwood trees. What’s the best way to carry the close to 6 gallons of water we plan to take. What’s the best shuttle operator – we haven’t yet confirmed any. I am not on facebook so cannot get info on recommended source.

Great Trip
We did Wood Bottom to Kipp in July. The camping at Hole In The Wall was great. They have shelters if the weathewr gets bad. There are lots of mice there I could hear them chewing the wood at night. If your canoeing five gallon buckets work great. If kayaking hang the bags or take them in the tent, we never had problems.

We used John Lulf’s Shuttle Service don’t remember the name. 1-406-622-3652 home,1-406-564-0723 cell. Great people.

Definitely eat at the cafe in Loma Great food! Great people!! Some of our group asked to buy tortillas, they forgot theirs. The Owner got some of his wife’s outstanding homemade tortillas, since they weren’t cooked he got a small skillet from home said give it to John he’d get it back.

20 tortillas—$5

Outstanding breakfast----$8

Country style service with a smile----PRICELESS.

For water jugs I use the soft Nalgenes and reuse 2 liter soda bottles so I they are easy to pack in and move to balance the boat. If gallon jugs will fit in your boat buy a couple at the store and use them first.

Do the Neat Coulee hike.

You’ll have a great trip.


You could do as fastidia as one night, two better, 50 evento better. Since u r in a kayak…yard liter bottles…4-5 per day each. Hang. Food from three limbs it side of shelter If worried about mice, squerrels, coons etc. All shuttle. aré good

food and water
Bring a water pump or other device to purify water and save 50 pounds. Plan on carrying your trash with you. Wine in a box is a winner.

A few ways to handle water
Others with more local knowledge than I will have better advice, but if I’m not mistaken, that stretch of water is pretty silty, and will soon plug most backpacking pump/filters.

Veterans of that trip have suggested:

a. carrying your own water, as you may be planning

b. carrying an empty 5-gal bucket which you fill at the end of each day and let settle overnight, then pump/filter in the morning

c. filtering river water with a cloth vacuum-cleaner bag

d. use powdered alum to quickly remove the silt from river water:


Let us know how you fare; that river trip is on my list!

In fact, a few years ago, my wife and I drove about 40 miles along that stretch of river on the Missouri Breaks Backcountry Scenic Byway in our VW Camper van. Had lunch at Woodhawk Bottom, which we were told was a Lewis & Clark campsite:


Good luck!



Successful Trip!
Thanks to all. We used John Luff – great service, school teacher for 41 years, retired. Tried Loma cafe, hit it on a bad day; others also recommended the restaurant. 26 7th graders and teacher and chaperone scheduled to sleep over at Hole in the Wall that night – decided to paddle on to Slaughter River Developed Camp site. Did 35 miles that day. Beautiful night, clear. 40 mph west wind predicted next day. Early start, rosy morning, did rest of 12 miles and got to Judith Landing before the winds started up in the morning. Had water to spare – hosts at both camp sites very helpful. Great paddle, wished we had tried it to Kip Landing. Has anyone who has been there this year encountered any prairie rattle snakes? Saw as many warning signs as alligator signs in Florida. No mice but ranger said that they have the fattest coyotes in the country because of the mice. No racoons or other food supply predators. Want to try Green River Utah next year. May use the letting water sit overnight/then filtrate method for that trip.

Food, water, and shuttle
My son and I made just that trip a few years ago, and it remains my favorite. I was not aware of any bear reports in that area, but I am anything but an expert. My son lives there and is a good deal brighter than I am, and he did not see fit to hang our food. We did, however, seal it up against raccoons. I love those heavy duty, collapsible, blue water jugs that REI carries, at least here in the east - haven’t checked the one in Bozeman. We used a fellow in Coal Landing - sorry, don’t remember his name - but he did exactly what he said he would for a reasonable price, not cheap, but reasonable. If I come p with his name, I will reply again. Have a great time!

mighty mo
I made the trip from Benton to Kipp Bridge about 1999. After the spring floods are over the river is not that silty. We saw no rattlesnakes, but did not look for them. There is little habitat to support bears. Lots of other wildlife especially bighorn sheep on the lower part of the river below the Judith.

Bring an old sheet for tail winds. A canoemaran is a site to behold with twin roostertails, and all you have to do is steer.

We did our own shuttle, but it took 8 hours. Met some great people out there is the Breaks country.

Upper Missouri
I did this trip in June 2005. We used Adventure Bound out of Fort Benton for our shuttle, and I would recommend them.

You have to pack out all trash and your human waste. Although there were 2 or 3 campgrounds with pit toilets along the way. You can carry a portable toilet system, but we took the “wag bags”. The outfitter sells them.

The river is way too silty to filter, plus there’s the ag run off and the 5000 cows you’ll see standing in the river. We carried three Reliance hard sided water jugs. I think each is 6 gallons and they fit nicely under the canoe seats.

We also took along a small cooler with some fresh foods. No concerns about bears on this stretch. I think we stashed the cooler under the canoe every night, and we never had any trouble.