Three rivers wind through Missoula and lakes lie in every direction, making it the ideal destination for water recreation and fun in the sun.
It’s up to us to keep Missoula’s rivers and surrounding lakes clean, healthy and accessible for all. You can do your part by staying safe and leaving no trace. That means coming prepared with supplies like life vests and sunscreen, and staying up-to-date on current water levels and weather conditions. When it comes to keeping our waters clean, make sure you never bring glass of any kind on the water, pick up after yourself (and others if you spot trash floating by!) and report large amounts of trash to the TrashLine Team.
If you have questions while on the river, look for a river ambassador! These friendly folks hang around the Clark Fork, Bitterroot, and Blackfoot Rivers in the Missoula area between late June and early September, moving between access points, parking and shuttle areas, and sometimes on the river on SUP boards and kayaks. You can come to them with questions about appropriate put-ins and take-outs, river safety, route suggestions and more.
Rivers provide tremendous natural, recreational, and economic benefits to Missoula. Click here to read more and to download your copy of the Downtown River Map.
It wouldn't be a trip to Missoula, or Montana, without a fishing adventure. We've all see the movie, A River Runs Through It, right? Fishing is absolutely central to this community.
Kayaking or canoeing, Missoula is a paradise for the river-sports enthusiast. In fact, Missoula and kayaking go so well together, we built waves to practice on in the heart of downtown.
Lakes near Missoula are great destination areas for water activities, camping and wildlife viewing.
Rafting in Missoula is a thrilling experience. If you like the idea of rafting but you could do without the rapids, not to worry. There are plenty of easy-living, floatable stretches on all three of our local rivers.
Missoula seems to attract rivers like a fish to a fly, but we aren't complaining. If you're visiting Missoula during the warmer months, do like a local and head to the river to fish, float, tube, paddle board, kayak, swim or surf.
Missoula houses one of the only mountain surf shops in the country and thrill seeking ratchets up to a whole new level here as more and more people are choosing to chase the nonstop ride of a rushing river. Watch surfers conquer the water at Brennan's Wave near Caras Park.
Stand up paddle boarding or SUPing for short, is a relaxing way to get out and enjoy Missoula's rivers.
Sign up for our enewsletter
Start planning your vacation. Get our newsletter for must-see adventures, exclusive deals, upcoming events and much more.