It’s a good thing we have such long days during summer in Bozeman because there’s just so much to do. But for hot, lazy afternoons, the best way to beat the heat is to kick back a little and take to the river for a float. Whether you like to cast a line or two for some trout, or you want to crack a canned cocktail and soak up the sun, here’s where you’ll want to head when the mercury climbs.
A Variety of Rivers to Run
You have plenty of choices when it comes to rivers around here. Even narrowing it down is a struggle, but if you take your pick from the list below, you really can’t go wrong. Here are our favorite floats around.
Bikini Run on the Madison
Put on your best bikini and go for a float that exemplifies sexy Montana rivers on the Mad. Named the Bikini Run for good reason, this stretch is popular with sun worshipers all summer. You’ll want to get plenty of your favorite canned or boxed beverage to stash in the cooler for your float. This run is the top summer party scene, best rounded out with a stop at Norris Hot Springs for dinner, drinks and live music afterward.
The Gallatin River is the roughest water you can find in the region, and it makes for an enjoyable day. This ride is one where it pays to go with a guide who can help you navigate the rollicking rapids—more on that below. The scenery whizzing past, and the adrenaline of splashing water will help you cool down.
The Yellowstone River is some of the clearest water in the country, and it’s a fan fave of floaters, fishers and rafters alike. Enjoy the views and the chance of spotting wildlife in one of the most stunning scenic areas you can find.
Many people can’t imagine how a river named The Missouri could get its start all the way up in Montana, but the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin gives The Mighty Mo its start right here in the Gallatin Valley, just 30 miles outside of Bozeman. Get in some river time along Lewis & Clark’s famed route.
The slow and meandering Jefferson River is a relaxing float through some dramatic countryside. Rocky limestone cliffs rise along the route, and the slow current is perfect for tube floating or kayaks and canoes.
Rentals and Services
There are two ways you can do river time under the Big Sky: you can either DIY or call in the pros. Here are the deets on all the options:
Big Boy Toys + shuttle service
There’s no sense in buying tubes or watercraft if you’re just passing through. You can rent tubes and other boats from outfitters like Big Boys Toys or Canoeing House, and then order up a shuttle from someone like ShuttleSnap. Easy peasy!
You could jump on a trip with a raft guide company that will cater to your every need and get you down the river with an adrenaline-rush twist.
Or enlist a fly fishing guide to make the most out of your river time. This takes the worry out of finding the best holes, the right gear, and the biggest fish; if that fits your Montana goal. RSVP offers an easy opt-in with a package lodging and fishing deal through Fins & Feathers.
Ready to hit the water? Click here to book your stay at the RSVP and take some time out to get your float on before the summer sun gets away.
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