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Canoeing in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

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Canoeing Paddling Montana’s Waters in a Classic Canoe

Paddling Montana’s Waters in a Classic Canoe

Note: As of July 1, 2023, Conservation Licenses are required for everyone age 12 and older to access most state lands, including wildlife management areas, fishing access sites and wildlife habitat protection areas. This requirement does not include state parks. Please recreate responsibly. Learn more here.

Channel the spirits of Lewis and Clark and hop in a canoe for a traditional and relaxing way to explore Western Montana's rivers, lakes, reservoirs and streams. For a real adventure, turn your canoe trip into an overnight camping adventure.

Many of our adventure guides, outfitters, resorts and ranches offer canoe rentals (note that there are many different types of canoes, and there’s a right one for you) and gear like paddles and PFDs. Some also offer guided canoe trips. See our featured business listings below for more information.

Glaciers to Geysers World-Class Snowmobiling

Sled the best of the West in the unreal landscapes and premier small towns between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Plan ahead, play it safe and tread lightly.

Where to Paddle

Most of Montana’s rivers can be run in a canoe, but, like any water sport, the less experienced you are, the flatter you’ll want the water to be. Local outfitters can help you find the best match.

Here are a handful of good places to start:

  • Clearwater River Canoe Trail in the Seeley Valley
  • Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park
  • Flathead Lake
  • Lake Como in the Bitterroot Valley
  • Kootenai River (from Libby Dam to Libby)

PLAY IT SAFE!

Montana river conditions can be dangerous. Be sure to use proper caution, wear a PFD and dress appropriately when hitting the river. Know your limitations, respect the river and exercise proper caution by avoiding rivers when they are running high or during cold weather. Also, be sure to respect property rights and stream access laws. Visit Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for the latest information on stream access.

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.

Featured Listings

Bar W Guest Ranch in Western Montana.

Bar W Guest Ranch

2875 U.S. Highway 93 W.
Whitefish, MT 59937

Paddle Ridge  in Western Montana.

Paddle Ridge

12400 U.S. Highway 2 E.
West Glacier, MT 59936

Other Listings

Action Rentals

  • 1027 Martin Creek Road Olney, MT 59927
  • 406.881.3510
  • Visit Website

Big Arm Boat Rentals and Rides

Crazy Moose Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals

  • 511 W. Main St. Thompson Falls, MT 59873
  • 406.827.3030
  • Visit Website

FLUX Adventure Designs

Lake Five Resort

  • 540 Belton Stage Road West Glacier, MT 59936
  • 406.387.5601
  • Visit Website

RiverView Ranch Retreat & Western Adventures

  • 28800 Southside Road Alberton, MT 59820
  • 406.382.9020
  • Visit Website

Slow Drift Shuttles

Tamaracks Resort

  • 3481 State Highway 83 N., Mile Marker 17 Seeley Lake, MT 59868
  • 406.677.2433
  • Visit Website

The Lakeside Motel & Resort Inc.

  • 2955 State Highway 200 Trout Creek, MT 59874
  • 406.827.4458
  • Visit Website
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