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Bitterroot, Montana

bitterroot Tranquil River Stretch: USA, Montana, Missoula, Bitterroot

What's it like

The bitterroot is a natural river the stretch I describe above runs about 3 mph, filled with birds, deer, not too much traffic other than float fishing boats and rafts. It is canoeable except in high water, sometime around the middle of May to the Middle of June, it changes every year. The safest stretch is between Lolo and Kona Bridge, about 18 miles. There is only one confluenece but it's pretty easy. The most dangerous part of the Bitterroot is the treefalls, in high water the trees can grab you and dump you if you're not careful. I'm old, so I'm also careful, but I still get dumped. The river changes all the time, every rainfall, evach thaw we have, and then when the water drys up, those trees get relly close up.

How to get there

Highway 93 is how to approach most of the Bitterroot River Put in's. There are public parking places at fishing accesses just off Hwy. 93; Bell Crossing and Stevensville Bridge in Stevensville, Forest Service maps will help out too. It's adviseable to check with them on river conditions before canoeing or kayaking early in the year.


Montanans are very friendly, I've never run into any trouble with anyone. You can pass many fisherman while going downstream...

Info source

Celia Grohmann

Nearest weather station (°F):



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