Best Canoeing in Montana

Trying to find the best canoeing in Montana? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


Idaho, Fremont County

06 :53 hrs
15.3 mi
6.3637695 ft

Henry's Lake is located in Fremont County off Highway 87 and near Highway 20. The lake is situated on the Yellowstone plateau ecregion of Idaho, and the area offers beautiful vistas of the surrounding Henry's Lake Mountains. A dam built in 1923 for irrigation purposes enlarged Henry's Lake, and it is now a common stop for visitors. The lake averages about 12 feet in depth, has 14 miles of shoreline, and is 6,500 surface acres when full. Cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout are known to be stocked in the water. There is also a $5.00 day use fee required. Facilities & services in the area include boat ramps/docks, parking, drinking water, grocery stores, lodging, hotels, trails, dining, restrooms, and campsites.


Idaho, Valley County

01 :48 hrs
4 mi
8.9991455 ft

Warm Lake is located in Valley County with beautiful scenery of the surrounding Salmon River Mtns and Boise National Forest. The lake is home to one of the best summer recreation spots in Idaho with an abundance of wildlife. Some of the many activities that can be done here are; boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, canoeing and kayaking. The lake is also surrounded by a number of facilities & services that include Lakeshore Summer Home Area, Warm Lake Recreation Site, Warm Lake Lodge Campground, Shoreline Boat Ramp, Picnic Point Campground, North Shore Lodge Recreation Site, Shoreline Drive Summer Home Area, and Kinney Point Summer Home Area. There is also a swimming pool located nearby called Billy Rice Public Swimming. Rainbow, cutthroat, lake and bull trout are stocked in the water.


Wyoming, Teton County

02 :42 hrs
3 mi
0.72021484 ft

This section of the Yellowstone Lake shoreline provides paddlers with numerous opportunities to view the thermal activity of the Yellowstone region. The route travels along the West Thumb Geyser Basin where multiple hot springs and geysers can be viewed from the water. Paddlers can then paddle even further to Potts Hot Spring Basin, another less-visited area of geysers and hot springs. Shore access to the hot springs and geysers is not allowed. There are also areas along the route where fishing is not allowed. Afternoon winds on the lake can cause rough waters so leaving early in the day and staying close to the shore is strongly advised.


Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

06 :36 hrs
7.3 mi
1.6813965 ft

Leaving from Sedge Bay and heading south, paddlers follow the eastern shoreline of scenic Yellowstone Lake. Tree-lined shores and rock cliffs along this stretch of the lake provide great scenery and wildlife viewing opportunity. For paddlers wishing to cover the whole distance from Sedge bay down to Meadow Creek an overnight stay is recommended as afternoon winds create rough waters for paddling long distances. There are multiple campsites along this route for overnight use.


Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

10 :20 hrs
11.5 mi
1.3999023 ft

This trip follows the south shores of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake to a protected bay at Wolf Point. This trip is best done as an overnight trip as afternoon winds can cause unfavorable paddling conditions late in the day and there are multiple campsites available along the route. There are great opportunities for viewing diverse landscapes along this section of the lake as well as abundant wildlife.


Montana, Missoula County

01 :25 hrs
3.1 mi
2.4868164 ft

Following this stretch of the Clearwater River which is located just upstream from Seeley Lake offers excellent bird and wildlife viewing. This is a slow-moving section and is popular for photography. There are no rapids but watch for downfall trees. The river empties into Seeley Lake where you can take-out at the Ranger Station. It’s a short one mile hike back to the put in parking if you haven’t arranged a shuttle.


Montana, Chouteau County

21 :04 hrs
47.1 mi
39.328796 ft

This section also knows as the “White Cliffs” area is the most popular floated segment of the upper Missouri River. It is part of the 149-mile National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The river flows through a deep canyon of white-colored sandstone with towering 300 foot cliffs. Passing through 3 famous Lewis and Clark campsites where petro glyphs can still be seen and some old buildings from the early 1900’s. The well known “Hole-In-The-Wall” is located along this stretch. There are plenty of campsites that the BLM has designated.


Montana, Glacier County

02 :18 hrs
5.1 mi
21.973145 ft

This backcountry lake is the easiest to access in the park and is stunning. You can access by paddling across Swiftcurrent Lake and up the channel that connects Lake Josephine to Swiftcurrent Lake or park along Many Glacier Road and hike the easy 200 yards to the lake. Mt. Gould, Allen Mountain and Grinnell Point all tower above the beautiful lake. A self-certification form is required for all hand-propelled watercrafts. These permits are available at ranger stations, and visitor centers.


Montana, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County

02 :45 hrs
3.1 mi
2.4742432 ft

This high mountain lake is surrounded by the Flint Creek Range to the north and the Pintlers to the south. Campsites are available around the lake. Good opportunities to see moose, birds and other wildlife while paddling along the shores.


Montana, Flathead County

02 :22 hrs
2.6 mi
2.4907227 ft

Ashley Lake glimmers with an emerald colored hue that is stunning. Its color is due to unique sediment from the incoming creek. There is a swimming area, picnic tables, fire rings and restrooms available. Paddlings along these west shores are quiet as you enjoy the unique beauty of this lake.

See more adventures..

Explore complete list