The House Rock section of the Gallatin is the whitewater staple for Bozeman area paddlers for much of the spring and summer. The run is roadside, making scouting, shuttle, and bailing extremely easy. You can put in as high as you want for a warm up for House Rock Rapid, the standout rapid on the run. After House Rock is some great class III whitewater that gradually eases. This run is a booming wave train at high flows that will feel Class IV to most folks, and offers some great technical moves at lower flows when the run is more Class III. While the road is omnipresent, the cliff faces along the river make for pretty scenery. A number of commercial outfitters offer raft trips on this section, and it is home to the Gallatin Whitewater Festival in late June.
Photo of House Rock Rapid, courtesy of and copyright by Randy Clark.
The most challenging rapid on the Gallatin requiring a move to the left of the large central boulder (House Rock).
This section is a local favorite of Gallatin Valley paddlers. It can be stompy at high flows and even at the lowest flows is a great backyard run. Play spots are scattered through out at all flows.
I paddled everything from Moose Flats to the Church Camp between 8/1/04 and 8/5/04. The levels varied from 470 to about 650 cfs.
There is enough water at these levels to have an enjoyable time. The Mad Mile, including House Rock, is a whole lot of fun even at these lower levels. Above and below are several miles of class II water. The best section was from Greek Creek to
Storm Castle access.
Boaters who are in the Bozeman (kewl town!) area ought to get on the Galatin.
I hope local folks will post something about this river at higher levels. Chris Kelly
Please delete -gw
As of 4-13 the wood has been cleared. Thank you to the group who took the effort to cut out the log.
The range of flows should be adjusted for gauge. 5260 cfs (5/31/09), is most certainly not on the lower side of recommended. It is much more like the upper side of recommended. Flows over 3500 turn the Mad Mile into an almost continuous rapid. This section is completely runnable by competent class IV boaters at extremely high flows. If you don't mind technical low-water, this section can be run year-round. It would be nice if this gauge could be updated.
new online whitewater guide for montana area paddling - check it out!
This is a great river with a little something for everyone. New boaters can take out just above the bridge and skip the Mad Mile section but still have a good time. At high levels some rapids wash out but those that don't get big and make up for it. coming into the 2008 season things are looking great. if you haven't heard we got assaulted with snow all winter and there is still much snow in the higher elevations . Though it has been a slow start so far due to so much late season snow the river is slowly starting to come up and all us locals are looking foward to a raging whitewater season. the mad Mile is the funnest section and worth running multiple times in a day.
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Fight to the Finish!
Dave Zinn After Racing
Gallatin Whitewater Fest Race
Indiana boys running House Rock Rapid
Random below House Rock
Scouting the Mad Mile
Ben C at House
Paradise in MT
House Rock Rapid, Gallatin
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