This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV
Length 13 Miles
Gauge Gallatin River near Gallatin Gateway, MT
Flow Range 450 - 6000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 1620 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/21/2018 1:30 pm

River Description

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.

Rapid Descriptions

House Rock

Class - III+ Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The most challenging rapid on the Gallatin requiring a move to the left of the large central boulder (House Rock). 


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5 years ago

Please delete -gw

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8 years ago

As of 4-13 the wood has been cleared. Thank you to the group who took the effort to cut out the log.

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Jake Zywicke
11 years ago

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.

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12 years ago

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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12 years ago

new online whitewater guide for montana area paddling - check it out!

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wes heustess
14 years ago

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.

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Chris Kelly
15 years ago

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

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2015-05-31 High Fatality Cold Water Read More
2012-06-06 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2004-06-24 High Fatality High Water Read More
2002-06-27 n/a Fatality Failed Rescue Read More
1996-06-19 High Fatality One Boat Trip Read More



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Appeal Challenging Montana Navigability Is Denied

Jason Robertson

On May 28 the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by Mountain States Legal Foundation who filed a lawsuit in June 2001 alleging the 1985 Montana Stream Access Law violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution to regulate who floated over their land.

The decision thereby protects Montana's Stream access law and public rights of navigation throughout the State.

article main photo

River Recreationists Win Big in Montana!

Jason Robertson

The Missoulian newspaper reported on January 5th, 2001 that U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell dismissed a case brought by the Mountain States Legal Foundation challenging public recreational rights on Montana’s rivers and streams. This is a huge win for boaters and fishermen!

Kevin Colburn


David Schroeder


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1208535 11/30/17 Kevin Colburn name
1208536 11/30/17 Kevin Colburn rapid
1209638 05/21/18 Kevin Colburn desc update
1190802 04/01/01 David Schroeder n/a