Rattlesnake Creek, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
Rattlesnake Creek at medium and high flows offers Missoulians a zoomy and splashy paddling trip through the neighborhoods and parks of the Rattlesnake valley. There are no rapids to speak of, just non-stop Class II wavetrains. The ever-present possibility (and likelihood) of strainers in combination with a lack of eddies however makes this run a poor choice for less skilled whitewater paddlers.
Currently, there are no less than nine river-wide strainers between the Duncan put-in and the Clark Fork confluence. Six occurr above the Lolo street bridge, and three occur between the Lolo Street Bridge and the Greenough Park trailhead.
Some of the upper strainers are marked upstream with large cairns, however most are not. The city of Missoula has no interest in removing the wood, so please be advised and proceed with caution.
There are also a number of braided channels and tight corners that pose a challenge to paddlers. While not without its challenges, Rattlesnake Creek offers a rare opportunity to paddle an often beautiful creek through a town, with an easy bike shuttle.