Yellowstone - 2) Tower Junction to Gardiner, MT (Black Canyon)


Yellowstone, Wyoming, US

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2) Tower Junction to Gardiner, MT (Black Canyon)

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 20 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Yellowstone River at Corwin Springs MT
usgs-06191500 750 - 2000 cfs V 00h49m 14300 cfs (too high)


River Description

This run is closed to paddling but it has been run in the past. When American Whitewater submitted a proposal for access to selected rivers in Yellowstone National Park the Black Canyon was identified as the run of greatest importance to the whitewater paddling community.

This Black Canyon of the Yellowstone offers incredible whitewater with a spectacularly scenic backcountry experience. Put-in and take-out access points already exist at Tower Bridge and Gardiner. A trail parallels the river for its entire length. Numerous tributaries, including Slough Creek and Hellroaring Creek, which flow out of the bordering Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area to the North, add to its volume. Knowles Falls, a 15-foot Class V rapid, is one of many exceptional rapids. There are columnar basalt formations, coniferous forests, sandy beaches, and talus slopes throughout the canyon. The last three miles of the river, before Gardiner, pass through an arid, desert-like region. This stretch can be run in a day and is described in guidebooks Western Whitewater and Montana Surf. It has also been the subject of several American Whitewater Journal articles.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-12-11 16:58:07

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Knowles FallsV

Rapid Descriptions

Knowles Falls (Class V)

Knowles Falls, a 15-foot Class V rapid, is one of many
exceptional rapids




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Associated Projects

  • Yellowstone and Grand Teton
    AW has advocated for opportunities to experience the incredible rivers of Yellowstone National and Grand Teton National Parks through paddling.