Blackfoot, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||15 fpm|
|Blackfoot River near Bonner MT|
|usgs-12340000||200 - 10000 cfs||II-III||68d01h59m||646 cfs (running)|
The Big Blackfoot River is a wonderful river for many types of river enthusiasts. In the spring the run is a friendly and fun class II/III whitewater run. Highlights include Thibedeaux Rapids in the middle of the run, and "The Ledge" which offers great wave surfing, loops, and even long boat enders depending on the flow. The Ledge is only in when there is a moderate spring flow. As summer wears on, the water levels drop, the Blackfoot becomes a tubing mecca for Missoulians seeking to escape the heat, especially from Whitaker Bridge to Bonner. All the while, the river remains an angling classic, which was immortalized by the book (and movie) A River Runs Through It.
The river flows through a large valley and is bordered by ponderosa pines, sage, and a healthy riparian shrub community. Paddlers often see deer, elk, eagles, osprey, beaver, and a large variety of other Montana wildlife. The river is actively managed by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Montana FWP now maintains boat-in only designated campsites along the Blackfoot. To reserve a Blackfoot special-use permit, call FWP at (406) 542-5564. Permits are available for use at the sites beginning June 15.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
About two miles below Whitaker Bridge. Class II-III depending on flow, watch for the large rock right-center as the river drops.