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Montana's top ten rivers.

Montana's rivers

By roycarterPublished 8 months ago 4 min read

Montana, known as the "Mountain State," boasts world-renowned mountain ranges and stunning rivers, making it a dry state. Despite being far from the beach, Montana's numerous beautiful bodies of water make it a truly remarkable place to visit.

Montana's western topography is divided by the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains, dividing the state into two drainages: west-sloping and east-sloping. The state's rivers either flow into the Mississippi or Columbia and the west-sloping rivers empty into the Pacific Ocean, while the east-sloping rivers end up in the Atlantic, particularly the Gulf of Mexico. Montana's major rivers offer a variety of conditions, including tranquil courses, deep runs, gentle riffles, and furious rapids, making them ideal for white-water rafting and other activities.

Montana's rivers offer beautiful scenery, clean water, and historical value, surrounded by beautiful scenery and rivers with cold, clean water. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Montana now book flights to Montana and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Rivers in Montana

1. Missouri River

Montana's longest river, the Missouri River, begins in the Rocky Mountains and is the world's 15th-longest. It flows eastward until it meets the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. The Missouri River has been crucial for Montanans for transportation and food delivery for thousands of years. The Missouri River, named after the indigenous Missouri tribe, is the world's 15th-longest river.

2. Milk River

Montana's second-longest river, the Milk River, flows 730 miles and follows an unusual route from Glacier County to Alberta, where it bends southeast before returning to Montana. It passes through Fresno Dam and Havre before joining the Missouri River in Valley County. The river's distinctive whiteness is due to silt and clay trapped in its water, resembling milky tea.

Read More: Montana's Museums

3. Yellowstone River

Montana's Yellowstone River, the third-longest river in the state, flows through the Missouri River and North Dakota, as well as Wyoming. Native Americans used the river for transportation and irrigation. It is one of the world's longest undammed rivers, flowing from Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. The river's significance lies in its use as a primary mode of transportation and an essential water source for Montana's Livingston.

4. Kootenai River

The Kootenai River, the fourth-longest in Montana, flows 485 miles and drains into the Pacific Ocean in the northwest area. Originating in British Columbia, it flows into Idaho before returning to Canada and the Columbia River. The Libby Dam established Lake Kooncanusa, a 90-mile-long reservoir.

5. Bighorn River

Montana's Bighorn River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River, runs through Montana and Wyoming, with a length of 461 miles. Divided into Wind River in Wyoming, Lower Bighorn River in Montana, and BigHorn River in both regions, the river was named after fur trader François Larocque's 1805 visit to Yellowstone.

6. Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork River, named after explorer William Clark, flows for over 300 miles from Silver Bow Creek in southwest Montana to Lake Pend Oreille in the north. It is a popular fly-fishing venue and water activity spot, particularly in Alberton Gorge, west of Missoula. The river is mostly paralleled by Interstate 90, making it a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts.

7. Flathead River

The Flathead River, originating in the Rocky Mountains, flows along Glacier National Park's western perimeter. It drains into Flathead Lake, with three forks, and is a Class 1 recreational river. The river's cold climate, formed by glacial and snow runoff, makes it ideal for fly fishing, salmon breeding and offers stunning views. The Flathead Lake is a tributary of the Columbia River.

8. Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot River, spanning over 130 miles from the Lincoln area of Montana to Bonner, has been a Native American stronghold for over 10,000 years. It connects the Great Plains and other places west of the Continental Divide, offering a popular route for floating, rafting, and fishing. The area has numerous access sites and has been a transit route and summer hunting camp for Native Americans.

The Blackfoot River, once poisoned by mining, now serves as an excellent spot for trout fishing, particularly for blue-ribbon trout. It is featured in the book and film "A River Runs Through It."

9. Bitterroot River

The Bitterroot River, starting near Connor, Montana, connects East Fork and West Fork at its junction. It runs north through the Bitterroot Valley, merging with Clark Fork in Missoula after over 80 miles. Popular with floaters, rafters, and fishing hotspots, the river passes along Highway 93, with the Sapphire Mountains on the east and Bitterroot Mountains on the west.

10. Gallatin River

The Gallatin River, originating from Three Forks in Montana, flows 120 miles north to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It forms a deep canyon between Madison and Gallatin mountains, with the West Gallatin and East Gallatin rivers merging to form the Gallatin River. The river has a drainage area of 20-30 miles and flows north, passing through the Gallatin Canyon and Three Forks.

The East Gallatin River, originating near Mount Blackmore, flows from Gallatin Mountain's western slopes, utilizing Kelly Creek, Jackson Creek, and minor tributaries for irrigation. If you want to learn more about Montana then book cheap flights to Montana.


About the Creator


Roy Carter, I'll provide you with some important information that will make the journey more enjoyable. Cheap Flights To Missouri are available if you intend to visit the city to view a variety of attractions

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