If you’re an adventure enthusiast, then you’ve probably already heard of the Missouri River. It’s the longest river in North America, stretching over 2,300 miles from its source in Montana to its mouth in Missouri. As a result, it’s a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts.
But can you actually canoe the entire length of the Missouri River The answer is yes, but it’s not an easy feat. Here are some things you need to consider before embarking on this journey.
Planning Your Route
Before starting your trip, you need to plan your route carefully. The Missouri River is divided into three sections: the Upper Missouri (from Three Forks, Montana to Fort Benton, Montana), the Middle Missouri (from Fort Benton to Sioux City, Iowa), and the Lower Missouri (from Sioux City to St. Louis, Missouri). Each section has its own unique challenges and requires different permits and regulations.
The Upper Missouri is known for its stunning scenery and challenging rapids. This section of the river is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and permits are required for overnight camping. It’s important to note that there are limited camping spots along this stretch of river, so plan accordingly.
The Middle Missouri is characterized by wide-open spaces and long stretches of calm water. This section of the river is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and permits are required for overnight camping. However, there are more campsites available along this stretch of river compared to the Upper Missouri.
The Lower Missouri is known for its commercial traffic and industrial development. This section of the river is managed by various state agencies along with USACE, and permits may be required for overnight camping. However, there are plenty of towns and cities along this stretch of river where you can resupply and find accommodations.
Preparing for the Journey
Canoeing the entire Missouri River is not a trip to take lightly. You will need to prepare both physically and mentally for this journey.
Paddling for several weeks or months straight can be exhausting, so it’s important to be in good physical shape. Start preparing by doing regular cardio exercises, such as running or cycling. You’ll also want to focus on building upper body strength through weight training or paddling exercises.
Canoeing the Missouri River requires mental toughness as well. You’ll need to be prepared for long days on the water, unpredictable weather, and potential hazards such as strong currents and rapids. It’s important to have a positive mindset and be adaptable to changing conditions.
In conclusion, canoeing the entire Missouri River is an epic adventure that requires careful planning and preparation. Whether you choose to tackle one section or all three, make sure you have the proper permits, equipment, and physical/mental stamina before embarking on this journey. With the right mindset and a sense of adventure, canoeing the Missouri River can be an unforgettable experience.