River History – The Upper Missouri River

Take a tip from the locals – a float trip on the Upper Missouri River should just be part of everyone’s summer.  Before you go, schedule a visit to the Bureau of Land Management’s Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center in Fort Benton.

The BLM center is located right along the river bank and as you enter the front of the building you’ll see several rivers converging in the concrete. Gosh, a history lesson before you even enter the building!

Part of the outside of the building is designed to look like the white sandstone seen in the White Cliffs section of the Missouri River downstream.

The center serves as a river contact station for floaters (no fee) and there is also a small interpretive center (fee applies to this).

There is voIuntary registration for river floaters on this portion of the Missouri. River maps can be purchased in addition to some great books about the area. There is also a 20 minute film about floating the Missouri.

This section of the Missouri River has a Wild & Scenic designation from Fort Benton downstream to James Kipp Recreation Area (149 miles). It is also located within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

The average current  on this float is about 3.5 mph so it’s an easily navigable river. Staff at the BLM center can provide a brochure showing designated campsites located along the river and a list of recommended items to pack.

And, most people will tell you it’s a trip of a lifetime!



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