Explore the Waterways of Montana

Montana, often referred to as "Big Sky Country," is known for its vast landscapes, including mountains, plains, and forests. While it is a landlocked state, Montana still has a variety of waterways that contribute to its natural beauty, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Here's a description of the primary waterways in Montana:

1. Missouri River: The Missouri River flows through the western and central parts of Montana, making it one of the state's major rivers. Montana's stretch of the Missouri River is renowned for its scenic beauty, and it is particularly popular for recreational activities such as fly fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The Missouri River is also home to several reservoirs, including Holter Lake, Hauser Lake, and Canyon Ferry Lake, which offer boating and camping opportunities.

2. Yellowstone River: The Yellowstone River originates in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and flows through the southwestern part of Montana before exiting the state into North Dakota. It is one of the longest undammed rivers in the United States and is known for its pristine waters and scenic canyons. The Yellowstone River is popular for fly fishing, especially for trout species like cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout.

3. Flathead Lake: Located in northwestern Montana, Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. It offers a wide range of recreational activities, including boating, sailing, fishing, swimming, and camping. The lake is surrounded by the beautiful Flathead Valley and is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.

4. Clark Fork River: The Clark Fork River flows through western Montana, passing through towns like Missoula and eventually joining the Columbia River in Washington. It is a tributary of the Columbia River system and is known for its scenic canyons, as well as opportunities for fishing and water sports.

5. Bitterroot River: The Bitterroot River is a tributary of the Clark Fork River and flows through the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. It is famous for its blue-ribbon trout fishing and is a popular spot for fly anglers.

6. Big Hole River: This river flows through southwestern Montana and is known for its excellent trout fishing, especially for brown and rainbow trout. The Big Hole River is a designated "Blue Ribbon" trout stream.

7. Gallatin River: The Gallatin River runs through southwestern Montana, originating in Yellowstone National Park. It is known for its beautiful scenery and is a popular destination for white-water rafting and kayaking.

8. Other Rivers and Streams: Montana has a network of smaller rivers and streams that flow through the state's wilderness areas, providing opportunities for fly fishing, canoeing, and rafting.

9. Glacier National Park: While not a waterway, Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana is known for its pristine lakes, including Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake. These glacier-fed lakes are famous for their clear waters and stunning mountain backdrops.

Montana's waterways are essential for its outdoor recreational activities, particularly fishing and boating. The state's rivers and lakes are cherished for their natural beauty and the abundance of wildlife they support. Montana's water resources are not only a source of enjoyment for residents and visitors but also crucial for the conservation of its diverse ecosystems.

Water Temperature and Weather by Waterway in Montana

Jefferson River, Three Forks, MT

Jefferson River, Waterloo, MT

Madison River, West Yellowstone, MT

Ruby River, Twin Bridges, MT

Yellowstone River, Billings, MT

Yellowstone River, Corwin Springs, MT