montana-hills

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Originally posted by toqaahmed

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Our July #conservationlands15 Bucket List Location: Take a step back in time and paddle through history along the BLM Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River in Montana

“The hills and river Clifts which we passed today exhibit a most romantic appearance…. The bluffs of the river rise to hight of from 2 to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are formed of remarkable white sandstone which is sufficiently soft to give way readily to the impression of water…” Meriwether Lewis,  May 31, 1805.

You can camp in the same locations as the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition on your multi-day canoe expedition down the “Big Muddy”.  The river is a relatively easy paddle with current and riffles but no major rapids. Along the way, camp under the shade of spreading cottonwoods and try your luck catching a paddlefish – some weigh over 100 pounds.  The Breaks Country surrounding the river offers opportunities for scrambles and cross country hikes to the bluffs above.  

The unique geology and harsh landscapes that were extensively described by Lewis and Clark are in a condition that has changed little since the passage of the expedition.   Historic homesteads dot the river banks, and remnants of the steamboat era remain in inscriptions that were etched on the rock walls.  

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM