“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”― Norman Maclean “A River Runs Through It”
There is a reason that writers wax poetic about this river, it’s that enchanting. There are dozens of ways to enjoy the Blackfoot River when you are guest at The Resort at Paws Up. Here’s a quick how to on the various river activities offered.
What you need to know:
You can enjoy the river for free. I didn’t really get that when we first arrived. Our house was nowhere near the river so we booked multiple excursions so we could get out and enjoy it. We did a float trip, a kayak trip, a fly fishing trip. But I learned from other guests that they simply went to River Camp and got in the river when they were hot. It pays to ask.
If you are staying in a tent camp you will have easy access to the river, or to Elk Creek. The boys would fish after breakfast from the banks. It’s all catch and release.
All river excursions leave from the Wilderness Outpost. Again, know that by the time everyone loads in to the van and the guides get the boats on the river, you will be at least 30 minutes later than the time on your itinerary.
Kayaking can be done a few ways. Hard shell kayaking on the river is for experts, however you can go in the inflatable Duckies and have just as much fun and an easier time maneuvering around the rocks. If you book a kayak lesson, ask whether you will be on the river or the lake.
Float trips can accommodate a large family and are a wonderful way to enjoy the river as a group. In addition to the Blackfoot there is also the Alberton Gorge. We didn’t get there but heard nothing but positive reviews.
Every boat stops at some point so you can hop in and cool off. The river is crisp and refreshing. Also, I did jump in the river after I was done taunting my boys.
Wear a swimsuit and a top that dries quickly. Water shoes are recommended. The guides bring bottled water but not necessarily towels. A warm dry sweatshirt to wear in the van on the way back to the resort feels great, pack one.
The river can be swift in early summer and a trickle by late summer. Age limits for river activities are really river and child dependent. We took Keaton white water rafting in Wyoming at age 5 and he was fine, but only you know your child.
In early summer the river is rapid and wild, by mid-summer it’s just perfect like this:
Costs: A river raft trip on the Blackfoot is $135 per adult and $100 per child (5-11), the trips last about four hours. The gorge is slightly more expensive and lasts for eight hours. Kayaking prices vary. My rafting trip was comped, we paid for everyone else. Again, we tipped our guide.