Paddling In The Bitterroot Valley
Of Western Montana
Bitterroot Valley Real Estate
The rivers and lakes that grace western Montana are ribbons and pools of life.
So far from the ocean, it may be a surprise to find so much water around. Whether it is a pristine glacial lake, or a winding, crystal clear river there are many ways to enjoy the waters of Montana. There is nothing quite like floating down a river on a kayak or raft or paddling a canoe around a lake with snow capped mountains in the background.
These vessels are perhaps the simplest, most pure form of watercraft. They have no motors, no moving parts, but can tackle an array of water bodies. If you are new to the area or just new to paddling, why not try it out?
But where do you find one of these things? Well, there is a good chance a neighbor has one leaning against the barn or you ask if you can join them on a float some time. Also, there are paddling and outdoor shops that will guide you to the right decision on what is the best vessel for you.
Learning to paddle is something everyone can do, and paddling is a sport for all ages. But mastery can take a lifetime! The benefits of paddling are too numerous to list, but those that attract so many people include the ability to go places hikers and bikers can’t, to travel away from roads and trails into some of the areas’ most scenic and wild territory while never venturing too far from home, unless you want to.
When you’re ready, you can dip your paddle into the Bitterroot or any one our many bodies of water. Be warned, paddling on moving water is very different than moving on still water. Even calm and flat water can be tricky. But as you paddle in rivers, you’ll learn to use the force of the moving water to your advantage, helping you navigate the current. Learning can be instinctive to some, but many benefit from a paddling lesson from a friend or instructor, of which there are a few in the Bitterroot Valley.
And as with any outdoor pursuit, learning how to do it safely can mean years of fun and adventure. Always wear a life jacket when paddling rivers, and don’t try anything you’re not ready for, know what you’re getting into before you shove off. And don’t forget the binoculars!
When you’re not floating in a canoe, try dropping a line and catching a blue ribbon trout.