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Lower Yellowstone river

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Just finished up a three day two night trip on the Yellowstone River. Three of us launched from the Intake diversion dam. Myself in my home built cedar strip solo canoe, and two of my friends in an old aluminum Lund that we refer to as the Tank. Paddlefish season opener in Montana was on Saturday, as we were getting ready to put on the water, a fisherman snagged one. My buddy Jed helped him land it, estimated weight of 50 or so pounds. Pretty neat to see one of the prehistoric fish up close. We saw several of them jumping out of the river over our journey.
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We were on the water at 1:30 pm and the river was moving fast. We made several stops along sandbars, taking breaks, hunting for agates, and Jed trying his luck for a paddlefish. We stopped around 6:30 at Elk Island to set up camp for the night. We covered 21 miles.IMG_5296.jpegIMG_5297.jpegIMG_5301.jpegIMG_5306.jpegIMG_5317.jpegIMG_5327.jpegIMG_5338.jpegIMG_5344.jpegIMG_5339.jpeg
Next post will be day 2.
 
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Day 2.
Woke up to a beautiful morning, which would change soon. Had breakfast, packed up camp and was on the water at 10:30. By the time we had loaded up and launched, the clouds rolled in, and the wind picked up. We battled strong headwinds, and 1 to 2 foot rollers all day long. It was miserable paddling, if it wasn’t for the current we wouldn’t have made much progress. We battled the wind and the waves, and around 3:00 the rain started. By 4:30 we made it to a bridge near Sidney, where we took cover. We had a break in the rain, decided to set out and find the nearest suitable place for camp. We didn’t have to go far and found a nice island, and landed, just as the rain started again. We set up our tents in the rain, and stayed tent bound until the rain stopped again. Not much for pictures of the day. We covered 22 miles. Had a fire, ate some moose sausage, and off to sleep we went.
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On to day 3
 
Day 3, final day.

Up early packed up our wet gear, coffee for breakfast and back on the river by 9. The weather was the best of our trip, and our spirits were greatly lifted by the sun and light wind. IMG_5378.jpegIMG_5375.jpegIMG_5383.jpegIMG_5384.jpegIMG_5387.jpeg
I’ve never seen so many pelicans, as I did on this trip. Also saw numerous bald eagles, coyotes, deer, and a moose. After covering 20 miles we came to the Fairview lift bridge where we took a long break.
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Back on the water, 9 miles left to reach the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers where our trip would end. The beautiful paddling conditions remained, and we reached the confluence at 5:30 for a total of 71 miles. IMG_5415.jpegIMG_5417.jpegIMG_5433.jpegResized_20240520_150607.jpegIMG_5428.jpeg
All in all, we had a great time. I’m pretty sore today, cleaning up gear, and thinking of my next trip.
 
Thanks for the trip report and the abundance of pictures, Bentpushrod. Purely as an artistic photo, I really liked the one of the fellow by the big blazing campfire with the stars in the night sky.

I always wanted to paddle the Yellowstone after I followed it a ways after I exited the north access of Yellowstone National Park in 2004. But, alas, I've never been back and likely never will. A lot of mud in some sections you show. I hope it wasn't too gooey.

I didn't know there were pelicans in Montana. I associate them with the ocean in Florida.
 
Thanks for the kind words. We originally planned on running the Little Missouri, however water levels were too low. Plan B was the Yellowstone, it is close to where we live. And yes, we have pelicans here in North Dakota, as well as Montana. Just have never seen that many concentrated in one area.
 
There are some large white pelican rookeries in Nevada of all places. One is at the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge near Fallon where I have seen 250 at a time. The other is the Anaho Island in Pyramid Lake on the Paiute Indian Reservation. The lake record trout at Pyramid Lake is 43 pounds.

I enjoyed floating the Upper Missouri River and have always wanted to float the Yellowstone R., .
 
The coastal (e.g. Florida) pelicans are brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis). White pelicans (P. erythrorynchos) are common through much of the West. I've seen them as far north as northern SK near Nunavut.
There are also white pelicans in south Florida for sure, especially in the Everglades. I have seen them in great numbers off Flamingo.
 
Wow, what a great story in many ways. I’m new to the forum and researching an old Lund “tank” if you will I was gifted and would like to “clean up” as its kinda beat up.

With that said I have always wanted to canoe the little Missouri thru the TR park..

Thank you for sharing the pics
 
Welcome to the site! Funny you mention the Littke Missouri, as our original plan was to do that trip. The Yellowstone was our plan B, as the Little Missouri water level was too low to run. It was a dry winter out here.

Edit: whoops, forgot I already mentioned this trip was plan b
 
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A friend and I are launching from Gardiner, Montana, on July 8 and paddling the Yellowstone River all the way to the confluence with the Missouri River. We'll both be in kayaks (apologies because this is a canoe tripping forum) and have been wondering about how safe the water would be to filter for cooking and possibly drinking. Since you've very recently paddling this section of the river, what is your advise if the river is relatively safe to filter from?
 
A friend and I are launching from Gardiner, Montana, on July 8 and paddling the Yellowstone River all the way to the confluence with the Missouri River. We'll both be in kayaks (apologies because this is a canoe tripping forum) and have been wondering about how safe the water would be to filter for cooking and possibly drinking. Since you've very recently paddling this section of the river, what is your advise if the river is relatively safe to filter from?
The river is very silty. We brought 5 gallons of water with us to start. Then we did filter, however we used alum to settle the silt out before filtering. If you’re not familiar with alum, it is used I believe in either pickling or canning food. We used a canvas bucket with about a 4 gallon capacity. Filled it with river water, put about a tablespoon of alum in it, stirred it, and then let it sit for half an hour or so. That settles the silt to the bottom. Then we ladled the water into a gravity bag filter system. It worked pretty well. We used if for both drinking and cooking.

Sounds like a fun trip, Gardner to the confluence is quite the distance, should be lots of fun. And all good on the kayaks! Let us know how it goes.
 
Slvrodo, welcome to site membership! Feel free to ask any questions and to post messages, photos and videos, and to start threads, in our many forums. Please read Welcome to CanoeTripping and Site Rules! Also, please add your location to the Account Details page in your profile, which will cause it to show under your avatar, as this is a geographic sport. Many of the site's technical features are explained in Features: Help and How-To Running Thread. We look forward to your participation in our canoe community.

We'll both be in kayaks (apologies because this is a canoe tripping forum) and have been wondering about how safe the water would be to filter for cooking and possibly drinking.

No need to apologize for using a kayak when you are asking about or commenting on a topic that is common to all paddlers, such as filtering water. Kayakers are welcome here to discuss any of the common paddler topics such as gear, cooking, bears, destinations, knives, ropes, knots, routes, etc., as well as posting photos. Many of us canoeists also have kayaks, and I've posted photos that I took from a kayak (but I neglected to mention that detail).
 
The river is very silty. We brought 5 gallons of water with us to start. Then we did filter, however we used alum to settle the silt out before filtering. If you’re not familiar with alum, it is used I believe in either pickling or canning food. We used a canvas bucket with about a 4 gallon capacity. Filled it with river water, put about a tablespoon of alum in it, stirred it, and then let it sit for half an hour or so. That settles the silt to the bottom. Then we ladled the water into a gravity bag filter system. It worked pretty well. We used if for both drinking and cooking.

Sounds like a fun trip, Gardner to the confluence is quite the distance, should be lots of fun. And all good on the kayaks! Let us know how it goes.
Will do.
I've also used alum for filtering silty river water in the desert rivers in the Southwest where I live. My concern is with all of the irrigation runoff from all the farms along the Yellowstone River and it's tributaries in the water that we would be filtering to drink and cook with.
Since you recently paddled this part of the Yellowstone River, I figured that you would have first-hand knowledge of the water quality and any dangers from filtering the water. Your confidence that you'll have no ill effects from drinking the filtered water would definitely be a confidence booster for us.
 
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