The Boulder River flows for sixty miles through graduating landscapes of the Gallatin National Forest (Montana), free falling over 7,000 feet in vertical drop.
- There are many public access points along the Boulder River.
- You can find excellent recreation opportunities on the Boulder River including kayaking, canoeing, floating and fishing.
- A number of campgrounds are located along the river, both private and public.
- Fishing is available, but it is more for experts than novices.
Bread loaf appearing large boulders line the riverbed, thus giving the Boulder River its name. The scenery here is fantastic. Dividing the Absoraka Mountain Range and the Beartooth Mountain Range, the area of the Boulder River is unique. The Boulder River is a Blue Ribbon trout river where you can find quality rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout fishing.
The Boulder River originates in the Rocky Mountains at the continental divide in the Deerlodge National Forest in western Montana. It flows east and southeast through the mountains past Boulder, then south to join the Jefferson near Cardwell.
There are many public access points along the Boulder River. It is easy to access the River, as the road runs parallels to the river and there are signs that lead to the numerous access points.
Because of its close proximity to the road, it is easy to get to the River year-round, although most people do not want to venture to the River during the cold winter months when much of the area is covered with snow.
You can find excellent recreation opportunities on the Boulder River including kayaking, canoeing, floating and fishing. You can also combine activities by camping, hiking, and hunting in the Boulder River Valley.
A number of campgrounds are located along the river, both private and public. The Boulder Road (Hwy 298 toward McLeod up the Boulder Valley) is paved for 30 miles and then turns into gravel road for the next 20 miles.
Campground access roads to the Boulder Campgrounds south of Big Timber can handle larger vehicles. Parking spurs are also available for large vehicles. Camping areas have tent pads, fire grates, picnic tables, and restrooms in some areas. The campgrounds have easy access to good fishing and hiking trails in both non-wilderness and wilderness areas in the Gallatin National Forest.
Montana's Boulder River is for the most part a rafting river, but not its entire sixty-mile run is whitewater. As it heads through the Gallatin National Forest, it clambers down some vertical drops of about seven thousand feet before reaching the Natural Falls and fishing spots galore. However, the majority of the fishing there is not for the faint of heart, but real experts.
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