What we're about

Goal: The only sound is the water lapping against the side of your kayak. Undisturbed waterfowl watch you glide past. Perhaps osprey or bald eagles dive for fish. We glide over sparking clean waters while being surrounded by great scenery and at the end of the day perhaps enjoy a campfire dinner and socializing. Sometimes we go down a river, but not intentionally on any significant white water.

We are not the typical just show up and go type of MeetUp.

Transporting kayaks or canoes typically requires coordination to get them to a distant site and, for river paddling, to arrange enough shuttles. (Two of us own trailers which can often carry an extra boat or two to a site.) Small local events can work with only a few days notice, but river trips depend on at least two vehicles, one at each end of the trip. Complicated events require advance planning (such as reserving places with a commercial sea kayaking company for February adventure in Belize or Florida). Thus members in our group must be reliable; After signing up for an event, if something arises you may change your indicated RSVP, but otherwise we expect people who have signed up to follow through.

Now for some details ... then on to trip descriptions and photos of past events. :)

Costs: Because we incur costs of paying for this site and for sometimes renting campsites or other misc. expenses, in early 2016 we began charging via a "Season Pass" for $15 for a calendar year which can be paid via most credit cards through this MeetUP site. "Season Pass Members" get an extra benefit of being invited to an end of the season evaluation discussion and social event Visiting paddlers are welcome to join us, as are beginning paddlers or others wishing to just try us out, via a $5 fee / contribution per event basis (paid in cash when arriving at an event - the credit card processing fee does not make sense for such small amounts). Participants in events usually manage miscellaneous costs among themselves, such as chipping in for gas for the drivers. There is an automatic free trial period when signing up; you can decide later whether to become a Season Pass member.

The Leadership Team & what it does: Running this site and planning trips is a group effort by about six volunteers. Suggestions and offers to help are always welcome! We put together about a dozen local one day paddling MeetUps each year. In 2014 we organized a week long sea kayaking adventure in Baja (Mexico). Only 3 of us ended up going, but it was great! We swam with 20' long whale sharks (largest fish in the world), snorkeled with sea lions, camped in tents for a week on an island beach with tropical fish only a few feet away and in the evening sipped margaritas while watching formations of pelicans wheeling in the air and dive bombing into the water for fish. In June of 2015 and again in 2017 we did a four day paddle on Montana's Smith River (for which it is difficult to get a permit). We tried to arrange sea kayaking in Belize for March 2016, but we just could not coordinate vacation schedules with enough members to make it work ...but it's a go for April of 2018 ! (We also hold some fun planning parties.)

For everyone's safety and liability protection, we ask that you read and accept the following two items.

Safety:

We focus on easy paddling, flat water trips, but we may encounter occasional mild rapids or strange currents or fallen trees or snags. We ask that members be alert to potential hazards and paddle safely and responsibly. Usually we paddle in a group; if some want to go in a different direction, that's fine but we suggest using a buddy system. We urge everyone to follow safety regulations and guidelines, please see our Safety tips in our Pages section. As with any athletic or outdoor event, an accident could happen and everyone should take precautions for their own safety and have appropriate insurance. Please know that this MeetUp group is simply a series of individuals temporarily coming together for a specific outing; while some people volunteer to organize events or this website, this is not a formal organization and each person is responsible for his/her own safety and obligations.

Legal Waiver and Release of Liability for participation in all events:

In consideration of the risk of injury while participating in Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing (the "Activity"), and as consideration for the right to participate in the Activity, I hereby, for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, or personal representatives, knowingly and voluntarily enter into this waiver and release of liability and hereby waive any and all rights, claims or causes of action of any kind whatsoever arising out of my participation in the Activity, and do hereby release and forever discharge past and current members of “The Leadership Team” of Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing, located in Bozeman, Montana 59718, their affiliates, managers, members, agents, attorneys, staff, volunteers, heirs, representatives, predecessors, successors and assigns, for any physical or psychological injury, including but not limited to illness, paralysis, death, damages, economic or emotional loss, that I may suffer as a direct result of my participation in the aforementioned Activity, including traveling to and from an event related to this Activity. “The Leadership Team” are those persons shown on the Activity’s Meetup site page and originally including Geoff Goodman, Steve Hample, et. al.

I AM VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING IN THE AFOREMENTIONED ACTIVITY. BY MY RSVP, I AM PARTICIPATING IN THE ACTIVITY ENTIRELY AT MY OWN RISK. I AM AWARE OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAVELING TO AND FROM AS WELL AS PARTICIPATING IN THIS ACTIVITY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURY, PAIN, SUFFERING, ILLNESS, DISFIGUREMENT, TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DISABILITY (INCLUDING PARALYSIS), ECONOMIC OR EMOTIONAL LOSS, AND DEATH. I UNDERSTAND THAT THESE INJURIES OR OUTCOMES MAY ARISE FROM MY OWN OR OTHERS' NEGLIGENCE, CONDITIONS RELATED TO TRAVEL, OR THE CONDITION OF THE ACTIVITY LOCATION(S). NONETHELESS, I ASSUME ALL RELATED RISKS, BOTH KNOWN OR UNKNOWN TO ME, OF MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS ACTIVITY, INCLUDING TRAVEL TO, FROM AND DURING THIS ACTIVITY AND RELEASE THE ORGANIZERS, CO-ORGANIZERS, MEETUP.COM, ANY AND ALL PEOPLE FROM ANY LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY.

I agree to indemnify and hold harmless “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group against any and all claims, suits or actions of any kind whatsoever for liability, damages, compensation or otherwise brought by me or anyone on my behalf, including attorney's fees and any related costs, if litigation arises pursuant to any claims made by me or by anyone else acting on my behalf. If “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group incurs any of these types of expenses, I agree to reimburse “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group.

I acknowledge that “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group and their directors, officers, volunteers, representatives, and agents are not responsible for errors, omissions, acts or failures to act of any party or entity conducting a specific event or activity on behalf of “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group.
I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIS ACTIVITY MAY INVOLVE A TEST OF A PERSON'S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL LIMITS AND MAY CARRY WITH IT THE POTENTIAL FOR DEATH, SERIOUS INJURY, AND PROPERTY LOSS. The risks may include, but are not limited to, those caused by terrain, facilities, temperature, weather, lack of hydration, condition of participants, equipment, vehicular traffic and actions of others, including but not limited to, participants, volunteers, spectators, coaches, event officials and event monitors, and/or producers of the event.

I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS "WAIVER AND RELEASE" AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY WHEN I RSVP TO ANY

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY - Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing Page 2 of 2

BOZEMAN SEA KAYAKING AND CANOEING EVENT OR ACTIVITY. I EXPRESSLY AGREE TO RELEASE AND DISCHARGE “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group AND ALL OF ITS AFFILIATES, MANAGERS, MEMBERS, AGENTS, ATTORNEYS, STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, HEIRS, REPRESENTATIVES, PREDECESSORS, SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR CAUSES OF ACTION AND I AGREE TO VOLUNTARILY GIVE UP OR WAIVE ANY RIGHT THAT I OTHERWISE HAVE TO BRING A LEGAL ACTION AGAINST “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.

To the extent that statute or case law does not prohibit releases for negligence, this release is also for negligence on the part of “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group, its agents, and employees.

In the event that I should require medical care or treatment, I agree to be financially responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such treatment. I am aware and understand that I should carry my own health insurance.

In the event that any damage to equipment or facilities occurs as a result of my or my family's willful actions, neglect or recklessness, I acknowledge and agree to be held liable for any and all costs associated with any actions of neglect or recklessness.

This agreement was entered into at arm's-length, without duress or coercion, and is to be interpreted as an agreement between two parties of equal bargaining strength. Both Any and All Participants and “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group agree that this agreement is clear and unambiguous as to its terms, and that no other evidence will be used or admitted to alter or explain the terms of this agreement, but that it will be interpreted based on the language in accordance with the purposes for which it is entered into.

In the event that any provision contained within this Release of Liability shall be deemed to be severable or invalid, or if any term, condition, phrase or portion of this agreement shall be determined to be unlawful or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect, so long as the clause severed does not affect the intent of the parties. If a court should find that any provision of this agreement to be invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting said provision it would become valid and enforceable, then said provision shall be deemed to be written, construed and enforced as so limited.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IF I BRING MY PET TO ANY EVENT FOR BOZEMAN SEA KAYAKING AND CANOEING, I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY PET'S BEHAVIOR AND I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEANING UP AFTER MY PET AT ALL TIMES AND BEFORE I LEAVE THE SITE OF THE EVENT.

I, THE PARTICIPANT, AFFIRM THAT I AM OF THE AGE OF 18 YEARS OR OLDER, AND THAT I AM FREELY AGREEING TO THIS AGREEMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY BY MY RSVP OR BY SIGNING A COPY OF THIS WORDING.

Upcoming events (5+)

Update for April - May 2019

United States

Our leadership team met last month and enjoyed talking about ideas and looking forward to paddling. Several ideas: - Possibly change our name to: Bozeman Flatwater Paddling Reason: Keeping the same history and description which includes some rivers, but clearly indicating we're not the type that do Eskimo rolls in small boats. Most of us use 9' to 14' touring kayaks rather than really long 17' to 21' sea kayaks. Canoes welcome. - Continue to focus on having a group of 25 to 40 active, reliable, safety minded members. Reason: When we had over 250 people on the list a couple years ago, that increased our site cost and increased the risk of potential problems from someone being reckless or failing to show up thereby delaying the group's launch. - Require a direct e-mail addresses of all members Reason: Mostly because updates sent though a forwarding system often get caught in spam filters and if we have an important message, such as cancelling a trip, we want it to get through. Also it is often useful for people planning a special trip to exchange e-mails among themselves for arranging car pooing and/or sharing equipment. We have e-mail addresses for most active members; we would put some effort into keeping a complete up to date list separate from the MeetUp system. Occasionally we've had strange / fake names joining our group for unknown reasons; requiring a valid e-mail address for confirmation might eliminate that. - While we are at it, we could also keep a list of cell phone numbers. Not required, but sometimes very handy. Visualize: "We're all here waiting at the put in site. ... You apparently turned near a white barn and are at the wrong bridge. Go a few miles further upstream and turn at the RED barn" Actual example: While camped for a Smith River trip, we drove uphill to get coverage and made cell phone contact for a person whose flight from Texas was cancelled, but she was able to fly into Billings. A trip member still in Bozeman was able to go there and pick her up, with the two arriving in the night but still making the morning launch on a Great trip. - We may withhold details on this site for some of our events. Reason: Bozeman and Big Sky populations have grown rapidly, as have tourism and real estate publications / sites which list places we used to go with no crowding. Witness the Madison where two large parking areas were built and now they are jam packed for the beer float stretch. Also with the Forest Service and state and national parks going to on-line reservation systems, competition for sites has drastically changed and it's now perhaps 10x harder to reserve a campsite. So we may keep some of our ideas off line until close to the date, though glad to answer questions from members via e-mail. NOTE: Some features of this site have been dropped by the new owners of MeetUp.com who focus only on smart phone formats. That's why we no longer have a large cover photo nor past trip reports. I've backed up some items and am looking for ways to improve. -Steve

REVISED Cabin Fever early paddling trip - cancelling the first cabin

UPDATE May 16, 2019: A change of Plans ! The road into the Warm River cabin is questionable due to snow and melting snow / mud so we are deleting that part of the planned trip. We are making the decision now, rather than waiting until the last minute and likely then learning the road is closed. This will allow us to more accurately plan food and transportation at our Monday 7pm meeting. That means our driving time will be significantly shorter (only 28 miles past West Yellowstone) and we can wait until 10 am to depart (on Friday May 24). The participant limit for this trip is 6 because that's the capacity of the second cabin. (The adjoining yurts etc. are all sold out, but a person could check for cancellations on the reservation system.) The new photo is of the cabin / house at the historic Harriman ranch. Current Conditions: Harriman State Park Conditions Report 5/10/19: Spring is (mostly) here!! The cranes, curlews, swans, and other waterfowl get the park first. Spring trail closures along the River from Sage Flats- Ranch Loop- Big Bend Loop are all closed until June 15th. That is also the opening day for flyfishing in the Henrys Fork thru the Ranch! Trails in the trees still have patches of snow or mud. Best to have heavier hiking boots to hike on the trails. They are not ready for bikes or horses yet. Loons, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, elk, moose, and other critters starting to come out!! A grizzly sow with 3 cubs/yearlings was spotted across the river on Tuesday! So be Bear Aware! The Mesa Falls visitor center will apparently open on that Saturday. It's about a 15 minute drive from Harriman Park on a paved road. * * * * ** "Cabin Fever" in this case means wanting to get INTO a cabin because of early season unknown weather. Reservations confirmed. However, early spring weather is unpredictable. Roads could be muddy / impassable. THINK OF THIS AS A SCOUTING TRIP. The "Cattle Foreman's House" in Harriman State Park (28 miles past West Yellowstone) for the second location is slightly more modern (remodeled 1970?) with electricity and a basic shower and hot water and stove / microwave and sleeps six. It looks nice. Paddling would be on a scenic lake (though still cold at 6,000’ elevation, vs. Hyalite roughly 7,000’ ) but within an 11,000 acre nature reserve with potential viewing of moose and other wildlife. https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/cattle-foremans-house While driving between the two campsites (only about 30 miles as a crow could fly) we will take a scenic highway route to view two really nice large waterfalls. One has a small entry fee, but I think National Park season or permanent passes work. see: https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/harriman Added attractions: Camp appetizer competition? - both cabins are drive up accessible and both have stoves for heating up food prepared in advance. Bring deck of cards if we run out of things to do. General good times. Estimated Cost: Second cabin with electricity, reservation fee etc. is about $$300 total for the 2 nights at Harriman so if split by 5 people then $60 each plus a daily $5 fee per car, to enter an Idaho state park (apparently for all Idaho parks for non residents - a year long pass costs $40).

Missouri Headwaters to Toston Dam

Needs a location

Join us for the first two days of our six-month Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery Expedition. Weather permitting, we will launch the expedition from Missouri Headwaters Fishing Access Site near Three Forks, Montana on Saturday June 1, 2019. We will paddle down river to camp at Fairweather Fishing Access Site at Clarkston Saturday night, then continue downstream and across the reservoir to end at Toston Dam on Sunday afternoon. You are welcome to join us for either day or come for both days and camp overnight. Those of us who are continuing for St. Louis will portage around the dam and camp to get a fresh start the following day. If our launch date is rainy or snowy, we will simply delay the launch for a day or two to take advantage of the first nice day. Please come equipped for camping, cooking, and canoeing. You will need to bring your own canoe or kayak, since we won't have any convenient means to loan out canoes this time. This canoe trip is not a formal class, but rather a fun adventure that is open to friends and family, members of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail, all Green University students, members of the Bozeman Kayaking and Canoeing Meetup Group and anyone else with basic camping skills who would like to come along. In lieu of a fee for the float trip, we would be grateful for generous donations to the Jefferson River Canoe Trail to support our work to secure additional public campsites along the Jefferson River segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail: https://www.gofundme.com/jefferson-river-canoe-trail Learn more about our six-month expedition: http://elpel.info/ http://www.elpel.info/Expedition_Members.htm http://www.greenuniversity.com/Class_Schedule/Missouri_River_Expedition.htm https://www.facebook.com/Thomas.J.Elpel/ Learn more about the Jefferson River Canoe Trail: http://jeffersonriver.org/

White Cliffs scenic area of the Missouri River

Needs a location

Dates and times for this trip are very tentative (the MeetUp system requires something to be entered in order to post). The White Cliffs section is locally famous and has now been discovered by tourists and outfitters, but still worth doing. Below Great Falls the river becomes muddy and subject to flooding and the river slows down. Banks are often muddy and camping is in cottonwoods. Animal life includes cows. Yet ... the cliff areas are nice and the history of the area is really interesting. So if you've not gone there, you should. And read about it and Fort Benton and Lewis and Clark beforehand. Search for: rojomoexpedition dot com It's been almost 20? years since I rented a small kayak and joined friends in an extended family trip. Everyone else had canoes or inflatable rafts. The kids in the group loved playing in my kayak. The steak and other dinners at the campsite were great. With rafts and canoes, bulk is no problem. The family brought badmitten raquets and ping pong balls to bat between boats. You get the idea. One problem is strong upriver winds in the afternoon, making high profile rafts seem to stand still. Best boats are canoes, followed by kayaks with enough capacity to carry supplies. This trip should be considered as a great history trip ! Possibly arrive a day early and stay in an old hotel in Fort Benton. Perhaps arrive a couple hours early and use the Virgelle Ferry which I think is only one of three highway ferries still operating in the USA.

Past events (64)

Annual Boat Swap at Northern Lights Trading

Northern Lights Rivers Lakes & Oceans

Photos (425)