What we're about

We do outdoor paddling events. (The MeetUp software sometimes shows "online" by mistake.) Click "See all" just below and then "Read more"

Goal:  We like to enjoy fresh air, clean water, and Montana scenery. On rivers we generally are not white water type paddlers.  Our members' kayaks tend to be 12' to 16' in length which allow for carrying food and extra clothes. We've done a few multi day river trips when we could arrange a way to carry enough food and camping gear. On lakes our quiet paddling sometimes gives us great views of wildlife. We typically have on or two multi day lake trips per year and enjoy campfire dinners and socializing.

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 adventures 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.

When joining, please use you first name and at least a last initial. Reason: later on when people are organizing a specific trip it can be confusing if there are three people named Bob or if a person has signed up as HappyCamper or similar. If a change is made at the last minute, it's important that the right people be contacted. Thanks

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**.**  Participants in events usually manage miscellaneous costs among themselves, such as chipping in for gas for the drivers.

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 typicall put together 8 to 10 one day paddling MeetUps each year. In 2014 we organized a week long sea kayaking adventure in Baja / Sea of Cortez (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). In 2018 had a great ten day trip of salt water kayaking among coral reefs and touring up river areas in Belize! In December 2019 Steve did an impromptu scouting trip in rivers and bays of the West coast of Florida and came back with info on swimming with manatees, etc. for a future group trip.

For everyone's safety and liability protection, we ask that you read and accept the following two items.
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, Kerie Hagler, 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 (4+)

Season Opener: Idaho easy paddling and sight seeing south of West Yellowstone

Link visible for attendees

Steve, Kerie, Darla and Vicki scouted this area four years ago. In 2021 we headquartered at a 'warming hut" group campground. We are repeating last year's event, but staying for two nights rather than three.
An easy paddle. Main difficulty will be in the first hour - because of paddling in only 6 inches of water and running into gravel bars and perhaps needing to step out and walk a few yards. Watch for a bald eagle in a tree above, a moose on the shore, and/or a school of migrating fish swimming in the crystal clear water under your boat. :)
Dates: Official check in is 2pm on Monday May 30 which is Memorial Day. Better to arrive early than late. If you arrive really early, drive on the main road about 4 miles further and turn left on a gravel road to the boat launch parking lot.
Check out by 11am on Wednesday June 1 These were the only days available. Thank Darla for finding them and making the reservation using her credit card to help the group.
Timing: Please arrive in the West Yellowstone / Island Park by about 1pm. From there it's only a 30 or 15 minute drive to our campsite. However, you will need to stop and have your boat inspected for invasive species as you enter Idaho. (Inflatables?)
Reason for this tight timing: We don't know what the weather will be. If it's nice on Monday and the forecast is bad for Tuesday and Wednesday, we might want to do a fast launch for a 3:30 pm to 7:30pm paddle. There are additional things to do in the area.
Planning meeting: It includes what kinds of food people should bring. Darla is the trip organizer this year and will bring her small trailer containing cooking equipment. The Warming Hut area has plenty of picnic tables and grills and a large fire ring for socializing (bring a lawn / camping chair and beverage of your choice).
Capacity: There is a huge amount of parking for people bringing camper vans, trailers, etc. Consider renting or just swapping your vehicle for someone's van for a few days. The hut is not designed for sleeping, just for snowmobilers to warm up. It has large picnic tables and narrow benches along some walls. Last time 6 people brought folding camp beds etc. and that seemed about maximum sleeping capacity. First 6 people to sign up & pay get first dibs. We discourage tents because of grizzly bears and possible bad weather.

How to apply & Cost: The cost will again be $40 per person paid in advance. Last year we lost money due to some (understandable) last minute cancellations. All applicants must be dues paying members ($15/yr). Applications will close on May 15, 2022 (so we know how to plan food for dinner, etc.).
Update: So far everyone has paid by mailing a check and that seems to be working. Contact Steve for details.
Weather: Early June weather at 6,400' can be unpredictable.
Location: At the nearby Big Springs the water flows under a bridge. There are sidewalks on the bridge and large trout hang out in the constant clear shallow water (mostly 6 inches to 3 feet of water). Last year when we paddled this beautiful very shallow spring fed river we saw a moose. (Year before 2 moose)
The advantage of this campsite near Island Park, ID is that we have a large area all to ourselves and it's in close proximity to several paddling and sightseeing opportunities. More information later (Scenic Byway to large waterfalls). Possible second paddling opportunity.
There is no water at this winter campsite. Last year Steve brought a 5 gal collapsible container and was able to refill at the general campground five miles away next to the Big Springs. I think there are no electrical outlets. Bring a flashlight and/or small lantern.

Update 5/3: Sleeping in the hut is now Closed and there is a wait list.

Idaho Invasive Species Sticker is Required: See comments below.

27
Kayak Paddling Skills and Safety with Brown Bag Picnic

Needs a location

**Rescheduled due to cold weather forecast **

Join us for an informal educational, hands-on session to learn/practice basic kayaking skills, including:

  • Warm-up/stretches and conditioning exercises to keep your body prepped and in shape for paddling
  • Getting in/out of kayak for shore launch and exit
  • Paddling techniques for optimal efficiency and turning, etc.
  • Basic safety advice: important gear, clothing, what do do if you capsize

This in-person session is designed to help members feel more confident on the water or just try out your gear before the season.
Newer paddlers, bring your questions!

5:30-6:30 PM - Brown bag picnic (optional); Unload gear
6:30-8:00 PM - Instructional session, practice

May follow up with Part 2 online with videos on river safety, stay tuned

Note: Bring chair or towel for picnic, sandals and layers for paddling.
No dogs allowed at the park.

5
Easy paddling on the Madison River

Needs a location

Tentative: This starts at the Warm Springs parking lot / put in site and takes out either at the big parking lot where the highway from Bozeman meets the Madison river or, more likely the small campground about 45 minutes further downstream.

We are scheduling this for a Saturday so that if a weather forecast is unfavorable we can switch to a day later.

PADDLING SKILL LEVEL: Easy
(Good beginner paddle, however, please try to attend our Safety and Skills session on June 2nd if you are new to paddling rivers)

This is to allow new members to have an easy river paddling trip to start the season. The water will be cool but this "beer float" section of the river will become jam packed soon after.

We've made the starting time to be 8:30 AM which is about the time when we did this a couple years ago and met at a gas station at 4 Corners and car pooled from there. (Not sure if there will still be room at the back of a large parking area.) The goal is to beat the crowds by reaching the put in launch site between 9:30 and 9:45 so we can unload and shuttle most vehicles to which ever take out site we choose.

1
Wade Lake (and probably also Cliff Lake)

Needs a location

Paddling at Wade and Cliff Lakes

PADDLING SKILL LEVEL: Easy
(Flat lakes, although potential for strong winds)

Just an early notice for possible paddling sometime between July 11 and July 14. The area is hidden in an old geological fault. One drives about 37 miles south of Ennis MT and then on an uphill Forest Service road through sagebrush and ranch land. Then at the top of the hill the road quickly drops down to these two popular lakes.

Last year we had this well planned - until lightning started a forest fire and the site was closed. About three days before our scheduled arrival the area was still closed so we canceled the trip. We were set to get an automatic refund of our payments for our campsites. About the next day the site reopened and therefor the reservation system treated us as no shows and canceled our refunds.

The forest fire did not quite get down to the lakes, so the scenery should still be good.

Stay tuned for updates and thank Darla for getting this reservation.

- Steve

Thanks Darla !

2

Photos (546)