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Dates and times are approximate. Background: Canyon Ferry is so named for ... can you guess? and Cemetery Island? - A dam was created which flooded the small town where an early ferry existed and the only remnant is the cemetery up on its hilltop. The reservoir is near Helena and very popular with two commercial sailboat and motorboat harbors. There is also a public beach, campground and boat launching area. Afternoon winds and sudden storms make for a variety of sailing experiences. (I once flipped my 16' Hobie Cat twice in a row.) Therefore, best idea is to launch in the morning (9:30?) and be back on shore by 2pm. Interesting kayak paddling is limited to the area near Yacht Basin Marina (a fee to launch) where one can paddle out to the island. At low water a long sand bar appears, stretching out from the island, sort of like a coral reef. This trip was originally listed for July, but the water was high and people were busy. So tentatively postponed to Aug 24. Mostly a mellow social time.
Placeholder for planned event: PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS OR CONTACT ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET A CAMPSITE FOR ANY OF THE NIGHTS TO COORDINATE -Paddling and camping at Hebgen Lake thursday night and Friday -Friday eve picnic -Short day visit to Yellowstone on Saturday -possible camping Saturday night as well, depending on interest So far, I have a waterfront campsite reserved for Thursday and Friday nights. If others want to join, can get others including for Saturday night- however, no other waterfront sites available for Friday or Saturday (but as long as we have one, easy to park all the boats there) 2 vehicles allowed per site
October 4-6 Drive down Friday afternoon and return Sunday afternoon. You will need camping gear, food, and your boat. Dress for the weather. You might want binoculars and a bird book. Red Rock is about 4 hours from Bozeman, take 287 To Ennis, then 87 for 79 miles more miles to the turn off for Red Rocks Lakes. I did this paddle in October a few years ago, and the colors were fantastic. We saw so many kinds of ducks and other birds it was hard to keep count. We saw elk and deer and one moose. The otters played with us on the channel. The two lakes are on the level, so the channel between them has no current, so it requires paddling for one to the other. On our morning paddle we had very thick fog which gave the start a bit of mystery. Some notes regarding timing of this trip: It is a wildlife / waterfowl refuge and the channel between the lakes and most of the area is closed to paddling during the summer. Hence, we go in the Autumn. By October many of the migrating birds will have left, but fall colors and mountain backdrops should make for beautiful paddling. The refuge is large: 65,000 acres. It is at a relatively high elevation of about 7,000 feet so bring a warm sleeping bag, etc. Location is about 35 miles west of West Yellowstone. Here's the official description: Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has often been called the most beautiful national wildlife refuge in the United States. The rugged Centennial Mountains, rising to more than 10,000 feet, provide a dramatic backdrop for this extremely remote Refuge in Southwest Montana's Centennial Valley. Red Rock Lakes NWR encompasses primarily high mountain, wetland-riparian habitat--the largest in the Greater Yellowstone Area-- and is located near the headwaters of the Missouri River. Several creeks flow into the refuge, creating the impressive Upper Red Rock Lake, River Marsh, and Lower Red Rock Lake. The snows of winter replenish the refuge’s lakes and wetlands that provide secluded habitat for many wetland birds, including the trumpeter swan, white-faced ibis, and black-crowned night herons. The Refuge also includes wet meadows, willow riparian, grasslands, and forest habitats. This diversity provides habitat for other species such as sandhill cranes, long-billed curlews, peregrine falcons, eagles, hawks, moose, badgers, bears, wolves, pronghorns and native fish such as Arctic grayling and westslope cutthroat. Details will follow as the time gets closer. Vicki Hasler, trip planner