Missouri River Float/Camp

Planning to do a three night float/camp trip on the Missouri. The intention is to just load up all of the gear in the raft and camp along the way. Has anyone done this? It looks like the Dam to Cascade section has plenty of islands where a tent could be set-up, not to mention the fishing access sights along the way. Any info would be much appreciated.


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There are campsites at
-- Holter Dam - nice campsites, water, vault toilets
-- Wolf Creek Bridge - no drinkable water, but vault toilets
-- Craig - water, toilets, 3 shops, bar/resturants
-- Stickney Creek - no drinkable water, but vault toilets
-- Spite Hill - no drinkable water, vault toilets
-- Mid Canon - no drinkable water, vault toilets, but really nice camp spot
-- Mountain Palace - no drinkable water, vault toilets, but really nice camp spot
-- Prewitt - no drinkable water, vault toilets, but really nice camp spot, a bar/resturant ~ 300 yards away.
-- Pelican Pt - no drinkable water, vault toilets, but really nice camp spot

The only problem I'd foresee is these are popular camp sites and by the time you'd float down to them, all the places would be likely be filled.

There are islands, but many of them are covered pretty thickly with willows etc. Only a couple I can think of would even have a decent flat open spot for even a 2-man backpacker tent. Plus, this time of year they are normally an inch or two deep in goose shit.

You'd be better off picking one of these campsites and then either getting one of the shops to shuttle your rig every day, or cache a bicycle and shuttle yourself.



Active Member
also if you pick a campsite you have a lot more water to fish and are not limited to the island. wow,that mt has a lot of info, thanks i might use some of it in the future. have a great time. mike w


Active Member

Great info. However, I've camped at Craig a few times and there's no water at the campsite; the folks at The Trout Shop were more than happy to let me fill up my jugs (I'm sure the other shops would, too). Also, bring TP; Montana FWP seemed to be a bit slow on the draw to re-supply.

One word of warning; Stickney Creek CG has been overrun by a pack of feral dogs

constant scratches and head rubs were the only thing that saved me

I fished the Missouri from Wolf Creek Bridge to Mid Cannon 4 days last week. We were all fishing on top and picked up a lot of weeds in the process and a lot of cast and clean. That being said what fish we did get were huge, 18-23". Not knowing when you are going I would suggest you check with one of the fly shops to see what the weed situation is.


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Just do what some whitewater guys do and sleep on your raft. I have friends that have platforms to sleep out on if it's nice or they can pitch a 2 person tent on it if it's not. You can even add uprights that allow you to hang hammocks. Best part is with the right set-up, your tear down is minimal and in the morning, you are on the water quickly.

Here's one from Down River Equip: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2969849&id=119658745843



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isthere any hazards like ticks, snakes, scorpions, cactus, poison ive or oak, etc. mike w
My recollection of a spigot at Craig comes from 10 or so years ago, so maybe there never was one there and my CRS has kicked in or it was there years ago and they took it out. Sorry about that one, but as mentioned there are places in Craig to fill your bottles. Of course you can always bring a purification system and pump your own drinking water.

Ticks - not so much this time of year. April and May, yes.
Snakes - a few, both rattler and bull. The bulls are aggressive, the rattlers not so much. I watched a rattler swimming across the Mo once that slithered up a fellow guides anchor and rope that was hanging in the water. When he finally figured out I wasn't kidding him about what I saw, it got pretty crazy in his boat until he rowed to shore and the snake got out of his boat and into the willows.
Scorpions - no
Cactus - yes, some
Poison ivy - yes, but not a lot. I've picked it up a few times while wet wading the river and then while watching risers instead of where I was walking down the bank, found myself walking bare legged through a patch of it.
Bears - I've seen Black and a couple Grizzly bears along the Missouri. FWP has trapped a few grizzlies that were knocking over bee hives a few years back along the river between the Wolf Creek bridge and Craig. The fall choke cherries brings out the Black bears. A long dry spell brings everything to the river including herds of elk. A shuttle driver totaled a van on the Rec Road one morning when he hit a big bull.
Badgers - there were a few that hung out where the Dearborn comes in. Mean little bastards. A few times the road guys have dumped deer carcasses off the I-15 bridge and that pile of smelly meat attracted all sorts of critters, including a few badgers and bears.
Montuckians - Meth makers and tweakers are around. A couple of them were cooking in a run down trailer on a turnout on the Rec Road. It blew up and they caught on fire. To the best of my knowledge, there have been very few vehicle break ins, but I'd still lock my car. And everyone knows the spare keys go on the gas cap, so you might want to try a different place or better yet make an extra set of keys for the shuttle drivers or your buddy.
Livestock - Ranchers along the river have both horses and cows. They'll head to the river for water. You might awake one morning with a curious critter licking your face or surrounded by a dozen or so bulls. Not life threatening though I wouldn't try to ride the horses backback while holding a Bud Light in your other hand. Most of those horses haven't seen a halter or saddle in their entire life. If you do decided to play drunk rodeo cowboy, give me a call and I'll sell tickets . . .
Private Property - Much of the land along the Missouri from Holter Dam to Cascade is private property. The Sterling Ranch and others have been very tolerant of anglers, but I'm not sure if they would be happy to see a campsite and fire ring on their land. So, while you're welcome to the parts below the high water mark, be sure to respect the stream access laws. We fly fishermen are forever in court against land owners trying to reverse that law. Don't give the opposition ammo.

The feral dogs at Stickney made me laugh . . .



Active Member
wow, another thesis on the wild part of the mo. thanks for the wildlife summary. i like everything except the weeds. makes me want to grab my rod and be gone for a week. the weeds are still a problem in october. the trick is to catch afish on the first cast. thanks again, mike w


Author, Writer, Photographer
The "floating golf courses" on the Mo are a pain in the ass. If you want to avoid them come early in the year or right after a very high water scouring.

If you come and there's still snow on the mountains like in the photo below, there will be virtually zero aquatic grasses floating on the river.


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