SUP Montana

Standing Up Under the Big Sky

Standup Paddling Montana

From glassy lakes to hard-charging white water, Montana is a standup paddler’s paradise. My guidebook, Standup Paddling Montana, published by Falcon Guides, is the best SUP-specific resource focused on Montana. Grab a copy at your local gear or bookstore and get paddling! If your local shop doesn’t have the book, please ask them to stock it! If you can’t wait to get a copy locally, it’s available through online retailers.

This site is a companion to the book. Over the years, I’ve taken lots of video and paddled some spots that didn’t make it into the book. I figured I’d share it all to help make SUP safer and more fun for everyone.

I hope you enjoy this free content. If you want more detailed descriptions of more than 70 paddles throughout Montana PLUS Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, order a copy of the book!

That’s K, the foster son we cared for in 2019, paddling through the Gates of the Mountains near Helena on the cover of the book. How cool is that?

I’ve been standup paddling Montana’s lakes, rivers, creeks, and parks for nearly 15 years.

I’m grateful to the public land managers and the river organizations that help keep these environments healthy and open to all of us.

It’s important to recognize that we all live and recreate on lands that once belonged, or still do, to Montana’s Indigenous peoples. If you’re paddling or recreating on tribal land, be sure to get the right permits and/or permission.

Safety…I’m big on safety. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to write a guidebook. I’ve seen too many folks without even the most basic safety gear (like a PFD!) or using the gear they have incorrectly. Knowledge is power, whether it’s about current river flows or basic safety equipment. We all wanna come back to paddle another day, so check out these basic tips to make your next paddle your safest.

Videos…I’ve paddled with a GoPro 4 since I got it for a gift years ago (when I remember to stick it on the helmet anyway). Check out the footage I’ve snagged over the years. It’s not the best, but it might help you scout your next paddle.

Photos…I love shooting photos from my board (that’s me in the photo) and have (literally) thousands in my files. Better to have some out in the world, then marooned on a hard drive.

Places to Paddle…My Standup Paddling Montana guidebook has detailed descriptions, maps, directions, and more for tons of standup paddling in Montana and its National Parks. For some high-level info about a few spots and some special highlights that didn’t fit the page count, check out this page.

River Flows…You gotta know how the river flows. This page has embedded hydrographs (updated hourly) for many of Montana’s rivers. Even a small change in flow can make a big difference in how your paddle goes.

Paddling Responsibly… Safety is critically important, but so is personal responsibility to the planet and other paddlers. I don’t like to scold or finger wag, but given that I wrote a guidebook encouraging people to get out on Montana’s waterways, I feel it’s important to offer some suggestions on how to reduce paddling’s impact on the earth and our impact on each other. Thanks for doing your part.

About Me

I love paddling (and skiing and hiking and camping and pretty much all things outdoors). Over the years, I learned a lot about paddling in Montana and especially about standup paddling the Big Sky State. I’m a professional writer and communicator with a passion for outdoor adventure, conservation, and America’s incredible public lands. I love what I do but financial security is tenuous at best. If you appreciate this content, please buy a book!

Me on a five-day paddle down the White Cliffs section of the Wild and Scenic Missouri River.