Gallatin River Wyoming Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Gallatin River

The Gallatin River flows from the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, through the Gallatin Canyon by Big Sky Montana, and along the west side of Bozeman before merging with the Jefferson and Madison Rivers at Three Forks, Montana to form the Missouri River.

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What can I do and see along the Gallatin River?

  • Fishing: The entire stretch of river in the Gallatin Canyon (from where the river joins the road near the park border all the way until Gallatin Gateway) offers fantastic fishing. It is best fished from the shores or with waders. There are numerous pull-outs where you can easily access the river. Note that you might need a park fishing license in addition to a Montana license if you plan on fishing multiple sections.
  • Hiking: North of West Yellowstone, before US 191 truly enters the Gallatin Canyon, there are a number of trailheads located along the Gallatin River that offer access to the northwest section of Yellowstone National Park. Specimen Creek and Daly Creek are some of the best.
  • Rafting: One of the best whitewater rafting sections around is found along Gallatin Canyon and specifically between Big Sky and the northern entrance to the canyon. A number of nearby whitewater rafting companies offer day trips through this section.
  • Camping: There are a handful of campgrounds located right along the banks of the Gallatin River in the Gallatin River Canyon. A few of these (including Red Cliff Campground) can be booked online.
  • Big Sky, Montana: Just uphill from the Gallatin River is the town of Big Sky. Spread out into three distinct areas (Town, Meadow Village, and the Base Area), Big Sky offers both summer and winter visitors many amenities and activities.
  • Gallatin Canyon Scenic Drive: Whether you fish, camp, raft, or just take in the views, the drive through Gallatin Canyon is spectacular. High canyon walls tower over this narrow winding highway.

Where is the Gallatin River?

The Gallatin River emerges in the far northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. It flows along US 191 through the Gallatin Canyon, by Big Sky, and by Four Corners (just west of Bozeman), before merging with two other rivers in Three Forks to form the Missouri River. The most popular section of the river is accessible through Gallatin Canyon.

When is the Gallatin River accessible?

The Gallatin River is actually accessible year-round from US 191 between West Yellowstone, through Big Sky to Bozeman.

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