Paddle the Upper Missouri River: Fort Benton to Coal Banks Landing

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Added by Chris Engelsman

Experience the Upper Missouri River like Lewis & Clark from the 'Birthplace of Montana'!

Did you know that Fort Benton was considered the "World's  Innermost Port" until the railroads started moving goods and people across the west? Nowadays, some people call Fort Benton a "sleepy little river town", but paddlers and history buffs seek the solitude and beauty of the Upper Missouri River. 

Fort Benton is also the gateway to the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and located along the Lewis & Clark National Historic trail. 

Paddling from Fort Benton to Coal Banks Landing is an easy 2-day trip. There are many outfitters in Fort Benton like that provide rental, guide, and shuttle services. 


The river put-in is located directly across from Old Fort Benton. For the most part, camping is primitive along the river, but right before Decision Point is Wood Bottom Campground with a vault toilet. 

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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