Popular Float Trips on the Bitterroot River

Float Trip 1: West Fork of the Bitterroot
During spring and early summer, this section can be dangerous. Check with one of the shops for the latest information.

Float Trip 2: Hannon Access (the bridge just south of the West Fork Road) to Wally Crawford (Como Bridge)

Dipper - Blackfoot River

By far this is the most heavily floated section, yet the fishing is excellent. Plan a full day float or a short float to Darby Bridge.

Float Trip 3: Wally Crawford to Angler’s Roost Campground

Be sure to register at Angler’s Roost. Plan for a full day float, and be prepared to portage at Sleeping Child Dam.

Float Trip 4: Angler’s Roost to Woodside (Corvallis Bridge)

Be prepared for a sharp turn and a huge rock just above Hamilton’s Main Street Bridge. Below the bridge you will have to portage around a diversion dam. If you go over it, unload your passengers on the right bank above the dam. After you float under the silver bridge south of town, the river forks to the left past Blodgett Park (an exit site) or to the right. The right channel gets very low late in the summer, and the left channel can be snaggy and dangerous during high water.

Float Trip 5: Corvallis Bridge to Tucker West

Stay in the left (west) channel. This mid-section of the river from Tucker West to Bell Crossing loses a great deal of water from late July on, which makes for slow floating and, on low water years, some boat dragging.

Float Trip 6: Bell Crossing to Stevensville

A full day float.

Float Trip 7: Stevensville to Florence

This is a very full day float if you fish hard. Plan on taking out after the cocktail hour.

Float Trip 8: Florence Bridge to Lolo Sewage Treatment Plant

This too is a very long float both in mileage and slow water. You may shave off a couple miles by launching at Chief Looking Glass Campground. Keep in mind that you will have to portage your boat about 40 yards up a bank to the parking lot. Due to the warm summer water conditions, the fishing is generally poor until fall.

Bitterroot River Mileage Chart
The following mileage between access points is approximate calculations starting from Missoula and moving to Hannon Memorial south of Darby.

  • Maclay Bridge (Missoula-North Avenue) to Buckhouse Bridge (Missoula-Highway 93): 5.8 miles
  • Buckhouse Bridge to Lolo Treatment plant: 10.5 miles
  • Lolo treatment plant to Chief Looking Glass: 12.7 miles
  • Chief Looking Glass to Florence Bridge: 2.2 miles
  • Florence Bridge to Stevensville Bridge: 10.1 miles
  • Stevensville Bridge to Bell Crossing Bridge: 9.5 miles
  • Bell Crossing to Victor Crossing: 2.7 miles
  • Victor Crossing to Tucker Crossing: 4.2 miles
  • Tucker Crossing to Woodside (Corvallis bridge): 4.8 miles
  • Woodside to Silver Bridge (Hamilton city limits): 3.1 miles
  • Silver bridge to Main Street Bridge: 2.0 miles
  • Main Street Bridge to Angler’s Roost: 4.5 miles (Ask for permission at Angler’s Roost campground.)
  • Angler’s Roost to Como Bridge: 9.8 miles
  • Como Bridge to Old Darby Bridge (private): 6.3 miles
  • Old Darby Bridge to Hannon Memorial: 3.8 miles