Rafting Montana near Yellowstone National Park & Big Sky, MT

Compare the Rivers We Raft

We proudly run Yellowstone rafting, Big Sky rafting, and Bear Trap Canyon rafting trips on the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Madison rivers. All three of these rivers flow out of Yellowstone National Park. They are among the most beautiful and pristine waters in the lower 48 states. We have everything from technical class IV rapids, to fun splashy class II and III rapids, to scenic relaxing class I rapids. Big Sky & Yellowstone whitewater rafting trips are fun for the whole family! Any additional activity added to your raft trip will receive a discount! 

Gallatin RiverYellowstone RiverMadison River
Located: Gallatin Gateway, MT. Between Bozeman and Big Sky, North of West YellowstoneLocated: Gardiner, MT. North Entrance to Yellowstone National ParkLocated: Ennis, MT. West of West Yellowstone
Experience: Perfect for thrill seekers & families with first timers - We run multiple sections of the riverExperience: Perfect for families and first timersExperience: Perfect for those looking for a remote wilderness trip
Level: Class II-IV+ (water permitting)Level: Class II-III+ Level: Class II-IV+ (water permitting)
Price: Average $$Price: Least $$Price: Most $$
River Type: Small volume river runs through Gallatin Canyon of Gallatin National ForestRiver Type: Wide, deep river runs through Paradise Valley with mountain vistas of the Absorokas and Gallatin Range in the backgroundRiver Type: Wilderness scenic trip punctuated by a few great rapids. Enjoy the ride and the scenery while your guide rows the raft through the rapids
Other: If you are looking for the most action packed day trip, this is it!Other: Closest Rafting to Yellowstone National ParkOther: Guided Fly Fishing trips available.

How to Choose the Best Yellowstone Whitewater Rafting for your Group

Montana Whitewater offers trips on what we believe are the three best rivers for whitewater rafting near Yellowstone National Park. Let us help you choose the best trip for your group!

River Comparison:

River Location/Convenience - Are you closer to one or another?

Remember, there is no whitewater rafting available within the boundaries of Yellowstone Park. All white water rafting near Yellowstone occurs just outside the park.

Yellowstone Rafting office is in Gardiner- right at the North Entrance of Yellowstone.

Big Sky Rafting office is 60 miles north of the West Entrance of Yellowstone –  Big Sky, MT.

Bear Trap Canyon is near Ennis, MT. We meet our guests at Warm Springs or California Corner access points on the river, depending on the trip.

Water Level - What is your groups comfort zone?

What is your groups comfort zone?

• The Yellowstone Rafting trip on the Yellowstone River is lots of fun but not extremely challenging. Great for kids, first timers, school groups and many others. You can paddle or ride along. If you are staying closer to the Yellowstone, but want more challenge, don’t forget about our small boat or inflatable kayak trips.

• The Big Sky Rafting trip on the Gallatin River has options for less challenging or more challenging. The More Challenging tour includes the Mad mile – a legendary stretch of rapids – the longest in the area. You are expected to paddle. The Less Challenging stretch includes fun, short class III rapids that offer a thrill for all ages. Most of our trips begin on the northern most part of Beautiful Big Sky Montana.

• The Bear Trap Canyon rafting trip on the Madison River has some class III rapids in the morning and an afternoon of scenic floating. Participants who are uncomfortable traveling on the class IV Kitchen Sink rapid can walk a nice trail around and watch the boats go through. This small group trip is characterized by the unique wilderness river setting.

River Scenery – What will I see around me?

• The Yellowstone River runs through a wide, high desert valley with grand mountain views all around. This generally means lots of warm sun, wave rapids, and the potential to view wildlife from the river. The road is nearby, but not apparent during most of the trip. View Yellowstone Rafting Photo Gallery

• The Gallatin River winds through a rocky, narrow canyon. It has dramatic scenery with rock outcroppings and thick pine forested mountains rising directly from the shore. The road is nearby this premier stretch of whitewater.

• The Madison River is the most remote and scenic as it is a wilderness run with no roads next to the river. It runs through a narrow, rocky canyon full of wildlife and beautiful views to take in. The lunch stop is a great place to sit back and enjoy the wilderness setting.

Trip Prices – What is your fun budget for this trip?

The Yellowstone Rafting trip is least expensive, the Big Sky Rafting trip a little more and the Bear Trap Canyon rafting is the premier trip. There are no hidden charges for wetsuits. Kids 12 and under receive a discounted price on most of our trips so the whole family can enjoy the river. Also, keep in mind that you can make a reservation ahead of time without any deposit and only a 48 hour cancellation policy. Pay when you arrive!