On Saturday, my roommate and I packed up our gear before daylight and headed out for an adventure on the Yellowstone River.

We've floated different sections of the Yellowstone River in the Paradise Valley, but on Saturday we decided to explore some uncharted territory. We got in the river at the Yankee Jim Canyon boat ramp which almost 40 miles south of Livingston. Our intention was to float to Mallard's Rest campground where our friends were camping.

We got to the boat ramp at 7:30 a.m. The sun wasn't quite over the mountains yet, and there are a few nice rapids through Yankee Jim Canyon. Within ten minutes of being on the river, my roommate and I were soaked from head to toe. It would be another half hour before we actually felt the sunshine on our shoulders. The scenery through the canyon is extraordinary. Despite being soaked, we were in awe of the sights.

After getting through Yankee Jim Canyon, the river slows down a bit and you float into the Paradise Valley. Not long after entering the valley, we were greeted by bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey, and a wide variety of other wildlife. We brought our fishing rods along, and I managed to catch four fish. Two brown trout, one cutthroat, and a white fish.

For both of us, it was the longest trip we had done on any river. We are blessed to live in an area with so many opportunities to get outdoors and recreate. The entire trip was just shy of 30 miles, and took us 12 hours. We stopped at a few rock bars for some rock hounding and to have lunch, so we weren't on the water for the entire 12 hours. We got out of the river at 7:30 p.m. While I was exhausted after spending so much time on the water, it was truly an experience I'll never forget.

Floating the Yellowstone River

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