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River Guides | Bozeman, MT

Upper Missouri River Guides | By river guides
420 North 10th Av, Bozeman, MT 59715
2.3k 712

How Much

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All ages


Check the description for time information.

Contact Info

406.582.9720 Visit Website


Glenn Monahan, Founder and Owner

Upper Missouri River Guides

My name is Glenn Monahan. I am the founder of Upper Missouri River Guides, which I operate with my wife Nancy, and our partner Brett Burglund. Since 1994, I’ve escorted hundreds of guests on canoe trips down the Upper Missouri.

I consider the Upper Missouri to be a national treasure, because of the wealth of historic sites along the river, and because of the Upper Missouri’s remote, rugged beauty, both of which combine to provide a unique recreational opportunity for visitors. Over the years, I’ve been active in advocating for - and in some cases fighting for - protecting the Upper Missouri from development, and to assure that it remains a national treasure for future generations to enjoy.

I prefer to keep our guiding and outfitting business small, which means that you'll always be canoeing the river accompanied by one of the owners of our business and not a seasonal employee.

I've also made the decision to distinguish us from our competitors by purchasing the best canoes and equipment available, most notably our Wenonah canoes, and our ZRE ultra-light carbon-fiber paddles. They are the best in use on the Upper Missouri.

I am particularly interested in the river’s rich and exciting history which I enjoy sharing with guests. In 1997, I co-authored a 250 page guidebook for the Upper Missouri that highlights the historic sites along the 149-mile wild and scenic stretch, and also includes chapters on the river's geology, wildlife and recreation; it is the only guidebook available for the Upper Missouri and the second edition was published in 2001. I hold a Geology degree from Montana State University and I’ve spent a great deal of time unraveling the fascinating geologic story of the river corridor. Over the years I've assembled a repertoire of hikes to areas of historic and geologic interest. Annually, I teach a college class entitled, "Montana’s Historic Missouri River", that is attended by teachers from throughout the U.S.

Most of our guided trips are multi-day wilderness excursions; however we also offer a one night "Upper Missouri Sampler" trip, and a day paddle on the river. Safety and preparedness are important to me, and are part of our planning for each trip. I have previous work experience as a Park Ranger (Yellowstone and Mt. Rainier) for six years, a twelve-year member of the National Ski Patrol, and a volunteer with my local search and rescue unit. I am a proud member of the Montana Wilderness Association and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, The Wilderness Society, Montana State Historical Society, and the Geological Society of America. I worked for sixteen years as a high school science teacher.

The Upper Missouri offers many things including a rich history, spectacular geology, and the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing canoe trip through a part of Montana that has changed but little since Lewis and Clark passed through in 1805. I consider myself quite fortunate to be able to guide and outfit in such a splendid outdoor setting and I would appreciate the opportunity to help you put together a trip on Montana’s Upper Missouri River.

Brett Burglund, Co-Owner and Guide

 Brett Burglund is a native Montanan, born and raised in Kalispell, in northwest Montana's Flathead Valley, just 32 miles from Glacier National Park. He is an avid boatman, who's spends lots of time in kayaks, canoes, and rafts. He has won numerous kayaking competitions, and has paddled waters throughout the western U.S., including the forks of the Salmon river in Idaho, and many Montana rivers. He's been a partner in Upper Missouri River Guides since 1999.

Brett is an excellent chef and is usually in charge of the meal preparation duties in camp, a task which typically wins him lots of compliments.

Brett is well versed on the river's history, and he frequently leads hikes to some of the historic sites located off the river, such as tipi rings and old homestead buildings. Brett has explored much of the land adjacent to the river on foot, and has put together an itinerary of hikes to spectacular viewpoints high above the river, which provide breathtaking views and great photographic opportunities.

During the remainder of the year, when Brett is not guiding on the Upper Missouri, he attends college, and enjoys snowboarding at Big Mountain Ski Resort, and in the northwest Montana backcountry, as well as hiking, backpacking, and climbing.

  A Short Introduction To Our Guide Service

Montana's Upper Missouri is one of  the premier canoe trips in the United States, and the most unspoiled segment of the entire Lewis & Clark Trail. The river corridor is a 149 mile wilderness and most trips on the river involve one to several nights of camping. The Upper Missouri is blessed with outstanding scenery, spectacular geology, and abundant wildlife. A Class One river, with no rapids, it can be canoed by beginner-level  paddlers, including children. Since 1994 our family operated business has guided hundreds of clients on the Upper Missouri, including families, groups of friends, and business retreats. We have authored and published the only available guidebook for the Upper Missouri. Our all-inclusive guided trips provide you with all of the equipment and amenities to enjoy the Upper Missouri to its fullest, including:

High-tech, top of the line Wenonah canoes of fiberglass and Kevlar construction. They are unquestionably the lightest, safest, and fastest canoes on the river, and Upper Missouri River Guides is the only outfitter offering them. Their high-tech design significantly reduce paddling effort, getting you down the river with fewer paddling strokes and less energy expended. Mass-produced aluminum and plastic canoes  simply don't compare with the performance, comfort,  and quality of these hand-built craft.


We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve you. Thanks!