MT Wild Explorer Highlights
REIMAGINED for 2024! Canoeing on the wild and scenic Upper Missouri River and
exploring the beauty of SW Montana!
DatesJun 22 - Jul 03, 2024
Ages14-16 (rising 9th-11th)
Tuition$3245 (airfare not incl.)
- Riverside canoe camping
- Expeditions by river and trail
- White Cliffs of the Missouri
- Hike slot canyon and coulees
- Natural hot spring pool soaking
- Horseback riding
- Swimming and campfire time
Despite some reservations on her age and readiness for this kind of trip, I encouraged Em to go ahead and have a great time. I sent a child that liked to sit around on Sat mornings and watch cartoons and eat junk food and I got back a child more self confident, who was into yoga...
Overnight Summer Camp Canoeing Adventure in Wild Montana
REIMAGINED for 2024! This 12-day camp emphasizes connection with nature, group living, and outdoor skills during a multi-day backcountry canoe expedition, along with a multitude of other adventures in Wild Montana!
The trip starts with a 45-mile point-to-point canoe trip down the most scenic section of the Upper Missouri River. The breathtaking rock formations, expansive river vistas, and delightful swimming opportunities, along with day-hiking and exploring the slot canyons and coulees that line the river, combine to create an adventure that has it all. From peaceful moments on the river to exhilarating rock scrambles, from laughter around the campfire to the soft rustling of cottonwoods, this canoe trip offers a unique opportunity to leave distractions behind. Alpengirls will revel in the unusual beauty of the Missouri River breaks and badlands, the simple joys of connecting with friends at camp, and the unexpected luxuries of canoe camping.
Limited to 12 mighty, water-loving Alpengirls that want to immerse themselves in nature, build new friendships, and discover their inner adventuress!
Day 1: Welcome to Alpengirl!
Arriving at Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, MT, your Alpenguides will greet you and introduce you to the rest of your group. Icebreakers, name games, and get-to-know-you fun abound before you and your new expedition mates hop in the van and drive to our first campsite situated near the mighty Missouri River.
We'll be following this waterway during our trip, so fittingly, we're starting our trip near the start of the river! Once we learn how to set up our tents, we’ll continue to get to know each other, then enjoy the first of many delicious and fresh camp meals.
Day 2: Time to get ready!
Rise and shine Alpengirls! Waking up energized from a good night’s sleep, you’ll bring your sleeping pad out to our morning circle for the first of our daily yoga sessions. We’ll allow our bodies to settle into the new rhythm of being outside as our Alpenguides serve a delicious breakfast – perhaps crunchy granola, fresh fruits and berries and strawberry yogurt (YUM!), before teaching us the basics of camping and outdoor living skills.
After lunch, we’ll start the trek to our watery wilderness adventure: a drive to north central Montana, arriving just 100 miles south of the Canadian border to historic Fort Benton, where we'll pick up our river gear and meet our professional canoe guides.
At our riverside campsite at the launch site, your Alpenguides will help you pack just the essentials, choosing your gear wisely for a fun and comfortable river trip.
Days 3 - 7: Paddlin’ time!
Grab your partners and your paddles, it's time to get on the river! We'll be introduced to our canoes, which will be our mode of transportation as we leave the van behind. You'll learn paddling and boating safety, then we'll pack up the boats and push off!
We're headed downriver through the White Cliffs and Badlands sections of the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River. Our five-day, four-night paddle takes us about 45 miles along the river – good thing we're going with the current! Lewis and Clark deemed this the most beautiful section of the Missouri on their famous expedition, and we’ll follow their journey as we pass through historic homesteads and ranches. We'll explore these and more, including hidden slot canyons, fascinating rock formations like Hole in the Wall and Seven Sisters, and trails through the bluffs and coulees of this remote stretch of river.
We'll use river maps and guides to plan each day's paddling, and keep our eyes open for the storied sites left by native people, Lewis and Clark, early settlers, and modern day ranchers. Steady paddling and the river's current will allow us to cover up to 15 miles each day, even with plenty of swimming stops and canoe games. We’ll enjoy delicious backcountry meals by the river at various campsites, both primitive and more established, while we play games, sing songs, and laugh around the campfire. We may even pitch our tents exactly where Lewis and Clark did over 200 years ago!
During our paddling days, we might see bald eagles and osprey fishing, beavers and otters scoping us out from their sheltered homes in the riverbank, or deer browsing among the sage. In the evening, we’ll watch the alpenglow on the white cliffs and for the first stars to appear in the sunset sky, while listening to waterfowl call to each other as we snuggle into our sleeping bags for a well-deserved rest. By the time you hit take-out, you'll know so much more about packing, paddling, and your own inner power!
Day 8: Ahh…relaxation
Bidding farewell to our trusty canoes, we’ll start our drive back towards the Gallatin Valley, stopping en route to re-supply our food, shower, and enjoy some freshly-laundered clean clothes. Tonight may be a good night to settle in for an evening of relaxed fun while we browse the items for sale in the Alpengirl Camp store and get a good night’s rest!
Day 9: Saddle up, cowgirls!
After our morning yoga routine and a hearty breakfast – breakfast quesadillas, anyone? – we’ll head out to saddle up our horses and begin our trail ride through breathtaking Big Sky Country. We’ll ride amongst the mighty cottonwoods that line the Yellowstone River and get the chance to experience a true Montana cattle and sheep ranch. After setting up at our new camp for the evening, we’ll get wild with an Alpenolympic event and perhaps even a themed costume party dinner!
Day 10: Climb on!
Moving from saddles into harnesses, we’ll be ready for a full day of rock climbing on a natural rock face overlooking the meandering Yellowstone River in the scenic Paradise Valley – the views only get better the higher you climb! We'll learn proper climbing and belaying techniques from our professional guides, and even girls who have never been on a wall before will get to call themselves climbers at the end of the day. Tonight we'll plan to soak in the natural hot spring pool near our campsite – what an absolutely amazing way to start winding down camp!
Day 11: Livingston exploration
After a well-deserved lie-in and leisurely breakfast, we'll head to downtown Livingston to explore, shop, and maybe even enjoy a local ice cream stand! Tonight, we’ll have our traditional End of Session Awards ceremony, pizza party, and exchange contact information with the new friends we’ve made.
Day 12: It’s time to go home!
Exchanging hugs with your friends, you’ll depart from Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, MT, knowing that you’ve had a ton of fun and accomplished great things as an Alpengirl and will be a part of our fantastic community for life. See you next summer!
PLEASE NOTE: Alpengirl reserves the right to cancel or alter any aspect of a program, before or during the session, including program itinerary, activities, or location for reasons including but not limited to weather, environment, logistics, or health hazards. If itinerary changes occur, we will substitute comparable alternatives, if possible. If there are significant itinerary changes, parents will be notified by email.
Trip Campsites & Amenities
Seven nights are spent at “front country” campsites with running potable water, and a private outhouse or flushing toilet.
Four nights are spent in tents in wilderness “backcountry” areas where we will provide our own potable water and learn to practice basic Leave No Trace camping skills such as how to select a campsite, how to go to the bathroom, and how to keep clean outdoors. Some backcountry campsites in this itinerary have an outhouse available to us. Where outhouses are not available on the river, we will use the required "Wag Bags" to pack out our human waste.
Why Choose This Trip
Campers who are looking for an adventure focused on the backcountry experience and leaving behind front country distractions will love this Montana Wild Explorer session. This trip will have any outdoorsy camper empowered and excited to plan their next river adventure upon return home. Campers will be cooking meals in the backcountry, nourished with friendship, sunshine, and the relaxation of wild places. Girls who want to leave the front country behind, soak up the beauty of their surroundings, go with the flow of the current, and are excited to develop confidence in their backcountry skills will find this to be the perfect trip! Limited to 12 campers in the group.