The many rivers of western Montana offer wonderful opportunities for kayak and raft trips. Actually, you don’t even need to leave downtown Missoula  to play in a kayak; check out the “play wave” that has been constructed in the Clark Fork River just downstream of the Higgins Street Bridge by Caras Park.
The friendly and experienced 10,000 Waves Raft and Kayak Adventures (1311 E. Broadway, 406/549-6670 or 800/537-8315, www.10000-waves.com ) is one of the best of the local outfitters and offers trips on the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork through both Hell Gate Canyon and Alberton Gorge . Trips are available on regular inflatable rafts, hard-shell or inflatable kayaks, or the new “sit-on-tops.”
Raft trips are the least expensive, starting at $52 for a half-day excursion; full-day trips, which include lunch, begin at $82. A variety of kayak lessons and clinics are also offered.