helena kayaking

Where to kayak near Helena


While there aren’t nearly as many opportunities for kayaking near Helena as there are in other parts of the state, one outstanding exception is the Gates of the Mountains, a river surrounded by 28,000 acres of roadless, undeveloped wilderness. This natural preserve is located halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, just twenty miles north of Helena.  It advertises its goals as “to educate, protect, and allow for its visitors to explore one a  great place.” The Gates of the Mountains has a marina with 150 private boat docks and a publicly accessible boat ramp, as well as a boat tour serving over 30,000 visitors a year. There you can follow in the pathway of Lewis and Clarke either by taking a boat tour or solo kayaking.
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helena montana history

History of Helena, Montana


The first inhabitants of what is now Helena, Montana were native Americans who inhabited the valley some 12,000 years ago. Though not permanent residents, members of the Salish, Crow, Bannock and Blackfeet tribes regularly crossed through the valley. In 1805 the Lewis and Clark expedition brought the first white visitors to the valley. William Clark reportedly had to stop and remove seventeen cactus spines from his feet, leading him to name the nearby creek and valley “Prickly Pear.” Trappers who came to the valley in the early nineteenth century were pushed aside by white settlers.
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