Get up, Get out, Go Rafting!

Learn to Raft with Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures! LCTA been providing the Fundamentals of Whitewater rafting for over 20 years. This is a 4-day working river trip on the Salmon River of No Return through the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness. This multi-day wilderness river trip  can be taken as a University of Montana class through the Health & Human Performance Department, Course Name: ACT 176.

Paddle boat instruction on the salmon river
Paddle Boat technique

Learn how to guide a paddle boat.

Field trip:
April 17-21, 2019
Class meetings in LA 203:  Tues 3/5, Thurs 3/7 and Tues 3/12 @  3:00-3:50 pm
Note: Classroom meetings are not every Tues & Thurs, just the above dates.


Interested in summer employment with our company?
Fill out our employment application and return via scan/email, regular mail or in person (with an appointment) at 912 E. Broadway.

Contact us:

Phone: 406-728-7609 or email is best during the winter.
Learn more about our company:


Photo Gallery

Salmon River Canyon
Upriver view after the confluence of the South Fork of the Salmon
Salmon River of No Return
Group photo on California Beach
Salmon River wildflowers
Arrowleaf Balsamroot in bloom
Whitewater rafting instuctor
Josh Mahan, lead guide and river instructor
Paddle Rafts
LCTA Paddle Rafts
Rowing technique
Rowing Big Mallard
Scouting a rapid on the Salmon River
Scouting a rapid
Making lunch on the salmon river
Jimmy making lunch boatside
Whitewater rafting river rescue techniques
Z-drag set up on shore
Knot tying for river rescue on the Salmon river
Knot tying at camp, in the sun!
Native American Petroglyphs on the Salmon River
Native American Petroglyphs
Paddle boat instruction on the salmon river
Paddle Boat technique
Paddle boat instruction on the salmon river
Paddle boat running Big Mallard
Rowing technique on the Salmon River
Rowing after Big Mallard
Rowing technique on the salmon river
Cataraft in Big Mallard
hot springs on the salmon river
Hot Springs after boat flipping drill
river rescue instruction on the salmon river
Boat Flipping drill
river rescue instruction on the salmon river
Boat flipping drill
Salmon River Canyon, Horse Creek Confluence
Salmon River at Horse Creek confluence

Stay Warm-Spring time rafting

Excerpts from:
Whitewater Rescue Manual
By Charles Walbridge & Wayne A. Sundmacher Sr.Charlie Walbridge is one of the first seven individuals inducted into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame. He is being recognized for his many contributions to the whitewater safety and rescue field. Charlie has conducted numerous swiftwater rescue clinics for NRS associates and we’re proud to be associated with him!The International Whitewater Hall of Fame and Museum is located at the Adventure Sports Center International, McHenry, Maryland

Cold-Water Protection (Pg 24-25)

Water draws heat from the body 25 times faster than air. Like windchill, the effects of cold water increase when the current is fast. Sudden immersion in snowmelt or spring runoff is extremely debilitating, causing a substantial loss of strength, coordination, and judgment rather quickly. All cold-weather paddlers should select the gear needed for the insulation required to stay warm.

Drysuits and wetsuits both work effectively in cold water. In a wetsuit, air is trapped inside the neoprene material, and the suit fits snugly enough to keep most cold water out. What little water gets inside is quickly warmed by the user’s body heat. Drysuits create an actual barrier between the environment and the paddler, eliminating that initial “cold-water shock.” Paddling drysuits are made of a waterproof material with latex seals at the neck, wrists, and ankles. The paddler regulates the inside temperature by adding or removing layers of insulation, such as pile or polypropylene. In milder weather, a water-proof shell top or paddle jacket can be combined with pile clothing or a wetsuit for comfort.

The first goal is to protect the torso, which shelters the “core” of the body. The greatest heat loss occurs in the armpits and crotch. Next, pay special attention to the extremities. The head radiates a surprising amount of heat. If the helmet alone is not warm enough, pile or neoprene liners can be worn inside. Neoprene booties cover the paddler’s feet, and if the sole is thick enough they can be used alone. Another alternative is to wear lightweight neoprene socks inside sneakers. In cold weather a boater’s hands quickly lose the strength and sensitivity needed for effective paddling. Neoprene gloves or mittens are one answer; mittens are warmer than gloves, but more awkward and harder to find. Pogies (mittens that cover both the hand and the paddle) permit direct hand-to-paddle contact for maximum control with a kayak paddle. In borderline weather, carry hand protection along for possible use later in the day.

Recommended Gear List

Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures
Recommended Gear List ACT 176-Fund Whitewater rafting

River layering system – Synthetic Fiber

___ 2 Base layers of silk-wt or light wt

___ 2-3 2nd layer of fleece tops

___ 2 fleece bottom if using paddling pants

___ 3rd layer Paddling jacket & pants

___ Fleece or wool hat & gloves

Camp Clothing – Separate from or in addition to River Clothing

___ Carharts or other heavy duty pants

___ Fleece jacket and pants

___ Parka and/or rain gear

___ Fleece or wool hat & gloves

___ 6-8 wool or fleece socks


****Comfort comes first with shoes

___ Neoprene booties

___ Teva-type sandals (river shoes)

___ light-wt hiking shoes (camp shoes)

Toiletries***Keep to a minimum

LCTA provides standard first aid kit on all trips. You may want to bring your own supply of preferred remedies. Please specify if you have any serious allergies or medical conditions.

Camping Equipment

___Tent and/or tarp

___ Sleeping pad (if not waterproof, goes in dry bag)

___ Sleeping bag (goes in dry bag)

___ Water Bottle, Nalgene recommended

___ Coffee mug

___ Any other personal camping equipment

___ ________________________________

___ ________________________________

___ ________________________________

Packing tips:

    1. Need gear? Contact Wayne at number below for recommendations.
    2. Always be prepared for sudden weather changes.
    3. Pack layering systems for maximum versatility with minimal clothing.
    4. Line dry bag with garbage bag. Our dry bags are 16” diameter x 33” tall or 3.8 cubic ft. when sealed and lined with plastic.
    5. Bring extra zip-locs or plastic bags to keep wet clothing separated from dry

Leave No Trace things to remember

      1. Remove all packaging prior to arrival at the put-in from newly purchased items to reduce garbage on the river.
      2. No soap is allowed in the river, wash in the sand or rocks. Wet wipes are a good alternative to freshen up.
      3. All micro-trash is packed out.

Cold Water &  Weather considerations Multiple layers of  light-wt to mid-wt or heavy-wt capilene/under armor or other synthetic fiber and fleece.

Always keeping your wet river clothing separate from dry camp clothing.

LCTA has the following river gear if needed

Wetsuit, Paddling top and Neoprene Booties

Questions? Call LCTA

Toll-free      1-800-366-6246

Local                    406-728-7609



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Trip Pricing & Provisions

Trip fees are $320 and paid through UM – let us know if you need to make alternate arrangements or if you are interested in taking this course, but not enrolled at UM.

LCTA will Provide:

Whitewater & safety workshops on the river and at camp

Cold water gear to include wetsuit, neoprene booties, paddling top

Dry suits available for rent, please inquire for availability and pricing

Waterproof Dry Bags for all personal items – clothing, personal sleeping bag, toiletries, etc…

All meals starting from 4/18 Breakfast and ending with 4/21 lunch

Beverages including drinking water & lemonade or gatorade.

Shuttle Transportation based out Missoula, MT



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