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Cowboy Heaven Consulting, LLC
6116 Walker Road
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-587-9563
1-877-613-0404
info@cowboyhvn.com

 

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  • Lewis & Clark Tours The Lewis & Clark Bicentennial is upon us, and since the Corps of Discovery spent more time in Montana than any other state (they were men of discerning taste, after all…), so should you! Seriously, you can gaze over vistas that remain largely unchanged from two hundred years ago, and in places like the Missouri Breaks it can be argued that civilization is in full retreat.
    If you’re a history buff, which I trust includes most who are looking at this page, I strongly urge you to read the Lewis & Clark Journals (most libraries have them). In some ways, particularly given the technology of their age, I think the Corps of Discovery's feats are more impressive than modern accomplishments like space travel. Lewis & Clark and their crew didn't have an army of technicians backing them up. They were out there on their own forFloating the Missouri in the Big Boat most of two years, and repeatedly made the right decisions in circumstances when making the wrong ones would have likely meant they would have vanished without a trace. Familiarity with their explorations will make following in their footsteps all the more fascinating, and give you an even greater appreciation for the obstacles they faced and overcame.
    For the full experience we recommend spending some time on the Missouri River downstream from Fort Benton, then following the Missouri upstream to its headwaters, touring around Beaverhead Rock, Traveler’s Rest, Lolo Pass, and other attractions on the overland portion of the route. We have two very good outfitters offering Lewis & Clark oriented float trips on the lower Missouri. One has regularly scheduled trips departing every Monday June-August. These are 3-day, 47 mile trips from Fort Benton to Judith Landing, and cost $635 (adult rate, inquire for youth and group rates). They also offer hiking and mountain bike trips over the Lolo Trail portion of the Corps’ route, as well as raft trips on the Lochsa, Salmon, and Clark’s Fork rivers west of the Divide. For further information click here.
    The other outfitter specializes in the lower Missouri offerings, and has a wide variety of possibilities. Their schedule is put together on a first-come, first-served basis, which obviously affords a higher degree of flexibility. Even last-minute planners can often join one of the group trips (14 people max), although we recommend booking early for exclusive trips for just your group (4-14 people). Prices start at $35/day for unguided canoe rentals, and single-day guided trips from Carter to Fort Benton, or Benton to Loma are $90/adult (2-person minimum, age 9 and under $35). Fully guided and outfitted trips of 3, 4, 5, or 7 days cost $175/day. The three and four-day trips are through the Native American PictographsWhite Cliffs section of the river, from Coal Banks to Judith Landing. Five-day trips allow even more time for exploring the White Cliffs section, or alternatively the lower section of the Missouri Breaks from Judith Landing to Kipp. The seven-day trips cover the entire 149 mile Wild & Scenic portion of the river. Expert guides with backgrounds in natural history, paleontology, botany, and geology will keep you spellbound with stories and information about this fascinating area, and will provide you with memories and stories of your own to last a lifetime!
    Once you hit the headwaters we have a superb tour guide offering a wide variety of explorations. Besides being a natural resource biologist and historian, he has a noteworthy personal connection to the Corps as his great-great grandfather helped bury Jean Baptiste "Pomp" Charbonneau (Sacagawea's son, born on the expedition). These tours are highly customizable, and a few options include;
    • Beaverhead Rock to Sacagawea Monument A day trip exploring the area where the Corps first met with the Shoshone and obtained the horses so critical to the expedition’s success.
    • Beaverhead Rock to Traveler’s Rest & return via the Big Hole See why the expedition had to cross Lost Tail Pass instead of floating down the Salmon River, and follow their route to Traveler’s Rest. The second day retraces Clark’s route through the Big Hole valley on their return trip in 1806.
    • Big Hole Valley to Camp Fortunate Horseback Ride A 2-day trip along the route Clark and Sacagawea took from their July 7, 1806 campsite on the Big Hole Divide to Camp Fortunate (they made that 30 mile trip in one day!) where they had cached the dugouts for the return trip.
    • Lewis & Clark Trail Overlook This one-day horseback ride begins on the trail Clark and Sacagawea took from their last encampment back to Camp Fortunate on the return voyage, and ascends to a high point overlooking the Corps’ route.

These tours can easily be expanded to include other historic sites such as old mining ghost towns, scenic tours through high mountain areas coveredRiders on the Lewis & Clark Trail Overlook ride with wildflowers, or even a hike where you can see over 200 wild elk (in a very scenic but not park setting) with their new born calves. Rates are very affordable, starting at $140/day, with family and group discounts available.
So what are you waiting for?! Pick up the phone (1-877-613-0404) or e-mail us and prepare to set out on your own voyage of discovery, and set your clock ahead to Mountain Time, the best time of your life!

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