Off the Map: Canoe in the Remote Upper Missouri River Wilderness

Canoe and hike in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark to explore Montana’s untouched wilderness, discover Native American pictographs, learn about local wildlife and camp under the stars.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20626RJ
8 days
Starts at
8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7B 6L 7D
Coal Banks Landing, Board Canoes, Lewis & Clark Camp
Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River
Eagle Creek Hike, Pictographs, Wildlife, Hole in the Wall
Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River
Judith Landing, Camp Near McGarry Bar
Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River
Missouri Breaks, Bighorn Sheep, Gist Bottom
Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River
Hike, Chief Joseph History, Woodhawk Campground
Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River
Program Concludes
Fort Benton, Montana
View Full Itinerary

At a Glance

“As we passed on, it seemed as if those scenes of visionary enchantment would never have an end,” from the journal of Meriwether Lewis, 1805. With a paddle in hand, discover the same enchanting wilderness that awed Lewis and Clark as you explore the 50-mile White Cliffs stretch of Montana’s Missouri River by canoe. Alongside local experts, glide through tranquil waters while immersing yourself in these remote landscapes like the Corps of Discovery once had and connect with the quiet beauty of nature. Challenge both your mind and body on canoeing and hiking adventures to study fascinating local flora and fauna, and reflect on your journey each night as you rest you head under a tapestry of stars.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Challenging
Canoe up to five to six hours a day on a flat river, typically 18-23 miles per day. Climbing in and out of canoes. No prior canoeing or camping experience required. Hiking up to 3 miles, some climbing over rocks.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Venture miles away from civilization to savor the silence, view abundant wildlife and bald eagle nesting sites before basking under a canopy of a million stars.
  • Take a step through time and explore Native American tipi rings and petroglyphs alongside an expert.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as you discover historic sites on a stretch of the river virtually unchanged since they traveled there over 200 years ago.

General Notes

This program is part of our “Off the Map” series, exploring truly remote areas of the United States as a way to connect with local culture and landscapes, and disconnect with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Our goal is to bring you to places that have limited (or no) access to Wi-Fi, cell service and other technology so you can enjoy authentic learning experiences without modern distractions. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Keith Edgerton
Keith Edgerton teaches early American and Montana history, and environmental history at Montana State University in Billings. Holder of a Ph.D. in American Studies from Washington State University, Keith’s passion focuses on explorers Lewis and Clark. However, he is writing a book on a 19th-century Montana copper baron, William A. Clark, who is not of Lewis and Clark fame. This William Clark became a U.S. Senator in a scandalous 1901 election and died one of the world’s wealthiest persons.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Keith Edgerton
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
We Proceeded On
by Caroline Patterson ed.
This journal is solely dedicated to aspects of Lewis and Clark.
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Only One Man Died: The Medical Aspects of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
by Eldon G. Chuinard
Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
by Dayton Duncan & Ken Burns
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
by Bernard DeVoto
The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Volumes 2 – 11
by Gary Moulton
Passage Through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest
by John Logan Allen
A good analysis of geography and cartography before, during and after the expedition.
Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents
by Donald Jackson
All of the other miscellaneous material related to the expedition.
Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
by James Ronda
Some recent and classic essays on many different aspects of the expedition.
The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (PBS)
by Ken Burns
2 part series on video.
Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists
by Paul Russell Cutright
Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery
by Ambrose
National Geographic coffee table book that serves as a visual companion to Undaunted Courage.
Lewis and Clark Among the Indians
by James P. Ronda

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