Canoeing in the upper Missouri river Wilderness (Lewis & Clark)

If you have done this trip I would love to hear your reflection on the trip. I am considering doing it. 

  • I, too, am very interested in this trip and would love some information. Specifically, I would like to know how "hard" it is. I have done some hiking, some canoeing but not a lot. Not sure if I have strength and stamina to be in the back of the canoe. I am going as a solo traveler. Also I have done a bit of hiking but nothing too long (say, over 3 miles) or strenuous (lots of climbing). I am 67, in reasonable shape but not athletic. Would love any type of information to let me know how I should proceed.
  • In reply to ceczander8051256:

    Here is a very helpful reply to my question from Road Scholar. Maybe it will help others.
    We contacted the program coordinators regarding Canoeing in the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River Wildern : 06/18/2018 : 20626 to see if we could get you some additional information and they responded with the following details:

    "I can’t recall now how many Road Scholar trips we’ve done over the years (even when there were lower-end age restrictions in place) and we’ve had folks in their late 60s all the way into their 80s do the trip, with varying degrees of physical fitness, including people who have never been in a canoe in their lives. While some days can be more taxing than others—especially when we have a head wind--the most important factor that we monitor always is to ensure the safety of everyone; we never push anyone beyond what we feel would be their physical limits. If someone is really tired—or if they ask us--we always pair them with another guide in their canoe (or with another member of the group who is clearly a strong paddler). I know that I’ve even paddled with folks—I’m always in the rear as I’m 6’3”—who may be tired and I just tell them not to paddle at all, just sit and enjoy the scenery and we handle the rest. We always are going with the current too, and the Missouri is a big river with a nice current. If one didn’t paddle a single stroke, the canoe is usually floating at 3.5 miles per hour. In camp, everything is always set up for the guests. All they have to do is get out of the canoe; their tent and cot are awaiting. Refreshments, dinner, etc., we take care of it all.

    We also always take frequent breaks when we are out paddling. We never paddle more than an hour to 90 minutes at a time before we pull over to talk about something, have a snack/restock on water, lunch, explore an old homestead, talk about geology, etc. If someone is really fatigued we’ll shift a guide in with them. The hikes that we do, too, are always optional—and never anything that require any technical expertise or significant physical fitness/upper body strength, etc. Again, our emphasis is on safety, education, having a really good time, and yes, being active throughout the day, but not to the point where anyone is stressed out. Again, after doing maybe 20 of these Road Scholar trips, we are all pretty well-versed on what our groups, and the individuals therein, are capable of and what they aren’t. We’ve planned the trip accordingly and rework it on the fly if the conditions (rain, wind, etc.) warrant.

    While I don’t yet know the demographic or dynamic of this August group, chances are if Cecilia is coming along solo then one of the guides will be in the rear of her canoe throughout and she wouldn’t have to worry about much of anything."

    We hope this information helps!
  • In reply to ceczander8051256:

    Water levels were extremely high on our recent trip which made dealing with slippery mud as we embarked and debarked the canoe often really challenging.   Participants must be able to walk, use poles on the trails and be steady on their feet.

  • In reply to elarsonpaisal042004:

    STill thinking about this trip, elarsonpaisal, but in August when water levels should be quite a bit lower. I tend to get cold at night when camping and usually bring along extra covers. Can you tell me what the tents, cots, etc were like and what items travelers were supposed to provide? Thanks.