Montreal River Canyon

paddlers in a river canyon

The scenic Canyon of the Montreal River is one of the best intermediate whitewater runs in the state. The season for this run starts in early spring but usually continues running for about a month or longer. It is high in early spring but eases down to water fun for intermediates towards the end of spring.

Ledges along nearly the entire length of this run create beautiful glassy waves for hours of playboating pleasure. Aside from a few troublesome holes that can form at higher flows, this run is rather constant in terms of difficulty. One important safety concern to be aware of is that once you are in the canyon and committed to the run it is impossible to get back out. Sheer rock cliffs of conglomerate and sandstone rise up to 200' on either side. This also makes it extremely difficult to mount a rescue in several spots. Although there are some gravel bars in the canyon, they start to disappear at higher water. At most flows, however, they provide a place for you to scout the river and pull swimmers to shore.