The first place to access the Yellowstone River's whitewater is in Gardiner, MT, right where the river flows out of Yellowstone Park (it is illegal to float on the Yellowstone River inside of Yellowstone Park). The Yellowstone River's best whitewater is right in Gardiner, and continues on through Yankee Jim Canyon, 18 miles downstream.
There are 5 whitewater rafting companies who offer raft trips, kayak trips & scenic float trips on this section of the Yellowstone River. Use this link to connect with those companies and book your trip: Whitewater Rafting Companies in Gardiner, MT
Typical Class of Water
Class II & III
Best Seasons for Experiencing
June, July & August are the best months of year to enjoy Yellowstone River's whitewater. In May and early June the Yellowstone River will have spring runoff, and the whitewater will be at it's biggest - and coldest. June, July & August are prime times to get out on the river. By September, ambient air temperatures are starting to cool off, but the river is still very run-able and enjoyable. The Yellowstone River is a big deep river, so even when other rivers in the region are too low to run, the Yellowstone always has enough water.
The first place to access the Yellowstone River is right at the confluence of the Gardner River & the Yellowstone River, right in the town of Gardiner, at the end of East Park Street. It is not possible to drive right to the boat ramp, and boats have to be carried down the hill where they are launched.
Paradise Adventure Company and Flying Pig Adventure Company both have private access points in Gardiner.
Earl McConnell's river access is 3 miles outside of Gardiner, on Highway 89. It is just downstream of the larger class II & III whitewater, and just upstream of some very fun class I & II rapids.
Brogan's Landing is 7 miles north of Gardiner, on Highway 89.
Cinnabar River Access is 8 miles north of Gardiner, at Corwin Springs. The next 5 miles downstream contain very little whitewater.
Yankee Jim / Joe Brown River Access is 13 miles north of Gardiner. This access point is at the beginning of Yankee Jim Canyon, which offers spectacular class II & III whitewater, in a beautiful rock cliff-ed canyon.
Carbella River Access is 18 miles north of Gardiner, just downstream of Yankee Jim Canyon. The river mellows out downstream of Carbella, with world class fishing along the Yellowstone River for many miles.