Paddling the Montreal River Canyon

Montreal River Canyon Whitewater Paddling

The Montreal River Canyon is located in Ironwood MI, and Hurley WI. The river cuts through a deep canyon of Conglomerate rock with class 2 and 3 rapids for you to enjoy.

What do you need to know to run these rapids?

The Montreal River Canyon is located between northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Your shuttle is 4 and a half miles between HWY 122 and HWY B. The rideable river section is about 3 and half miles in length with about 2 hours spent on the water. Your takeout is on HWY 122 upstream of the bridge. You’ll see a sign that says “Take Out Here” in bold black letters. Worth seeing, the put in is Saxon Falls at the base of the tall waterfall where you need to be prepared to carry all of your gear down a flight of steps.

What do you need to paddle a river?

You will need a wetsuit or dry suit, and a dry top over your wetsuit (if it’s cold), a neoprene spray skirt (not the flimsy nylon type), a whitewater specific PFD, whitewater specific helmet, an appropriate paddle, and If it’s cold, rafters prefer neoprene mitts, while kayakers prefer pogies. Make sure you have a throw bag, med kit, and a water bottle.

Now you are all set to hit the water!

Water levels change frequently, so call 1-715-893-2213 to check for the most updated flow levels with 600 CFS being the minimum flow needed and high-water conditions considered at 1800 CFS. While high flows can be fun, try a medium or low flow for your first time paddling the canyon. As always, never paddle alone, always paddle in a group, and know your own limits. If you’re not quite up to this level, there is one company in the Upper Peninsula offering guided whitewater trips through the canyon. The True North Outpost is a great way to get your feet wet with a whitewater experience.

There are so many unique, and exciting experiences to be found in Ironwood, and a whitewater paddle in the Montreal River Gorge is one of them!

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