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Apple Creek in North Dakota

Trip Overview

Our trek today consisted of Grandma, Mom and Dad, plus 12 and 10 year old daughters.
1 canoe, 2 kayaks.

We put in where the Apple Creek crosses under University Drive, south of Bismarck, north of Univ of Mary. The Apple Creek is quite close to the Missouri River at that point, the Mo is perhaps 1.5 hours to the SE. However, from there, the Mo jogs west while the Apple Creek immediately turns south turning this into a much longer trip.

The first part of the trip winds through a residential area, although there are only a few places where you can see the yards. Later you can barely see the steeple at the University of Mary on top of the hill. Beyond that, it seemed remote with the exception of the passes by 3 jet skis and 2 other kayakers.

Estimating a completion time for a trip on a winding river is difficult, but I guesstimated 2 hours. At the 1:30 mark, we ran into 2 kayakers coming up river, who told us that the hills in the distance that we saw were not at the edge of the Missouri as we had thought, in fact it was another hour before the confluence. Knowing that after we hit the Mo, we still had some unknown amount of trip to get to the boat launch, the fact that we are all already tired, and the knowledge that we were racing a predicted late afternoon rainstorm, was not a great morale boost for the group. Of course there were no other options, so we pushed forward and hit the Mo only 30 minutes later.

The Apple Creek was fairly narrow, very warm and had essentially no current. The Mo is completely the opposite. After we took our 2nd break at the confluence, we got into the Missouri current and made great time to the Kimble Bottoms boat launch.

The total time was 2:40.
The water was high due to a lot of recent rain, but there was still no current.
The only danger is that there are no easy exits once you are a short way down river.
Take your phone or GPS so that you have an idea of where you are at in your journey.


Good launch spot and disembark point.
NOTHING in between.




Entry point was a small park where the Apple Creek flows under the University Drive, south of Bismarck, ND. Exit point was Kimble Bottoms Boat Launch, south of the University of Mary.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip