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Missouri River in Missouri

by  JohnCraun

A self-supported trip created by JohnCraun

Trip Overview

Missouri River - Kansas City, KS to St Charles, MO

I paddled the MR 340 with about 240 other paddle craft of various types. The MR 340 is a race for some and for others a challenging trip of 340 miles.

The Missouri river along this stretch has no dams or locks to hinder the paddle, so there is no portaging to do. The river has many public boat ramps, often with parks, along the way. There is camping available at many of the ramps with food and fresh drinking water near most of them.

The MR 340 started at Kaw Point where the Kansas river joins the Missouri river, and finished in St Charles at the Lewis and Clark boat house park. The river along this section is channelized by wing dams to make a deep channel for the barge traffic using it. The barge traffic is light.

The river current is fast enough that it is easy to paddle at a gps speed of 7 mph or even more. There is a lot of good information available on this part of the river, and the following site is an excellent source:

The maps on this site shows all the boat ramps available along the river, and other good information for paddlers.

You can wear yourself out paddling it like many of us did, or you could take your time and enjoy the trip. The available accesses along the river make it easy to paddle smaller sections of the river.

Most of the river bank is forested with mud banks, sandy areas, and some beautiful rock bluffs. One night I got caught in dense fog, so I paddled over to the bank and stealth camped in the woods.

Due to the current there are hazards like marker buoys, bridge pilings, wings dams, eddies, and small whirl pools to avoid and be prepared for. Needless to say you keep your distance from barges and other boat traffic. The waves on the river were not large enough for me to ever need to use the spray-skirt on my kayak.


Strip built kayak




Refer to the maps on the website in the report.


I used the maps I downloaded from the website mentioned in the report. There is a lot of good information for paddlers available on the website about this part of the Missouri river.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location