Missouri River in North Dakota

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

6 people on this trek on the Missouri River.

2 adults, 4 kids ranging in age from 10-16.

1 canoe, 3 small 8' kayaks.

The trek took us 3 hours, though that included probably 20+ min in breaks, and a pretty casual to moderate pace

We put in at Kneifel boat ramp near the Misty Waters Marina. This is approximately 6 miles north of the Bismarck Zoo. It's a good launch point.

After 45 min, we took a break on a sandbar a little north of Pioneer Park.

Later we took a 20 min "break" on a sandbar just south of the Expressway Bridge to let the kids chase after birds. The scenery was decent, not great. The Mo just downstream of the Garrison Dam is certainly nicer.

There were no issues, but it was a beautiful Saturday, so boat traffic was heavy, especially near the city. We didn't have any real problems from wakes, but it was amazing to me that some boaters wouldn't slow down a bit as they passed near kids in kayaks. We finished at Fort Lincoln State Park.

There's not much for hills in that section of the river, so scenery included greenery, sandbars, birds, 4 bridges, lots of big buck homes, and plenty of boats including the Lewis & Clark paddleboat.

There were some eddys near the bridge pylons, but nothing too serious. My 14 year blew right through them. Everyone had a good time, including the teenagers which speaks strongly.

If you want a quiet, scenic trip, this is probably not the trip for you. I'd recommend a different section of the Missouri River, or the Heart River just West of Mandan.




The Kneifel public boat launch is easy to find. Use Google maps or equivalent, it will show up next to Misty Waters Marina. When you get close, follow the brown signs.

Trip Details

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

Trip Location