What is my skill level?
Novice: No prior experience in a kayak.
Beginner: Comfortable sitting in a kayak, paddling in a straight line, and executing wet exits. Kayaked at least 3- times and working on a flat water roll. Familiar with whitewater terms such as ferry, eddy turn, and peel-out.
Intermediate I: Rolls in flat water and working towards rolling in the river. Beginning to make basic maneuvers — ferries, eddy-turns, peel-outs — in class II whitewater.
Intermediate II: Rolls in the river and performs basic maneuvers in class II-III water. Learning to play and having fun doing it.
Advanced: Rolls with confidence in whitewater. Making moves on class III water and have paddled class IV water. Working to master more difficult skills — surfing, hole riding, vertical moves, flat spins, etc.
*If you have any questions about your skill level or if your ability is suited for a specific clinic please call or e-mail us. We are happy to answer your questions. Keep the above skill description in mind when talking to us about your kayaking. Our low student-to-instructor ratio allows us to accommodate a wide range of folks on most clinics and trips.
Which clinic is best for me?
Here are a few ideas to aid you in choosing a clinic or trip:
Main Salmon – All skill levels: Beginner to Advanced paddlers have fun on the Main Salmon. The Main Salmon is the perfect trip for groups of friends or couples with differing paddling skills. (Don’t forget EVERYONE is welcome. Bring your friends and family, we have a rafting option for anyone who is interested).
Middle Fork – A consistent river roll is recommended. Clear water, hot springs, spectacular canyons, and over 100 rapids. Again, EVERYONE can be included. Non-kayaking friends are welcome to enjoy the Middle Fork from a raft.
Lochsa – Intermediate and Advanced paddlers love the Lochsa. The 75 miles of the Lochsa offers whitewater ranging from class II to IV. You will paddle different river sections perfectly suited to your paddling ability.
International Adventures (upcoming trips to Peru and Bhutan)- As with most of our international adventures; both Peru and Bhutan will have options for our kayaking family along with those that would prefer to join us via raft. We will do our best to cater to our paddlers’ needs and maximize your time kayaking. For others; the option to raft or participate in alternative off-river activities is always available.
How do I get to Missoula?
You may fly or drive to Missoula. We ask that you arrive the evening before your trip is scheduled to begin. Please make departure arrangements for the day after you clinic ends. Airline connections can be made into Missoula from around the world. The next closest major airport to Missoula is in Spokane, Washington (3 1/2 hours West).
Do I need to bring my own kayaking gear?
Please bring your own paddle, spray-skirt, helmet, life-vest, and boat (if possible). If you cannot bring your own boat, we have boats in our fleet that you may rent or borrow. With prior notification we can provide you with a boat (and other kayaking gear if needed). Equipment is provided free of charge for beginners and introductory courses.
What should I bring?
Once we have received your registration, we will send you a specific list of what you need to bring to your clinic or on your trip.
When should I register?
Space is limited, so sign up early to reserve your spot on the desired trip or clinic. ENROLL
Registration & Payment
To officially register for one of our trips or clinics, please fill out the on-line registration/enroll form. A deposit of 50% of the total clinic or trip price is required to secure a spot. All clinics and trips must be paid in full 90 days before beginning date . Checks can be made payable to Tarkio Kayak Adventures or “TKA” and sent to PO Box 3025, Missoula, MT 59806. If you prefer to pay by credit card or direct deposit/transferring of funds, you may use Venmo (preferred) or PayPal.
Refunds and Cancellations
Deposits and all trip fees are non-refundable. Space is limited on all of our trips and once you have signed up, we no longer have the opportunity to sell your reserved spaces. However you can transfer your space to another person. We recommend trip cancellation insurance. www.insuremytrip.com has a variety to choose from. It is extremely rare, however we reserve the right to cancel a trip due to weather, water conditions or insufficient reservations, in that case a full refund would be issued.
Where can I stay in Missoula?
We recommend booking your pre and post trip nights at the Holiday Inn Parkside (this is where we hold our pre-trip meetings for our Main Salmon trips and Lochsa Clinic. (800) 399-0408 or (406) 721-8550. Mention “Tarkio Kayak Adventures” or “Team Tarkio” to receive our outfitter discounted rate.
If you are looking for more reasonable hotel options you might try the Bel Aire Motel: 406-543-3183 or The Days Inn: 406-543-7221. (Both of these hotels are located downtown and are within walking distance to the Holiday Inn Parkside for our pre-trip meeting).
Please call or e-mail if you have more questions regarding our trips and clinics. Also, we will gladly put you in touch with our Tarkio alumni in your area so you can get a feel for us via our “repeat offenders”.