Yellowstone River Watch

Summer 2018 is just around the corner here in the northern Rockies and everyone is talking about the high river levels we are seeing! We had a wonderful winter with lots of snow in the upper elevations surrounding Gardiner and this impacts how we prepare for an exciting summer of rafting.

So far, May has been rather on the cool side so the flow in the river has been high but very predictable and consistent. We will continue to watch the weather, which will play a huge role in how fast the river will rise. The Yellowstone typically peaks during that first week of June and begins its downward descent for the summer. This year, we anticipate the river peaking later and at a higher level. Our guess is it will peak around June 15. We will wait and see if the local experts have it right!

Rafting in high water is really exciting, although the trips go much faster. We always prepare for high water by incorporating extra safety measures like helmets at all times and a safety boat shadow. We are proud to say that all of our guides must also be Swiftwater Rescue Certified so they are ready for any scenario on the water. We want our guests to relax and focus on having a good time while we watch over them and make sure all goes well. It’s really critical to make safety the number 1 priority all times of the year, but especially during high water.

Whether it’s for updates on current conditions or getting outfitted for the season, swing by the Flying Pig Adventure Center where our experts can prepare you for any Yellowstone River adventure.


Few rivers in the world rival Yellowstone River in terms of diversity. At 692 miles long, it is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. It boasts more than 200 miles of high-quality trout waters filled with variety of fish species and water features, you can cast a line every day for a month and feel like you’re on a different river each time!

Yellowstone River should be a great option for fishing once the water slows down and the sediment settles in mid to late July. By fall it will be world class fishing. Year after year, it boasts more fish-able trout water than anywhere else in the continental United States.

Not sure where to start? We can help! Whether you are looking to learn the basics or just hone your skills, we can take you on a memorable adventure. We handle the details so you can have a one-of-a-kind fishing experience amidst the brilliant scenery that can only be found along the upper Yellowstone River and in Yellowstone Park. If you want to make a week of fun on your trip, there’s still time to book a 3, 5 or 7 day Yellowstone Adventure that offers a sampling of all we have to offer at the Flying Pig, from fly fishing to river rafting to Yellowstone Park Tours.


This should be a year for big rapids. Every season is different and we monitor the conditions closely for the best opportunities.

Reserve your river excursion today. No matter how you make it to Gardiner: fly, drive, bike or hitchhike to Northern Yellowstone and we’ll make sure you get to check all the boxes on your must-see and to-do lists .Whether it’s for one day or overnight, a trip afloat the Yellowstone River is a must-make-happen in 2018! If you have a positive attitude, our guided rafting trips are your best bet for a wet and wild summer adventure. Our approach is reflected in our name: we want to take people on adventures they thought they would only do when PIGS FLY!

Take an expertly guided float down the Yellowstone River aboard a Flying Pig custom raft. Get on board to take in the sights with family or a small group. Or, let us launch you into an afternoon of world-class fly fishing. You won’t want to miss the Salmon Fly hatch in July.


The Northern Entrance to Yellowstone is a an entrance to paradise for wildlife watchers. Gardiner is an ideal base camp around which you might consider planning a summer trip to Yellowstone River. The classic mountain town recreation of Gardiner is a nice place to “come home” and unwind with after a long day in the wilderness. Cowboy sightings are especially frequent this time of year!

It doesn’t matter whether you follow the current or remain along the banks for the entire day. (It just depends what you’re hoping to see!) Local residents include elk, bears, elk, bighorn sheep and wolves. This year’s bison population is notably high. In general, the best time to be on the watch for wildlife is dawn or dusk.

Exploring the terrain, above or below the water’s surface, is enhanced in the company of a professional guide. Our guides are keyed in to all that is going on in the Park. You’ll have a better chance of spotting grizzly, wolves and bald eagle when you’re with a guide who’s intimately familiar with the natural area.


Our smart, safety-first-trained staff sets Flying Pig apart from the competition. We are committed to inspiring all adventure seekers, whether the soloist, the small group or large families.

The parks and rivers are treasures among gifts that we have all been given in an increasingly crowded, ever expanding, come-and-go kind of world. Take a break from life. Step out of your routine. Dive in, drop in, survey your next catch or survive the next set of rapids. The Yellowstone River is calling!

Give us a call (888-792-9193), book online, or visit us at our shop in Gardiner for more information.