Canoe the Milk River Sign Series


River and Recreational conditions update

June 21st 2021

River Conditions will continue to be stable at around 18-19m3/s east of the Town of Milk River. The USBR St Mary Diversion operations report anticipates sufficient storage on the St Mary’s System to continue the diversion to the North Fork Milk River at 600cfs (17m3/s) at least until the start of September.

Unfortunately, without significant additional rainfall we will likely hit zero natural flow in the Milk River by the end of June. Under the Boundary Waters Treaty, Milk River licenced water users are only entitled to 25% of the natural flow. With delivery disruptions to Montana last season, excess US licenced water means no Canadian water was diverted from the St Marys for repayment this summer prior to May 15th. Our Irrigation farmers will likely face a disappointing early season shutdown again this summer despite a full river flowing past us.

Recreational users – projected stable flows will make for ideal floating conditions for the entire summer and early fall season. Conditions can change rapidly so watch for updates before you go.

A few notes regarding river safety:

PLAN your trip well in advance.

Ensure you know your route, access points, and have adequate supplies!

Know your limitations. Though it may seem like a sleepy prairie river, the Milk has many challenging areas and hazards to be aware of, if you run into problems there is often poor or zero cell service for emergency services to find or reach you and a hike out over dangerous terrain is common.

If you are planning on using any Alberta Parks services or camping such as at Poverty Rock contact administration at Writing on Stone Park for advice ahead of time. Space is limited.

RESPECT Private property, do not trespass or litter along the river.

Heat is as or more dangerous as cold! With temperatures anticipated in the low to mid 30s next week, users must understand that temperatures along the river valley and hoodoos are frequently 5-10 degrees hotter than above the valley floor. Pack sufficient water! Avoid early afternoon trips.

Conditions change rapidly, check the Alberta Rivers (website or app) for the latest flow information.

Remember to be a responsible paddler

Follow Leave No Trace Principles

The Milk River is a popular recreation destination for many. Canoe route signs were erected at common entry points along the river to help people plan their trip and to provide some interesting information about the flora and fauna that can be found in the area.Included on the signs is and idea of the distance and time needed to travel between different points. 

Del Bonita Campground 714 KB JPG

Town of Milk River 692 KB JPG

Gold Springs Campground 721 KB JPG

Coffin Bridge Access 697 KB JPG

Poverty Rock 721 KB JPG

Weir Bridge 731 KB JPG

Writing On Stone Park 731 KB JPG

Deer Creek Bridge 709 KB JPG

Aden Bridge 450 KB JPG