Featured Activities: Montana Whitewater

You haven’t fully experienced Montana’s Yellowstone Country until you’ve embarked on an adventure with Montana Whitewater. The parent company of Yellowstone Rafting & Zipline Tours, Yellowstone Fly Fish, Yellowstone Zipline, and Madison River Tubing, Montana Whitewater is the go-to, one-stop-shop destination for adventure in the Yellowstone area. 

From rafting trips along the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers, to ziplining, tubing, fly fishing, and rentals, Montana Whitewater has ascended to the pinnacle of practically all things outdoors. Founded in 1992 by Bill Zell, this family-owned and operated business has evolved from its inaugural summer with 11 rafting tours, to one of the ultimate, can’t-miss experiences in Yellowstone Country.

The History of Montana Whitewater

After abandoning his PhD studies in Computer Science and heading West in search of a seasonal job at a ski resort, Bill Zell followed his heart—and HWY 191—to Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana. After working several jobs at the Resort, from daycare to volunteer ski patrol, Bill eventually was hired by Yellowstone Raft Company in 1991. The next summer, following a season of driving the shuttle and guiding rafts, Bill and his buddy Pete Mommsen banded together and started Montana Whitewater. In a matter of 15 years, Montana Whitewater went from taking 11 people rafting that first year, to operating on three rivers (Gallatin, Yellowstone, and Madison), with two locations (Big Sky and Gardiner) and a fly fishing operation.

With the purchase of Yellowstone Raft Company in 2006, Montana Whitewater proudly grew from a tiny operation—taking 11 people rafting that first year in 1992—into a full-sized raft company with two locations (Big Sky and Gardiner), operating on three rivers, with a fly-fishing operation. The Yellowstone Raft Company deal also granted Montana Whitewater the ever-coveted Beartrap Canyon permit on the Madison River, making them one of the only two outfitters that holds this exclusive wilderness area permit. Constantly evolving, their business has expanded over the years, building multiple zipline tour operations from 2010-2013, opening Madison River Tubing Shop in 2012 and, most recently, acquiring Geyser Whitewater Expeditions in the summer of 2023.

Experience One-of-a-Kind Adventures

Since 1992, Montana Whitewater has grown exponentially, but Bill has steadfastly remained at the helm every step of the way. Leading his team and his business to success, to this day Bill continues to run boats and drive shuttles throughout the Gallatin Gateway. Few tour companies can pride themselves on such unwavering involvement and enthusiasm from their owners. Bill’s fire and passion for rafting expeditions and tours still burns fervently after all these years—and he takes that both as a responsibility and a victory for himself and his team. 

Montana Whitewater has set the ideal standard not only for itself and its owned operations, but for rafting companies throughout the greater Yellowstone region. Through expert training and education in risk management, their staff is prepared for anything that can happen during any of their tours and adventures. Their guests expect nothing but the best, and their guides and responders never fail to provide a fun, unforgettable experience for each of their excursions.

Explore Montana Whitewater’s tours & services below. 


Whitewater rafting, ziplining, fly fishing & tubing near Yellowstone National Park, with tours throughout Big Sky, Gardiner & Bear Trap Canyon, MT.


Rentals and shuttles based in Bozeman, MT, offering everything you need to float the river.


Montana Whitewater’s Gardiner Base Camp, offering rafting and ziplining in Gardiner, MT. 


Wading trips and fly fishing lessons along the Gallatin River at Montana Whitewater’s Karst Camp in Big Sky, MT. 


Highest quality guided zipline and canopy tours in Gallatin Canyon and Gardiner, MT. 

Montana Whitewater offers a truly unique and thrilling experience that asserts itself as a mandatory bucket list activity for anyone visiting Yellowstone Country. Whether you're seeking the rush of navigating whitewater rapids, the satisfaction of catching a fish along the Gallatin River, or the unmatched feeling of soaring through the air on their scenic ziplines, Montana Whitewater promises an unforgettable adventure (and spiked adrenaline!). 

Capturing the spirit of Montana’s wild and wonderful outdoors, Montana Whitewater is an absolute must-do to add to your Yellowstone itinerary. Book your adventure today and save 10% OFF when you use the code YCountry. 


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