UM Launches Free River Shuttle for Floaters

Floaters cross UM’s campus bound for the Clark Fork River.

MISSOULA – Floaters can leave their vehicles behind and hop on the University of Montana’s free Clark Fork River Recreation Shuttle starting Thursday, July 22. The UDASH shuttle, which can accommodate up to 20 people and their floatation devices, will run from UM’s Campus Recreation Center to the Sha-Ron Fishing Access Site in East Missoula.

Shuttle service starts Thursday, July 22, and runs Thursday through Sunday until Aug. 29. Shuttles run every hour on the hour, starting at noon and with the last trip departing UM at 6 p.m. The shuttle is free and open to the public.

“Floating the Clark Fork River is one of the joys of summer and has grown immensely in popularity over the past several years,” said Jordan Hess, director of UM’s Office of Transportation, which operates the UDASH bus service. “Students and members of the community can catch the bus to East Missoula and float the river back to campus. We are thrilled to debut our new river recreation shuttle to help improve safety, decrease traffic congestion and offer a more sustainable option for all users.”

The service is a pilot project developed in partnership with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the Missoula Downtown Partnership, Mountain Line, Missoula County and the City of Missoula.

“We can’t be more excited and appreciative of our community partners at the University of Montana for piloting this river recreation shuttle,” said Randy Arnold, FWP regional supervisor. “Over the past few years, agency and community partners have coordinated closely to manage recreation on our area rivers. Providing transportation options is critical to reducing parking conflicts. This pilot will make it easy and intuitive to enjoy the Clark Fork River.”

Floaters can bring their inflated or deflated tubes on the bus, and tubes are available to rent at UM Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Program. Floaters are encouraged to bike or walk to campus to catch the bus. Those wishing to park on campus can obtain a parking permit from the shuttle drivers.

There are a host of take-out spots on the Clark Fork River near campus. For a detailed map visit https://destinationmissoula.org/files/downtown-river-map.pdf. For more information on the UDASH Clark River Recreation Shuttle, visit https://www.umt.edu/transportation/bus/river-shuttle/default.php.

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Contact: Jordan Hess, ASUM director of transportation, 406-431-3222, jordan.hess@umontana.edu.