Free UM Clark Fork River Shuttle Service Returns in July
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: June 30, 2023

Free UM Clark Fork River Shuttle Service Returns in July – Free and convenient transport to float the Clark Fork River will soon return to the University of Montana campus for a third year of service – with a few changes to accommodate additional passengers.


The UDASH-operated shuttle will begin trips from the Campus Recreation Center up river Thursday, July 6, through Sunday, Aug. 20. The shuttle will run noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, with departures every hour during weekdays and every half hour on weekends. Floaters can disembark at the Sha-Ron and Milltown access points.


The Clark Fork River Recreation Shuttle saw a 283% increase in use last summer. Demand is expected to increase again this year.


“We were thrilled to see the growth in shuttle service use last summer,” said Associated Students of SUM Transportation Transit Supervisor Danny Gundlach. “Now we are shifting some of that focus from, ‘How can we better promote this service?’ to, ‘How can we keep the experience safe and enjoyable for passengers and ensure we are having a positive impact on the river corridor?’”


New this year, RSVPs will be available for up to 50% of shuttle capacity. Floaters can secure a spot by emailing and arriving at the Campus Recreation Center 15 minutes early with a deflated tube.


After RSVP passengers board, priority will be given to floaters who arrive 15 minutes before departure with a deflated tube.


Deflated tubes will allow more floaters to embark on each shuttle ride. Inflatable kayaks and paddleboards must be deflated and fit under the shuttle seat.


Shuttle riders also should note that UM is not providing parking passes this summer. Parking Lot M near Jacob’s Island Park has hourly meters. Parking is free after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all-day on weekends.


River shuttle service kicked off in summer 2021 as a pilot project developed in partnership with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks, Clark Fork Coalition, the Missoula Downtown Partnership, Mountain Line, Missoula County and the City of Missoula.


“UDASH’s river shuttle service is an excellent example of successful collaboration between different entities that has a positive impact on our community,” said ASUM Transportation Director Vickie Rectenwald.


The shuttle furthers UM’s mission of stewarding the land Grizzlies call home.


“The UM shuttles are significantly decreasing congestion and resource damage at our access sites,” said MFWP Regional Recreation Manager Loren Flynn. “This service allows us to increase access without the impacts of additional vehicles at our sites.”


Questions about the river shuttle can be answered by visiting the UDASH website or emailing

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