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Camping Along the Jefferson

When I was a kid and Al had just purchased his first raft, we would float a section of the Jefferson River that would always bring us to Silver Star. Silver Star is a tiny little town just South and East of Butte, and if I recall correctly, the town had one convenience store, one four-unit motel, and three bars.

Now it’s been a long time, but I think we would put in at Twin Bridges, float the Beaverhead down to the confluence, where the Big Hole and the Beaverhead joined to create the Jefferson River. From there we would float down to an old iron bridge, just above Silver Star. In fact, that’s the same bridge where Al and my mom were married. For some reason though, we would never float the Jefferson below Silver Star, and now I think I know why. From Silver Star down river, there are no pull out areas and no camping spots along the river. It’s all either private land, or not accessable by roads. Which brings me to my point, eventually. There is a group of river floaters, lead by Thomas Elpel of Silver Star who want to develop camping sites along the Jefferson River for floaters. With the help of private land owners and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commision, they could have as many as eight camp sites along the Jefferson. Definitely a worth while project.

You can read the entire story at Billings-Gazette.


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