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“Cool place in Montana”

Gates of the Mountains
Ranked #1 of 51 things to do in Helena
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Just north of Helena on the Missouri River.
Reviewed 14 July 2008

We had not planned on this - actually, we were geocaching and took a wrong turn. As it turned out, this was one of the most interesting stops on our trip. The captain was calm and steered the boat so people on both sides could get nice pictures. He was quick to stop so we could check out rock formations and wild-life. His assistant and narrator seemed to be knowledgeable about the history of the area including the details about how the rock walls were formed. They were polite and courteous and the group that we were with were very well mannered. No one was standing or running in the aisles so there were clear views all around.

If you've been on the jet boat rides on the Oregon coast, this will seem like a Sunday stroll. Its a nice 1.5 hour ride up the river-lake area and the price is decent and affordable ($10). Its a trip I would reccomend to all.

1  Thank N2life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"bald eagles"
in 36 reviews
"boat ride"
in 64 reviews
"mann gulch"
in 32 reviews
"lewis and clark"
in 49 reviews
"missouri river"
in 51 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 26 reviews
"rock formations"
in 9 reviews
"hour trip"
in 8 reviews
"two hours"
in 15 reviews
"picnic area"
in 6 reviews
"great trip"
in 12 reviews
"saw lots of wildlife"
in 5 reviews
"human history"
in 5 reviews
"recommend this trip"
in 5 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 7 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 17 reviews
"both sides"
in 8 reviews
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406 - 410 of 416 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2007

The Gates of the Mountains is one of the most scenic areas in the United States, and certainly one of the most accessible. For an inexpensive boat ride, you can spend almost two hours viewing the steep gorge that soars above the Missouri. First documented by Meriwether Lewis, the Gates of the Mountains is home to bald eagles, herons, ospreys, and other large birds, all of which we saw on our tour.

The tour narration is excellent and provides good information on Lewis and Clark and on the Mann Gulch Fire, subject of the famous Norman MacLean book Young Men and Fire. This is a beautiful and easy trip that everyone can and should take.

2  Thank Docmarx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2007

On my recent trip out west (2 weeks ago) I stayed for a few days with a friend from Helena. Both of us have 3 children and we thought to take the kids on the Gates of the Mountain boat tour. The website lists to pack a picnic lunch and you can get off the boat to picnic and reboard the next boat. Our total tour time was right at 1.5 hours. The sites were beautiful, however the ride itself was dull, and we were treated rudely by the Captain. We were informed when we got there that you could not picnic at the grounds due to flooding...the ticketseller advised us we should take our lunch on board and enjoy it during the ride. That was fine to us. As there were no restrooms, we took the children (mine 11, 8, 4) and hers (10, 7, 2) to the restroom before boarding. At no time were we told the Captain was waiting for us, but this took us approximately 5-7 minutes. We boarded the boat and sat in the last 2 rows. The older boys who are both very shy sat together and didnt speak to anyone other than each other. For the entire length of the ride down the river (roughly 1/2 of the trip) all of our children sat and ate their lunches and watched and listened and talked about the sites. There were open areas on the boat to the front and the back ,and ALL passengers were moving about freely to each section to take pictures and talking amongst themselves. Some people stayed standing in the rear of the boat. The captain was very monotone and did a lot of quoting of Lewis and Clark. It seemed he could not hold the interest of the boat. My youngest 2 sat near the window and I on the aisle and they did not move the entire trip save for when I took a few pictures- my youngest came with me. The oldest 2 boys took seats 2 rows from the captain on the way back and I think actually listened before moving to the rear of the boat with a lot of the other passengers. As the interior of the boat had cleared out, my friend moved to the row in front of me so our kids were facing each other and the windows. As the motor on the boat is loud and the people talking were all loud and walking about -it was hard to even hear the captain. The only thing I can think of that may have really irked him is- my friend's 2 yr old wanted to get up and changed between seats in the nearly empty interior. As 2 year olds often want to do! She wasnt screaming and her mother was with her. As we docked at the end of what we thought was an unevenful trip- the captain walked to the rear of the boat and my 4 year old thought it was time to get off and walked in front of him to which he said. "Please Never Bring Him Back Again!" Mind you my son was extremely well behaved the entire trip. I was shocked and not quite sure I had heard him correctly. My friend asked me about what he said and I told her. As we left my oldest spotted a toad near the dock by the front of the boat. Other than a few birds this was the only wildlife we saw, he is an avid animal/reptile lover. He reached down to get it and the Captain said to him, "This is a BOAT not a PLAYGROUND!' My friend then asked, "did you tell us to never come back?" He then said we were the worst tour he had given all summer and to never come back-and a couple other rude things. I think this guy must have a something wrong with him. I couldn't understand that if we had done something we werent supposed to, why he couldnt have said something during the trip in a cordial manner. Everyone on this boat trip did exactly the same thing. ~Listened,moved to take pictures of the sites they were seeing, and remarked about them. So if this was what you planned to do, you better find another boat! When we asked for his name at the ticket desk, we were told our captain IS the manager. We asked who owned the tour so we could send a letter and he would not give us the name or an address for the board of directors. He told us all communications would go directly through him. So there was no avenue for us to vent our frustration. If he didnt want children aboard-- he should not allow it. Rather, they happily took my money for the children, and then treated us badly. I would not recommend this tour at all. My children have been to 6 different countries (on many tours), and have traveled the US extensively. I can't tell you how many times we receive compliments on their behavior. What a shame this manager would spoil what would otherwise have been a nice experience by embarassing a child!

10  Thank jtadge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017
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Thank Ulrich W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 September 2017 via mobile
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Thank Ingfried
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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