Gates of the Mountains
Gates of the Mountains
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
About
Just north of Helena on the Missouri River.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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The area

Address
3131 Gates of the Mountains Rd., Helena, MT 59602
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles659 reviews
Excellent
520
Very good
104
Average
19
Poor
7
Terrible
9

jinshui
California421 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
I have mix feeling about the boat trip. If you are an average tourist, you would probably enjoy this 2 hour story-telling floating down the Missouri river.

We are a very active family and thought this would be a change of pace, some down time after hiking multiple long trails coming from the Glacier NP.

If you drive down I-15 from Cascade to Helena, you would see similar rock formations from your vehicle alongside the road. The only (and big), diff is that you are on water instead of land.

The Pros: the captain, Tim, who has been managing the marina/ working/photographing etc here for decades is very knowledgeable, and did a fantastic job retelling many of the stories he had read and learnt about this region's history, geography, intertwined with his personal experiences. All told in a colorful and animated fashion.

Tim also made every effort to drive the boat (no bathroom, great view due to the open top) at an angle, moving it from bank to bank on its side as we float down the river so passengers sitting on both sides of the boat have good unobstructed angles to take pictures throughout the journey. We took the 2pm boat and the sun was shinning down the river so it was good for photos. On the return journey, he just went straight down the center of the river.

Cons
Honestly, although enamored by the story telling, i think we would have preferred shorter stories. The fire fighting story was so long i began to drift off. The scenery was beautiful, but we were moving extremely slow so he could finish telling the stories. Personally, I would have preferred a longer break so we could maybe explore the interesting trails around the picnic area. we were only given 10 mins at the shore, which after the bathroom break, left no time to do anything.

The gentleman, Richard, was very nice to hold tickets for us when we called as we were still driving on our way to the marina, and the tickets were selling out fast.

The hispanic lady who sold ice cream and hamburger was so sweet. She was so apologetic that i waited very long in line (she was the only one servicing, cooking, cashier) and so she offered me a little bit more ice cream for my wait.

Prices: Seniors: $14
Adults: $16
Kids: 3-17 years old $10
I think its steep for families with kids but i understand why they have to charge for kids as they takes up seating space on the boat.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline W
3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
We are native Montanans and have been fortunate to have taken a private boat to see the Gates. This time, we bought tickets online for the tour boat. While many folks would enjoy the tour and the history, once we were in line to board and saw the boats, we decided not to go. The number of people the owners pack into the enclosed boat and the uncovered boat is amazing. We had hoped to be on the covered boat as it was very warm the day we were to go. The other ticket holders began gathering at the dock early, it was apparent there would be assertive competition for seats on each side near a window rather than in the center of the three rows. Our impression was it would be a hot, crowded ride. We realize it’s important to make the money during tourist season but loading fewer people and not having a third center row would be better for the travelers. Sorry, but we left. It is a beautiful experience if you’re game!
Written July 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bonnie h
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Our boat captain was very knowledgeable and informative. He took the time to turn the boat each time he pointed out a sight so both sides of the boat would be able to have a good view. He took his time and answered all questions about the area.
Written July 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Real R
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
It could be a good tour; the captain was informative and interesting when you could hear him. The BIG problem is they do not think it's a good idea to keep the children and teenagers under control. We recently went on this tour, and it was awful! And I mean awful. The noise was absolutely off the charts, we could not hear the captain over the large group of screaming, talking, jumping, obnoxious teen-bop girls occupying a full four rows of seats in front of us. There was an employee "stationed" behind us on the boat that didn't open his gap once to shut them up. We've lived in the area for years, finally took the tour, and I can say unequivocally, we will NEVER take it again, nor recommend it. It's like riding a floating school bus on your way to middle school. I'm just miffed I spent the money for this.
Written May 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul B
Red Bank, TN11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I had never heard about the history of the Gates of the Mountains. We took a bus tour to the National Parks in Montana and Wyoming. One of the side trips included this boat trip. My wife and I were quite impressed with the scenery and the narrative of the boat captain. He knew his history and he had great timing in telling funny stories. All in all this side trip ended up being a major part of our tour and heartily recommend checking this trip just north of Helena. You will not be disappointed!
Written August 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina B
Louisiana6,407 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
Once you line up they give you the choice on which boat you want to ride on. We chose the open top with Carrea (spelling ?) who was great. I enjoyed being able to see everything. There is a roll down overhead cover if needed. People were well spaced out & enjoyed the sunny day. You need a mask to enter, but many took it off once tour started, which was fine. You were not next to strangers. It was a beautiful light breezy day. The views are amazing & Carrea was very informative throughout the whole tour. We saw Lots of Eagles. The open top has a 20 min stop to look around a memorial & hiking area. We really enjoyed our 2 hour tour. Highly recommend. Photos really don’t convey the true size & beauty.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allison B
Townsend, MT17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We took the 3rd graders from Townsend on a field trip to the Gates of the Mountains Boat Tours. We had an absolute blast! The captain Brian was engaging, informative, and had a great sense of humor. I highly recommend this beautiful boat trip!
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walt L
Pensacola, FL97 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Worst tour boat I've ever been in. The scenery is great if you could only see it! They have a large tour boat and a small tour boat. The small boat is open and looks to have good visibility. The small boat was full and we had to ride in the big boat. The big boat is open in the back and enclosed up front. If you sit in the enclosed section, you can't see anything or take good pictures. Halfway through the cruise, I had to move to the back and sit on the lifejacket box. Then I could see something. Awful cruise if you ride in the big boat.
Written August 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bauman147
Shelby, MT1,754 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
Views weren't a spectacular as I anticipated, but the tour was very enjoyable. Lots of history and information about the area.

The Voyager (which has an indoor and outdoor area) doesn't stop; the Sacajawea II does, so if you'd like to make a stop at the park you need to get on the right boat. But they don't run both boats every day all the time in the early and late season, so if you want to get off at the park and make sure you can catch a ride back on another boat, plan on going during the weekends and holidays in July and August (it sounds like they run more boat trips then, so there is more likely to be room.
Written June 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian G
Layton, UT83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
This was a total hi light on our trip.
Brian, the boat captain is a great captain,
He makes sure everyone can see all it the sites along the way.
The boat could be up dated the motor was loud and sometimes we were unable to hear the voice over it.
The staff was amazing! Great Stop.
Written July 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Gates of the Mountains - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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