Hot weather and a lot of snowpack equals continued high water in Western Montana. That includes the Bitterroot Valley. Streams and creeks have been running high for months and the Bitterroot River is again flirting with flood stage.
Wednesday morning, June 22, at 6am the Bitterroot River at the Darby gauge was 6.46 feet with a flood stage of 7.5 feet. Weather forecasters think the river will barely touch flood stage this week before cresting at about 7.4 feet.
At the Bell Crossing gauge near Victor, the level was 10.1 at 6am Wednesday, with forecasters predicting the river to surpass flood stage of 11 feet by this weekend. The level might get up to a foot above flood stage before cresting this weekend, they suggest.
Weather will be the determining factor, of course. Stay off the river during high water, which should continue for another couple of weeks this year.
And, if your plans take you up into the mountains, check with the Bitterroot National Forest for possible problem areas:

  • Stevensville Ranger District 777-5461
  • Darby Ranger District 821-3913
  • West Fork Ranger District 821-3269
  • Sula Ranger District 821-3201
  • Bitterroot Supervisor's Office 363-7100
  • If you're calling from outside the area, don't forget the area code (406).