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Rafting company celebrates return of visitors to Stillwater River

Rafting down the Stillwater River
Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-26 17:14:59-04

ABSAROKEE - It's a busy tourism season for businesses along the Stillwater River, marking a rebound from historic floods that swept the region in June 2022.

For Adventure Whitewater, it's a welcome return to normalcy after floods hit their business, which has been touring people down the Stillwater River for 30 years.

"My favorite saying is the river takes and the river gives," said Adventure Whitewater owner Marek Rosin. "It definitely took last year. This year—it gives it all back."

Adventure Whitewater started guiding floats down the river last summer after flood waters receded and raft guides helped clean-up crews remove debris from the river.

This summer, Rosin is on a mission to show the Stillwater River is back to a fun, family-friendly river.

Adventure Whitewater on June 13, 2022, during historic flooding of the Stillwater River.

"The river is very dynamic and it's changed a lot for the positive," Rosin said. "We have new rapids, we lost some old features. We gained some new features, but we still love it just as much as before."

Boats are full of visitors making up trips to Montana that were canceled last year due to the floods.

"This season's been a lot of fun," said Grayson Lowe, head guide at Adventure Whitewater. " We've had a lot of folks from Kentucky, North Carolina, where I grew up rafting, and a lot from Minnesota and the Dakotas."

Part of the team of river guides this summer, is Rosin's daughter, Chloe Rosin.

"Every day out here on the water, you always feel good," Chloe Rosin said. "You're hard-pressed to have a bad day on the water, and I think that's just what makes it so special. So I think that's why I love it."

Marek Rosin (center) and his team of guides at Adventure Whitewater.

With a team of young guides bringing their own expertise to the water, Marek Rosin's vision for the river is changing.

"Adventure Whitewater will stay open," Marek Rosin said. "It's time for me to ship my oars and time for the new generation to keep the oars wet. I like to pick and choose when I go down. I still love it, but it's hard."

But Rosin knows the Stillwater River, scars and all, has an untouchable magic that cannot be washed away.

"Who knows what the future holds, but right now we are 100% going for it."