The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

By Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana Department of Geography 

Montana's greatest wonder: the Missouri River

(Part 2 of 5)


October 5, 2018

Rick and Susie Graetz

Lewis and Clark wrote of the Gates of the Mountains on the Missouri River, "... this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen."

Almost immediately upon departing the Three Forks area, the newly formed Missouri is neatly tucked into a mini-gorge. Then, only 16 miles from its inception, the Toston Reservoir and Dam decelerate its flow. After traversing the "Little Gates of the Mountains," so noted on Clark's map of July 25, 1805, as "2d range of mts - little gate," near the small village of Toston, the river will soon ply the last of the big southwest valleys. Officially established when the post office opened in 1882 and named after a local rancher, Tosten bills itself as "the first town on the Missouri."


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