Floating/Fishing Info

We’re excited to have you and your group experience the beauty and fun of the Elk River. Below is some helpful info to make your float a success.


Put-in locations

  • Beginning of ranch (1 mile float)
  • Kirby Lane’s Ranch (4-4.5 mile float)
  • River Ranch Resort (8.5-9 mile float)

If planning to put-in at Kirby Lane’s property or River Ranch, please contact Carl Steiger (417) 448-7304 at least 2 weeks prior to float to coordinate with the property owners.

Take-out locations

  • Fort Elk
  • Cowskin Public Access – Located just after the bridge past Fort Elk

Water Level

River conditions can change dramatically based on recent rain amounts. We use the link below to determine current water height and trends. From our experience, the best height is around 3.75 to 4.5 feet. Lower than 3.5 feet and you’ll find yourself dragging in some spots and might have to paddle more but can still have a good time.



Trust us, you don’t want to get to your put-in spot and realize you’ve forgot the paddles. Use this handy checklist.

Fishing Information

Fishing permits are required to fish on the Elk River for anyone over the age of 16. Permits can be easily obtained online via the the Missouri Department of Conservation website.