Marias River

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Marias River
Wpdms nasa topo marias river.jpg
The Marias River
Country Chouteau, Hill, Liberty, Toole, Pondera and Glacier County, Montana
Basin features
Main source 48°29′12″N 112°13′41″W / 48.48667°N 112.22806°W / 48.48667; -112.22806 (Marias River)[1]
River mouth 2,559 feet (780 m)[1]
47°55′46″N 110°28′21″W / 47.92944°N 110.47250°W / 47.92944; -110.47250 (Marias River)Coordinates: 47°55′46″N 110°28′21″W / 47.92944°N 110.47250°W / 47.92944; -110.47250 (Marias River)[1]
River system Missouri River

The Marias River is a tributary of the Missouri River, approximately 210 mi (338 km) long, in the U.S. state of Montana. It is formed in Glacier County, in northwestern Montana, by the confluence of the Cut Bank Creek and the Two Medicine River. It flows east, through Lake Elwell, formed by the Tiber Dam, then southeast, receiving the Teton River at Loma, 2 mi. (3.2 km) above its confluence with the Missouri.

The river was explored in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Some of the men on the expedition mistook it for the main branch of the Missouri until their subsequent discovery of the Great Falls of the Missouri near Great Falls, Montana. The river was named by Meriwether Lewis after his cousin, Maria Wood. Lewis led a small detachment of men to further explore the Marias River on the Expedition's return trip in 1806 to determine if the river ventured north above the Canada border, and he killed a young Blackfeet warrior trying to steal horses and a gun from the small detatchment.

The river was the scene of the 1870 Marias Massacre.[2]

The Marias is a Class I river from Tiber Dam to its confluence with the Missouri River for public access for recreational purposes.[3]


  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council[4]

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