If you’re going to break the rules at Yellowstone National Park, 4:30 a.m. is a great time to do so. The guard stations are closed and the roads deserted save for some shaggy bison and early-rising wildlife watchers. So it was in the wee hours of a July morning that a red Toyota van passed unnoticed beneath the Yellowstone Arch in Gardiner, Mont. The van carried three young men and their 11-foot kayaks, on their way to paddle a remote stretch of whitewater on the Yellowstone River.

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