Hiking Waterfalls in Montana  by John Kratz

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana Guide Book

by John Kratz (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Waterfalls in Montana  by John Kratz
This book highlights one hundred of Montana’s best waterfall hikes. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of waterfalls of varying size and popularity around the state, and they are found in almost every mountain range.

© 2017 John Kratz/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Waterfalls in Montana" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 100.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 100.

Abha Falls is the closest waterfall hike to Missoula, and the Bass Creek Trail is very popular with hikers. However, you probably won’t have too much company at the waterfall because it’s tucked away in dense woods about 500 feet from the trail. This is an easy route that follows Bass Creek through rocky forest, passes a large pond, and arrives at a section of the canyon near a steep cliff wall.
Hamilton, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
The hike to Apikuni Falls is the shortest waterfall hike in the Many Glacier area, but it climbs steadily for almost a mile and gains a quick 130 feet. The whole family can easily reach a good view of the falls, but the scramble to the base of the falls is much more of a challenge. The waterfall is tall and graceful as it descends a colorful rock wall below towering peaks.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
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Appistoki Falls is a beautiful destination for a short family hike, but you can also continue on Mount Henry Trail to a panoramic vista atop Scenic Point. The trail takes you into a classic hanging valley beneath Appistoki Peak and Scenic Point where the waterfall is tucked deep in a ravine.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
Located a few miles east of Swan Lake in the North Fork Lost Creek drainage, Arnica Falls is a scenic waterfall that few people visit. A brief hike takes you within view of the 125-foot waterfall from the trail. An unobstructed view of the falls requires a fairly steep bushwhack up a couple hundred feet.
Kalispell, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.7
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This popular hike gives you a good idea of the spectacular beauty of the Two Medicine area. This less-crowded part of Glacier Park has abundant wildlife, lush vegetation, and scenic waterways that pass through glacially carved valleys. Rising Wolf Mountain, Painted Teepee Peak, and Sinopah Mountain surround Two Medicine Lake. You follow Aster Creek and Paradise Creek over flat terrain through forest and marshlands.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.2
The beauty is extreme in the less-visited Cut Bank area of Glacier Park, and the hike to Atlantic Falls features a balance of scenic open areas and lush covered terrain. You follow the creek through numerous small meadows bursting with color during wildflower season. Aspen, cottonwood, and mountain maple put on a vibrant display in the fall.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.0
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Baree Creek Falls gives you, on a much larger scale, the style of picturesque waterfall that landscapers try to imitate at the entrances of modern-day subdivisions. In nature, it’s much more convincing. Gentle stair-stepping cascades of whitewater fall over colorful slabs of stone. This short walk in the Cabinet Mountains is ideal for families and beginner hikers.
Lincoln, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
Baring Falls is a misty, wonderful waterfall near the shoreline of St. Mary Lake. The whole family will appreciate the sights along this easy downhill hike. The trail passes through lodgepole forest recently burned in the Reynolds Creek Fire of 2015. The landscape is rugged, rocky, and full of wildflowers. You’ll be able to cool off by the spray of the falls and enjoy amazing mountain views from the lakeshore.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.0
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Lincoln Lake Trail takes you through diverse and changing temperate rainforest to a glacially carved amphitheater where Beaver Chief Falls, the tallest trail-accessible waterfall in Montana, makes its awe-inspiring descent behind the crystalline waters of Lincoln Lake. The long day-hike or overnight backpacking trip is a challenging, but extremely rewarding trek that sees few hikers due to elevation change and a sometimes muddy, overgrown trail. Lush forests, mountain views, and a chance to see wildlife all add up to make this a classic Glacier waterfall hike.
West Glacier, MT - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 15
This is one of Montana’s most difficult yet rewarding waterfall dayhikes. Gunsight Pass Trail gains about 3,800 feet in 6 miles, taking you from the shores of Lake McDonald to the alpine splendor of Edwards Mountain, Gunsight Mountain, and Glacier Basin. You follow crystalline streams through lush forests to three large, dynamic waterfalls. Extend your visit to some high-mountain lakes and to an observation point of Sperry Glacier. There is a good chance of seeing wildlife along the way—deer and black bear inhabit the lower elevation terrain and mountain goats and grizzlies prefer the higher areas.
West Glacier, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.2
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At 90 feet high, Big Falls is the tallest of the five waterfalls known as the Great Falls of the Missouri. Before being dammed in 1915, it was undoubtedly one of the most dynamic waterfalls in Montana. Although the Ryan Dam and powerhouse now detract from the wildness of the location, these noble falls are still worth a visit. It’s a very short stroll to the overlook on Ryan Island.
Great Falls, MT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 0.3
This challenging route takes you into the spectacular country of the Swan Range and Bob Marshall Wilderness where you can get away from civilization and experience the beauty of diverse and changing terrain. Find relaxing lakeside campsites at Upper Holland Lake, Pendant Lakes, and Necklace Lakes and inspiring vistas at three mountain passes along the way.
Kalispell, MT - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 19.8
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Situated in the Bitterroot Mountains west of Hamilton, Blodgett Canyon is a delightful place for hikers of varying skill levels. Even children with good footwear and endurance can complete this trek. With numerous primitive campsites along the way, this is an ideal destination for backpackers. The trail climbs through a unique blend of both rugged and lush terrain within constant view of the canyon walls and the meandering creek.
Hamilton, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.2
Boulder Falls Trail combines all the fantastic features of a Bitterroot Mountains hike: interesting rock formations, steep canyon walls, massive boulders, cool and diverse forests, and lots of running water. You’ll love the views along the way of the high ridges and be able to spot dozens of old-growth ponderosa pine trees. Watch for moose and pika.
Hamilton, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.0
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This canyon hike into the Bitterroot Mountains is very scenic and easy enough for the kids. The tall rock spires and massive, old-growth larch trees will keep you looking up constantly, and the wildflowers and tumbling cascades will keep you looking down. Brave Bear Falls is the first in a series of waterslides, cascades, and falls along Bear Creek. The first mile of the trail passes along the base of talus slopes on the south side of Bear Creek. The forest opens several times offering you glimpses of peaks and rock walls along the canyon. The trail begins to follow the creek again, passing gentle cascades and rockslides. When a few craggy peaks appear to the north, and the forest transitions to lodgepole pine, you’ll know you are close to the waterfall. Brave Bear Falls is a small double waterfall whose two channels flow down both sides of a rocky island. Grassy ledges make nice benches for a picnic.
Hamilton, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
If you’re passing between Yellowstone Park and the Beartooth Highway and are looking for a short hike, Bridal Falls is a beautiful and secluded destination at the foot of the 10,090-foot Republic Mountain. In spite of its closeness to the town of Silver Gate, the setting at the falls is pristine. Although private development currently threatens to block access, hopefully landowners will continue to allow hikers to access the waterfall.
Bozeman, MT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 0.2 mile
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The scenery along Canyon Creek Trail displays the typical ruggedness of a Bitterroot Mountains canyon, but with less fire damage than most other places. Canyon Falls is the tallest waterfall on the Montana side of the range. In addition to the falls, the views of peaks and valleys from the ridge are breathtaking and a fine recompense for the short but difficult climb. Continue hiking to Canyon Lake, and make an off-trail approach to the brink of the falls for a closer look.
Hamilton, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
“The hike to Cascade Falls is a mild and relaxing climb. The area surrounding the trail is speckled with brightly-colored moss and you are rewarded at the top with the quintessential western vista: a large meandering river cutting through the Rocky Mountains outlined by winding railroad tracks carrying a slow-moving train. The waterfall, viewed from the trail, is not an epic sight, but it is a pleasant spot for a picnic with plenty of space to sit and reflect while listening to the healing sounds of falling water.” (Anne Kratz)
Missoula, MT - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
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Cataract Falls is an excellent camping and hiking destination in a remote area of the Rocky Mountain Front. At the beginning of the short stroll, be prepared for a challenging creek crossing. The elegant cascade tumbles 90 feet down a cliff, feathering into multiple channels. The trailhead is located where Horse Creek and Cataract Creek both enter Elk Creek. What would normally be an easy hike does have one significant obstacle: crossing medium-sized Elk Creek. Depending on the height of the water, you may choose to wade, find a log to cross upstream, or step across the large stones. Once you get across, the wide trail leads you around a curve to the left through tall Douglas fir.
Great Falls, MT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 0.4 miles
The hike to Cedar Falls, this guidebook’s highest elevation waterfall, is a multiday backpacking adventure into the remote alpine wilderness of Cedar Mountain. The route is well used by equestrians and hikers, so the junctions and trails are easy to follow. The trek takes you through changing landscape: forested canyons, wildflower-filled meadows, subalpine parkland, and an alpine lake basin above tree line.
Dillon, MT - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 23.0
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