Lodgepole Falls

Missoula, Montana

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Located in forested mountains just south of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the hike to Lodgepole Falls is easy, except for the final descent to viewpoints below the cascade. Three 20- to 30-foot drops of water plunge from right to left down a cliffy gorge. Note that both black bears and grizzly bears are numerous in this area, so always carry your bear spray as a precaution. It’s an easy and scenic stroll among the spruce, larch, and pines. The open forest floor is vegetated with wildflowers and lush green grass, and you can see the surrounding mountains that are heavily forested with cliff outcroppings. You soon approach a gorge that snakes through the mountain and is deep enough that you can’t see the stream roaring through it from your vantage point on the trail. Look for a hard-to-find path that takes you down to the base of the falls when the gorge curves to the west. The steep and windy descent takes you to a perfect view of Lodgepole Falls in all of its glory. The force of the three tall splashes creates a misty breeze, and small rainbows appear when sunlight is present.
Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

by John Kratz (Falcon Guides)

Located in forested mountains just south of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the hike to Lodgepole Falls is easy, except for the final descent to viewpoints below the cascade. Three 20- to 30-foot drops of water plunge from right to left down a cliffy gorge. Note that both black bears and grizzly bears are numerous in this area, so always carry your bear spray as a precaution.

It’s an easy and scenic stroll among the spruce, larch, and pines. The open forest floor is vegetated with wildflowers and lush green grass, and you can see the surrounding mountains that are heavily forested with cliff outcroppings. You soon approach a gorge that snakes through the mountain and is deep enough that you can’t see the stream roaring through it from your vantage point on the trail. Look for a hard-to-find path that takes you down to the base of the falls when the gorge curves to the west. The steep and windy descent takes you to a perfect view of Lodgepole Falls in all of its glory. The force of the three tall splashes creates a misty breeze, and small rainbows appear when sunlight is present.

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

Activity Type: Campgrounds, Hiking
Nearby City: Missoula
Distance: 0.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 30-60 minutes
Campsites: 2
Season: May-Nov
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Lolo National Forest, 24 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804; (406) 329-3750; fs.usda.gov/lolo
Local Maps: DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer Montana Page 55, B9; USGS Quad Dunham Point
Driving Directions: Directions to Lodgepole Falls

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Apr 2018