Ousel Falls

Bozeman, Montana

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This relaxed walk descends into a wooded ravine and passes several smaller waterfalls on route to the 50-foot Ousel Falls. It is a good trail for families because of its easy access and scattered picnic tables along the stream. Ousel Falls, named after a common water-loving bird, is especially attractive due to its year round accessibility. During colder months, much of the falls freezes and creates amazing spectacles to explore. The trail is located adjacent to Big Sky residential areas, making it busy most of the year. You are not far from civilization at the trailhead and you can even see a few houses from the trail. However, it is surprising how quickly you escape the bustle of the resort town once you enter the ravine. The South Fork West Fork Gallatin River is a small river that originates near Cedar Mountain in the Madison Range. The trail drops to the bottom of the ravine and begins to follow the river upstream. After crossing the first bridge, you begin to see inviting resting spots at picnic tables along the banks. The trail comes to several small falls that pour into the river along feeder streams and form spectacular ice formations in winter.
Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

by John Kratz (Falcon Guides)

This relaxed walk descends into a wooded ravine and passes several smaller waterfalls on route to the 50-foot Ousel Falls. It is a good trail for families because of its easy access and scattered picnic tables along the stream. Ousel Falls, named after a common water-loving bird, is especially attractive due to its year round accessibility. During colder months, much of the falls freezes and creates amazing spectacles to explore. The trail is located adjacent to Big Sky residential areas, making it busy most of the year.

You are not far from civilization at the trailhead and you can even see a few houses from the trail. However, it is surprising how quickly you escape the bustle of the resort town once you enter the ravine. The South Fork West Fork Gallatin River is a small river that originates near Cedar Mountain in the Madison Range. The trail drops to the bottom of the ravine and begins to follow the river upstream. After crossing the first bridge, you begin to see inviting resting spots at picnic tables along the banks. The trail comes to several small falls that pour into the river along feeder streams and form spectacular ice formations in winter.

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

Activity Type: Campgrounds, Hiking
Nearby City: Bozeman
Distance: 1.8
Elevation Gain: 105 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 30-60 minutes
Campsites: 13
Season: Year-round
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Custer Gallatin National Forest, PO Box 130, 10 East Babcock Ave., Bozeman, MT 59771; (406) 587-6701; fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin
Local Maps: DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer Montana Page 83, E10; USGS Quad Ousel Falls
Facilities: Three nearby campgrounds in the Gallatin River Canyon include Swan Creek Campground, Moose Creek Flat Campground, and Greek Creek Campground.
Driving Directions: Directions to Ousel Falls

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Apr 2018