Rainbow Falls and Crooked Falls

Great Falls, Montana

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A leisurely walk on a paved section of the River’s Edge Trail takes you along the top of the gorge on the south shore of the Missouri River. Rainbow Dam diverts water away from both Rainbow Falls and Crooked Falls, so they no longer possess their original volume of water. Even though the powerhouse and power lines take away from the pristineness of the gorge, the waterfalls and canyon are a worthwhile destination just outside of Great Falls. Rainbow Falls is visible as you begin the hike along the top of the gorge. Two trails head east from the Lewis and Clark Overlook. You can choose to take either the single-track trail on the left or the wide paved path on the right. As you walk along the cliff edge, you pass a variety of different views of the 45-foot Rainbow Falls. Water spills over the 1,320-foot-wide Rainbow Dam and then down different sections of a brightly colored wall in the riverbed.
Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Montana

by John Kratz (Falcon Guides)

A leisurely walk on a paved section of the River’s Edge Trail takes you along the top of the gorge on the south shore of the Missouri River. Rainbow Dam diverts water away from both Rainbow Falls and Crooked Falls, so they no longer possess their original volume of water. Even though the powerhouse and power lines take away from the pristineness of the gorge, the waterfalls and canyon are a worthwhile destination just outside of Great Falls.

Rainbow Falls is visible as you begin the hike along the top of the gorge. Two trails head east from the Lewis and Clark Overlook. You can choose to take either the single-track trail on the left or the wide paved path on the right. As you walk along the cliff edge, you pass a variety of different views of the 45-foot Rainbow Falls. Water spills over the 1,320-foot-wide Rainbow Dam and then down different sections of a brightly colored wall in the riverbed.

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

Activity Type: Hiking, Walking
Nearby City: Great Falls
Distance: 1.4
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 30-60 minutes
Season: Year-round
Additional Use: Camping
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Giant Springs State Park, 4803 Giant Springs Rd, Great Falls, MT 59405; (406) 727-1212; stateparks.mt.gov/giant-springs
Local Maps: DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer Montana Page 58, D4; USGS Quad Neihart
Driving Directions: Directions to Rainbow Falls and Crooked Falls

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May 2018