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17 of the Best Waterfalls in Montana to Leave You Spellbound

By | Last Updated : 8th May 2022

Montana is a large state featuring hundreds of waterfalls. With varying sizes, they cascade in a picturesque setting that attracts many tourists and photographers. As the hike to reach them is not much strenuous, they are ideal for visitors of any age. While you’ll find many waterfalls throughout the state, visiting Glacier National Forest is a must to witness some of the best ones, like St. Mary’s Falls and Redrock Falls.

Waterfalls in Montana

1. Virginia and St. Mary’s Falls

Virginia and St. Mary’s Falls in Montana

Two of the main attractions of Glacier National Park, Virginia Falls, and St. Mary’s Falls, stand adjacent to each other. You will witness St. Mary Falls first, a gorgeous multi-tiered waterfall cascading from a height of 50 feet. A little further is the Virginia Falls that gushes into the Virginia Creek. The bridge that crosses over the creek offers stunning views of both the waterfalls. Besides these, there are many other smaller cascades with mountains in the area that provide a perfect visual treat.

Nearest City: About 3.8 miles from Siyeh Bend

Hiking & Other Activities: A 3-mile out-and-back trail will lead you to both the waterfalls. While the path to St. Mary’s Falls is easy, it gets slightly steeper to reach Virginia Falls. If visiting in summer, be sure to hike to the nearby Baring Falls to enjoy a refreshing dip.

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2. Baring Falls

Baring Falls in Montana

Baring Falls in Glacier National Park plunges over a rocky ledge into the Baring Creek from a height of 25 feet. Many enjoy cooling off in the water on hot days. The rock formations dotted with the surrounding flora make the place a sight to behold.

Nearest City: About 40 miles from East Glacier Park Village.

Hiking & Other Activities: You can start your hike from the trailhead just off Going-To-The-Sun Road. It is a short and easy hike of about 0.3 miles to the waterfall. If you plan to visit St. Mary’s Falls first, you will have to backtrack to the Piegan Pass Trail junction and hike about a mile to reach the Baring Falls.You can even check out the St. Mary’s Lake in the vicinity and spend a peaceful time admiring the surrounding scenic beauty and the waves of the waters.

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3. Florence Falls

Florence Falls in Montana

A lesser-traversed waterfall, Florence Falls offers a peaceful and scenic setting that would surely want you to visit it once. Located within Glacier National Park, the waterfall dramatically flows in a step-like formation. The surrounding mountains and valleys elevate its beauty, making it an ideal picturesque spot to relax and enjoy a picnic.

Nearest City: About 1.7 miles from Siyeh Bend

Hiking & Other Activities: This waterfall requires about 9.2 miles out-and-back hike. Though moderately challenging with steep points, the landscape all along the trail is breathtaking. Do remember to wear full-sleeved clothes and long pants to protect yourself from overgrown bushes in some sections.  

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4. Redrock Falls

Redrock Falls in Montana

You could visit the Redrock Falls in Glacier National Park for a fun outing with your family. The surrounding red-colored rock formations along with Mount Grinnell in the backdrop, elevate its beauty and provide several photo opportunities. Cascading in series, Redrock Falls appears quite impressive, particularly from March to October. Swimming at its base is a sought-after activity in summer. You could also spot wildlife species like moose, deer, and bear in the vicinity.

Nearest City: About 12.8 miles from Babb

Hiking & Other Activities: n easy hike along the trail via Swiftcurrent Pass will take you to the waterfall. It is about a 3.6-mile out-and-back path that attracts visitors with its picturesque beauty. As you return, be sure to take a side trip to Fishercap Lake to soak in the mesmerizing views. The beach area here is ideal for spending a relaxing time with your family.

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5. Running Eagle Falls

Running Eagle Falls in Montana

Running Eagle Falls is a unique waterfall that dramatically pours in two cascades, one on top of another. Also known as Trick Falls, this waterfall can be found within the Two Medicine region of the Glacier National Park. It is formed by Two Medicine Creek, which overflows and meanders through a natural bridge to spill from a cliff’s opening.

You can witness the two cascades separately during the dry season when the upper falls drop to join the lower falls. However, during the rainy season, it gushes down to cover the lower falls giving one the impression of a single waterfall flowing from about 40 feet in height.

Nearest City: About 8.5 miles from East Glacier Park Village

Hiking & Other Activities: You can easily reach the waterfall by hiking a short loop trail of about 0.6 miles.

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6. Ptarmigan Falls

Ptarmigan Falls in Montana

Encompassed by majestic mountains and pine forests, the 200-foot tall Ptarmigan Falls cascades over a rock face in Glacier National Park. Visiting it in the spring will make you witness its gushing state. As a bonus, you will be able to admire the beautiful wildflowers blooming in the vicinity, particularly from mid-July to mid-August. Do carry your picnic baskets to enjoy a meal, as you will find a picnic spot if you hike a little further. However, you will have to be extra cautious as grizzly bears frequent the area mostly in spring.

Nearest City: About 13 miles from Babb

Hiking & Other Activities: You will find the trailhead to the waterfall near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Along the 10.5-mile Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, you will have to hike about 2.5 miles to the falls requiring a steady incline of moderate difficulty.

To make it a whole day’s adventure, you can continue hiking along the trail to reach Ptarmigan Tunnel. Though the multiple switchbacks and inclines make the hike challenging, the breathtaking views are well worth the effort. You will get impressive views of the mountains and valleys on your way. If lucky, you might even spot wildlife species like mountain goats, Bighorn sheep, and grizzly bears in the surrounding areas. If you have time and energy left, be sure to hike further to Iceberg Lake.

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7. Apikuni Falls

Apikuni Falls in Montana

Another must-visit attraction in Glacier National Park, Apikuni Falls, is a tall but narrow waterfall cascading off a cliff face. The surrounding rock formations dotted with pine trees make it a mesmerizing sight. Besides the views from the base, you can also consider scrambling to its top to witness it from a different angle. 

Nearest City: About 45.5 miles from Browning

Hiking & Other Activities: You can reach the waterfall by hiking a one-mile trail. Though short, it is pretty steep uphill. Do pack your lunch to enjoy your meals as you soak in the views once you reach the waterfall. Wildlife species are abundant in this area.

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8. Crow Creek Falls

Crow Creek Falls in Montana

This Montana waterfall is ideal for spending a fun-filled vacation. Located in Helena National Forest, Crow Creek Falls cascades from a 50-foot height into an alpine pool. Don’t forget to carry your swimsuits to have a refreshing dip in the water. The Elkhorn Mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop that is a feast to the eyes. You will also find many campsites in the area, ideal for an overnight stay.

Nearest City: About 16 miles from Radersburg

Hiking & Other Activities: A 5.3-mile hike along the moderately difficult trail in the Elkhorn Mountains will lead you to the waterfall. It offers scenic views and a peaceful setting.

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9. Kootenai Falls

Kootenai Falls in Montana

Kootenai Falls plunges down the Kootenai River in the northwest corner of the state. It holds religious importance to the native Kootenai tribe. A suspension bridge over the river offers mesmerizing views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape. Do keep your eyes peeled for wildlife species like moose, deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.

Nearest City: About 6.3 miles from Troy

Hiking & Other Activities: A short and easy 1.5-mile out-and-back trail will take you to Kootenai Falls and the swinging bridge. Do bring your fishing reels to enjoy catching the Westslope cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, and bull trout at the Kootenai River. You will also find a campground nearby, in case you plan to extend your stay.  

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10. Woodbine Falls

Woodbine Falls in Montana

Woodbine Falls within Custer National Forest offers a scenic and serene setting, ideal for a family day trip. The rugged surroundings enhances the waterfall’s beauty further

that flows down a vertical cliff wall from a height of about 260 feet. Though you cannot witness it up-close, the view from the overlook is no less stunning.

Nearest City: About 8.3 miles from Nye

Hiking & Other Activities: It is about a 1.4-mile hike to the waterfall, easily accessible by hikers of all ages. You can also bring along your dogs with you. If you have time, be sure to hike the nearby trails like the Sioux Charlie Lake Trail.

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11. Ousel Falls

Ousel Falls in Montana

Ousel Falls is an enchanting waterfall within Custer Gallatin National Forest in Big Sky. It is named after the American dippers as it offers several opportunities to spot these birds residing in the area. With many viewpoints, you can enjoy admiring and photographing the gorgeous natural wonder from different angles. The picnic areas by the waterfall are perfect for spending time with your loved ones before you head back to your vehicle.

Nearest City: About 31 miles from Gallatin Gateway

Hiking & Other Activities: You will have to hike a short distance of about half a mile to reach the waterfall. It is accessible by hikers of any skill level. Do put on your hiking shoes as there are some slippery parts on the way. If you wish for some more adventure, you could consider hiking the nearby Yellowmule Loop or at least a section of it.

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12. Calamity & Sentinel Falls

Calamity & Sentinel Falls in Montana

Calamity Falls and Sentinel Falls sit in closer proximity in the Beartooth Mountains, accessible by a short drive from Red Lodge. Even before you reach it, you will hear the sound of Calamity Falls. It pours into a gorge and gushes as rapids, creating an impressive sight. You could take a break by sitting on one of the surrounding boulders as you soak in the scenery. Once you have admired the waterfall, you can hike a little further to see the Sentinel Falls. The up-close view of the waterfall is indeed captivating.

Nearest City: About 14 miles from Red Lodge

Hiking & Other Activities: You will have to take the West Fork Trail near the parking lot. It’s an easy 3.5-mile out-and-back hike to the waterfalls. Don’t miss treading along the trail to Quinnebaugh Meadows to enjoy more visual treats if you wish to explore more.

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13. Pinkham Creek Falls

Pinkham Creek Falls in Montana

Tucked into a gorge, Pinkham Creek Falls is a lesser-known waterfall within Rexford in the northwest corner of Montana. It dramatically plunges in two cascades into the creek. The water is ideal for swimming and fishing, making it a favorite spot among the locals.

Nearest City: About 8.5 miles from Eureka

Hiking & Other Activities: A short but steep hike will bring you to the waterfall. Do wear proper footwear as the trail can be slippery at some points.

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14. Memorial Falls

Memorial Falls in Montana

You’ll find the Memorial Falls in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, just off Highway 89. It features two pretty little waterfalls pouring over a rock face. The best time to witness them is from March to October, when they flow in full glory.

Nearest City: About 2.5 miles from Neihart

Hiking & Other Activities: Hiking a short half-mile trail that meanders parallel to a creek will lead you to the waterfall. After you have had your fill of the flowing cascades, you could hike further up the trail to enjoy the views of mountains and scenic surroundings. 

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15. Holland Falls

Holland Falls in Montana

Flathead National Forest offers a combination of the gorgeous Holland waterfall and Holland Lake, making it a popular vacation destination. Viewing the picturesque setting with Mission Mountain in the background will leave you spellbound. The nearby campground is ideal for a tranquil and unforgettable experience in the lap of nature.

Nearest City: About 11 miles from Condon

Hiking & Other Activities: The easy-to-hike 1.6-mile trail runs along the lake’s shoreline, offering mesmerizing views all along the way. You could indulge yourself in hiking other trails or swimming, fishing, and boating at the lake. Your furry friends, too, can accompany you to the spot.

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16. Swiftcurrent Falls

Swiftcurrent Falls in Montana

To enjoy a breathtaking experience in nature, you could consider visiting Swiftcurrent Falls in Glacier National Forest. Nestled amidst the towering mountain peaks, the waterfall cascades into the Swiftcurrent Creek Valley. Don’t miss boating on the adjoining pristine lake to get a spectacular view of the waterfall and the beautiful mountainous surrounding.

Nearest City: About 11.5 miles from Babb

Hiking & Other Activities: This waterfall is easily reachable by hiking a 2.5-mile loop trail. You might even spot a bear, deer, or a moose on the way.

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17. Triple Falls

Triple Falls in Montana

Formed by Oneonta Creek, Triple Falls tumbles in three cascades from a height of about 100-135 feet. The waterfalls with other scenic wonders like creeks and cliffs create a spectacular sight that attracts many tourists and photographers to visit it in Glacier National Park. You could even plan an overnight trip as there are many camping spots in the area.

Nearest City: About 11.7 miles from Kalispell

Hiking & Other Activities: Hiking for about 1.7 miles along Oneonta Trail will make you witness the waterfalls. Though the lower falls is not visible from the route, you can clearly see the middle falls. The upper falls require a 1-mile upstream hike from the middle falls and a scramble down a canyon to get its views.

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TOP PICKS

Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Apikuni Falls, Virgina and St. Mary’s Falls, Redrock Falls

Best Waterfalls for Swimming: Redrock Falls, Crow Creek Falls, Ousel Falls

Best Waterfalls for Camping: Crow Creek Falls, Kootenai Falls, Holland Falls

Best Hidden Waterfalls: Triple Falls, Running Eagle Falls, Ousel Falls

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