This Top 10 Best Montana Waterfalls List showcases our favorite waterfall experiences in Big Sky Country. We also show you how to visit each of these falls. In fact, for the longest time, Julie and I didn’t realize that we had enough of a collection of such experiences to even come up with a legitimate Top 10 List of the best waterfalls in the state.
Just to give you an idea of how extensive our survey of the Montana’s waterfalls is, we’ve got a page dedicated to a comprehensive listing of waterfalls in the state.
And like with all of our other top 10 lists, we only consider waterfalls that we’ve personally visited. That way, we can have a more respectable list that comes from genuine experiences.
That said, we recognize that this list of the best Montana Waterfalls can easily change as we continue to make more visits to Big Sky Country.
So without further ado, we now present the Top 10 Best Montana Waterfalls in reverse order…
When Julie and I first chanced upon this waterfall, we didn’t even know it had a name.
In fact, the Many Glacier Valley had a lot to take in right around this waterfall starting with the beautiful Swiftcurrent Lake.
Over the years, we’ve learned to use this waterfall to try to capture Mt Grinnell with this morning cascade.
Incidentally, that mountain was named after a person who worked tirelessly to preserve what came to be known as Glacier National Park.
Unfortunately with the completion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Grinnell vowed to never come back to the park in protest… and he never did!
Fortunately for us, we got to enjoy the fruits of his vision, which included this waterfall. And for that, it barely nudges onto our list of Montana’s best.
One of the few waterfalls not in Glacier National Park on this list, the waterfall was all about power and color.
Indeed, with the Kootenai River possibly the last of the undammed rivers of this size in the United States, just watching it flow wildly was a sight to behold.
In addition to respecting the rush while watching the glacial-flour-colored river move rapidly by, we also checked out the swinging bridge further downstream which took us right over this torrent.
Situated just east of the Idaho Panhandle, it definitely felt like we traveled through one of the last wild stretches of forest in the American Rockies.
So given all these factors, we had no problems putting this waterfall on our list of Montana’s best waterfalls.
Even with a waterfall as big as this 492ft monster, the sky-scraping mountains near Logan Pass managed to dwarf it as you can see in this photo.
Indeed, this was really my waterfalling excuse to take a breather and soak in the mindblowing scenery along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
With other cascades nearby (like on Haystack Creek), a surprise mountain goat visit, and an explosion of wildflowers in bloom, this scenic highlight of Glacier National Park left me wanting more.
Unfortunately, daylight started to give way to night time on my visit so I had to let go.
Still, with such scenery etched in my memory, I had to acknowledge this waterfall and place it among this listing of the best Montana Waterfalls that we’ve been to.
We don’t often see waterfalls falling on top of itself, but that certainly happened with this waterfall in the Two Medicine Valley part of Glacier National Park.
Maybe that might explain why I’ve also seen this unusual waterfall referred to as “Trick Falls”.
Most of Two Medicine Creek flows through a hole or natural bridge. The overflow of the creek that didn’t make it into the hole would go over the lip of the cliff for that trick effect.
Add to this uniqueness the pointy mountains that provide Glacier National Park’s claim to fame and we have ourselves a special place.
So for all these factors, we had to place this waterfall on our list of favorites in the state of Montana.
This 50ft tall (though I’ve seen reports of 100ft tall) waterfall was another one of the waterfalls that made this list that didn’t reside in Glacier National Park.
Given its close proximity to the community of Big Sky, it seemed like the kind of place where residents or guests could go on a hike or a jog along the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River.
Since this waterfall didn’t sit in a national park, I enjoyed the peace and tranquility as well as the waterfall itself.
Thus, I had to give it props for rejuvenating me before we’d leave Bozeman and head into the much busier Yellowstone National Park, which wasn’t far away from here.
Like What You See So Far?
Julie and I didn’t know about this waterfall on our first visit to Glacier National Park.
That all changed when we chanced upon some map and info displayed at the St Mary Visitor Center.
It piqued my interest enough to pursue it. And after doing the all-uphill hike to get here, I was pleasantly surprised by its 150ft or so drop.
When I had my fill of this imposing waterfall, the view across Many Glacier Valley further added to the scenic allure of this excursion.
Pleasant surprises like this don’t come that often for us anymore. So that along with other positive aspects about the overall hike and waterfall clearly put this one among our favorites in Big Sky Country.
This wishbone-shaped waterfall acted as my primary motivator for doing the fairly exhaustive hike to the Grinnell Glacier. However after doing the hike, I could now see why it was one of the premiere hikes in all of Glacier National Park.
The hike featured a pair of lakes in Lake Josephine and Swiftcurrent Lake. It also featured vistas over Grinnell Lake and a side valley as the trail clung to a ledge flanked by wildflowers and seeping springs.
Then, after going past the top of this waterfall, I eventually reached the rapidly receding Grinnell Glacier with its drifting icebergs floating beneath the Salamander Falls.
Such stunning scenery made me feel alive though I also found the experience bittersweet as I also witnessed how this glacier has become the poster child for Global Warming.
Nonetheless, even though the waterfall wasn’t the main attraction, the experience as a whole compelled me to place it high up on our list of Top 10 Best Montana Waterfalls.
Julie, Tahia, and I went out of our way to visit this 280ft waterfall.
But once we finally got to look right into its twisting waterfall in the rugged Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness near Nye, the effort paid off.
Not only did we enjoy the impressive waterfall, but we also enjoyed the views towards the remote Beartooth Range.
Even the peace and quiet from being here (as opposed to the much busier reserves of Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park) felt refreshing and rejuvenating.
So for all this waterfall had going for it, we had no trouble placing it high on this list of our favorites in the state of Montana.
This was another one of those waterfalls that we had to go a bit out-of-the-way for.
But after witnessing this awesome display of what Nature can do, we relished in the relative peace and quiet broken only by the rush of this 100ft waterfall.
What made this one stand out, however, was that it disappeared under the bedrock before re-emerging into what seemed to be a collapsed cave system.
We not only experienced the precipitous views across the deep canyon, but we also got close to the upper waterfalls before the Boulder River made its disappearing act.
Given the overall experience, we felt compelled to put this waterfall high up on our list of favorites in Big Sky Country.
I had a real difficult time trying to identify a standout waterfall among our list of favorites.
Ultimately, I chose this waterfall because it featured the attractive two-tiered St Mary Falls as well as many cascades on Virginia Creek.
Some of these intermediate cascades could have easily stood out on their own.
The hike culminated in the impressive Virginia Falls. For such a relatively short hike, it packed a lot of highlights.
Sure I listed other bigger and badder waterfalls on this page. But in the end, I found the overall experience here to be top notch.
After all, I got gorgeous mountains surrounding the trail, many waterfalls (some of which had colorful plunge pools), and distant views of St Mary Lake.
So putting it all together, this waterfall just barely nudged into the top spot of our Top 10 Best Montana Waterfalls List.
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