Appistoki Falls

Glacier National Park / Two Medicine, Montana, USA

About Appistoki Falls


Hiking Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2017-08-08
Date last visited: 2017-08-08

Waterfall Latitude: 48.48197
Waterfall Longitude: -113.35249

Appistoki Falls would forever be associated with huckleberries as far as we were concerned.

That was because ever since some locals showed us which plants were naturally growing the berries, Julie and Tahia went nuts picking as many as they could find along the trail!

Appistoki_Falls_049_08082017 - The hard-to-see Appistoki Falls
The hard-to-see Appistoki Falls

As for the waterfall itself, not much was said about its actual height, but it didn’t really matter that much.

After all, the view from the official trail was quite obstructed and left much to be desired, which you can see in the photo above.

During our visit in August 2017, we saw trail signs talking about plans to improve this trail.

I’m not sure what kind of improvements would be made, but if there would be a way to somehow get across the Appistoki Creek and get a more frontal view of the falls, then that would be definitely worth the wait!

Appistoki_Falls_080_08082017 - Huckleberries picked along the hike to Appistoki Falls
Huckleberries picked along the hike to Appistoki Falls

As a bonus, there was also a nice view across the Two Medicine Valley from the top of the falls.

However, I didn’t do the far more ambitious hike up to Scenic Point, which would have promised an obstructed view over the entirety of Two Medicine Valley.

Appistoki Falls Trail Logistics

The Appistoki Falls hike was said to only be about 1.2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of under 200ft.

That said, we wound up spending over 90 minutes here because of all the time Julie and Tahia spent picking huckleberries.

Appistoki_Falls_079_08082017 - Julie and Tahia picking huckleberries along the Appistoki Falls Trail
Julie and Tahia picking huckleberries along the Appistoki Falls Trail

According to some of the Glacier National Park guides, you’re apparently allowed to pick up to a pint.

We managed to get a couple handfuls of them.

At least since these were wild berries, we didn’t have to worry about pesticides.

Indeed, this was as wild and organic as they come.

Appistoki_Falls_019_08082017 - Looking at huckleberries growing from this plant seen along the Appistoki Falls Trail
Looking at huckleberries growing from this plant seen along the Appistoki Falls Trail

Of course, they were also a favorite for grizzly bears to fatten up on, and the amount of berries I’ve seen in their poop kind of corroborated this notion.

Appistoki Falls Trail Description – hiking up to a view of the waterfall

The hike began from the Scenic Point parking lot (see directions below).

The trail meandered amongst some pretty flat and gently ascending terrain flanked by huckleberry bushes and other bushes sprouting other types of berries as well as some trees.

After the first half-mile, we encountered a signed trail junction where the sign pointed to our right to continue to Appistoki Falls along a narrower and moderately ascending path.

Appistoki_Falls_032_08082017 - Julie and Tahia taking the right branch to pursue Appistoki Falls. The left branch went up to Scenic Point
Julie and Tahia taking the right branch to pursue Appistoki Falls. The left branch went up to Scenic Point

The trail on the left of this fork continued climbing up towards Scenic Point.

Within another 0.1 mile, we eventually got to some unsigned views of the Appistoki Falls in the distance.

As mentioned before, the temptation was great to try to improve the views, but with steep dropoffs and unstable edges, that wouldn’t be wise.

So we experienced what we could of the falls before heading back.

Appistoki Falls Trail Description – continuing to the Scenic Point

Appistoki_Falls_064_08082017 - Context of Appistoki Falls, which is really tall. So you can see how much of a shame it was to only see a small part of it
Context of Appistoki Falls, which is really tall. So you can see how much of a shame it was to only see a small part of it

I did manage to follow some kind of steep narrow trail (probably a social trail) that ultimately connected us with the Scenic Point Trail.

Within another quarter-mile, I found myself on a wider outcrop almost right above the top of Appistoki Falls.

From up here, I was able to look back across Two Medicine Valley towards some attractive mountains in the distance.

That said, it was probably nothing more than a teaser for the much longer hike to the Scenic Point itself.

Appistoki_Falls_071_08082017 - Looking back across Two Medicine Valley from the top of Appistoki Falls (on the way up to Scenic Point)
Looking back across Two Medicine Valley from the top of Appistoki Falls (on the way up to Scenic Point)

In any case, this was my turnaround point.

Once again, we took our time to return to the trailhead as Julie and Tahia found it to be an extended opportunity to pick more fresh huckleberries.

Authorities

Appistoki Falls resides in Glacier National Park near St Mary in Glacier County, Montana. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Appistoki_Falls_005_08082017 - At the Scenic Point Parking Lot, which was also the trailhead for Appistoki Falls. It was empty when we got started
Appistoki_Falls_006_08082017 - The Appistoki Falls Trailhead leaving the Scenic Point Parking Lot
Appistoki_Falls_008_08082017 - Looking up at the morning sun trying to break through the clouds during our Appistoki Falls hike
Appistoki_Falls_018_08082017 - Julie and Tahia on the Appistoki Falls Trail
Appistoki_Falls_024_08082017 - Julie and Tahia already busy picking huckleberries along the Appistoki Falls Trail
Appistoki_Falls_025_08082017 - Julie showing off some of the huckleberries that she has picked so far along the Appistoki Falls hike
Appistoki_Falls_031_08082017 - Julie and Tahia continuing along the Appistoki Falls Trail as it continued its gentle ascent
Appistoki_Falls_033_08082017 - Huckleberries weren't the only berries growing alongside the Appistoki Falls Trail
Appistoki_Falls_034_08082017 - The Appistoki Falls Trail now started to climb a little more steeply while exposing dropoffs to our right
Appistoki_Falls_038_08082017 - Contextual first glimpse at the Appistoki Falls nestled in a steep gorge
Appistoki_Falls_040_08082017 - Zoomed in look at the Appistoki Falls, which was a real shame that we could only see such a small fraction of it
Appistoki_Falls_041_08082017 - More contextual look at Appistoki Falls to try to convey just how steep the gorge was
Appistoki_Falls_048_08082017 - Context of Julie looking on towards the obstructed Appistoki Falls
Appistoki_Falls_056_08082017 - Context of Julie and Tahia looking down at the dropoff towards Appistoki Creek
Appistoki_Falls_060_08082017 - Looking across Two Medicine Valley from somewhere above the Appistoki Falls
Appistoki_Falls_069_08082017 - Looking back across Two Medicine Valley from the top of Appistoki Falls with trail context
Appistoki_Falls_065_08082017 - Looking down at Appistoki Falls looking disjoint due to its positioning with the cliffs and foliage getting in the way of a clean view
Appistoki_Falls_076_08082017 - Julie and Tahia hiking back down to the trailhead parking after having had their fill of Appistoki Falls
Appistoki_Falls_003_iPhone_08082017 - Another look at a huckleberry growing from a plant as seen along the Appistoki Falls Trail
Appistoki_Falls_082_08082017 - Julie and Tahia continuing their descent to the trailhead after having had their fill of the Appistoki Falls
Appistoki_Falls_089_08082017 - Julie and Tahia forging ahead as we were getting closer to the end of our Appistoki Falls hike

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To reach Appistoki Falls from St Mary, we drive south on US89 for about 19 miles until it junctioned with Route 49.

We then turned right to take Route 49 (which was a pretty rough paved road) for another 7 miles until it junctioned with Two Medicine Road on the right.

Appistoki_Falls_092_08082017 - The Scenic Point Parking Lot, which was also the trailhead for Appistoki Falls
The Scenic Point Parking Lot, which was also the trailhead for Appistoki Falls

Next, we took Two Medicine Road and drove for about another 7 miles to the Scenic Point parking lot on the left.

The Scenic Point parking lot was also the trailhead for Appistoki Falls.

The parking lot was about a half-mile before the end of the Two Medicine Road, where there was a boat dock for tours across Two Medicine Lake.

If you happened to start at the East Glacier Park Village, then you’d drive north on Hwy 49 for about 4 miles before keeping left to go onto Two Medicine Road at the fork.

Appistoki_Falls_094_08082017 - Looking towards the entrance to the Scenic Point Parking Lot
Looking towards the entrance to the Scenic Point Parking Lot

Then, follow the Two Medicine Road through the entrance station and eventually to the Scenic Point parking lot.

To give you some context, St Mary was under 9 miles (a little over 10 minutes drive) south of Babb, 30 miles (under an hour drive) north of East Glacier Park Village, and 203 miles (3.5 hours drive) north of Helena. Across the US-Canada border, St Mary was 47 miles (an hour drive) southeast of Waterton and 180 miles (3 hours drive) south of Calgary.

Contextual downstream to upstream sweep of the falls with daughter screaming to try to keep bears away


Checking out the surrounding scenery at the top of the falls while also showing what it looks like from well above the falls

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Tagged with: glacier national park, two medicine, continental divide, huckleberry, huckleberries, obstructed, partial view, waterfall, montana, glacier county



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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