About Running Eagle Falls
Running Eagle Falls (also called Trick Falls) was probably one of the more unique waterfalls we’ve seen.
What made this waterfall so unusual was that we happened to see it when it acted as a waterfall that fell onto itself (if that makes any sense)!
It turned out that this hinted at a natural bridge spanning at least the lower waterfall (though the natural bridge wasn’t immediately obvious at first).
As a result of this natural bridge, the majority of the creek fell into a sink hole that emerged out the other end of the natural bridge as the lower part of Running Eagle Falls.
However, the visibly thin column of water fronting that opening was the Running Eagle Falls’ overflow, and it was that drop that fell onto the lower drop making it appear as if this waterfall fell onto itself (see photo above).
So I’d imagine under low flow conditions, that extra column might disappear entirely as the rest of the creek would fall mostly unseen into that sink hole and natural bridge.
Anyways, as a result of this special convergence of rare scenic features, this waterfall was a rare scenic gem and well worth the effort to visit the quiet Two Medicine Valley part of Glacier National Park.
Walking to Running Eagle Falls
The walk to Running Eagle Falls from the large signposted car park (see directions below) was a mostly flat 0.3 miles in each direction (or 0.6 miles out-and-back).
We found the walk to be pretty straightforward as the path was both wide and obvious.
Just before the trail traversed a couple of footbridges, there was a bench to enjoy a distant view of the falls with its mountainous backdrop.
After crossing the bridges, the official path terminated at a viewing deck for a closer look at the Trick Falls.
I noticed that the trail used to continue beyond the designated viewing area, but I believe the park prohibited further access because I saw a section of unstable earth as well as a massive rock fall a little further.
Nonetheless, I’d imagine that had we been able to scramble further, we might be able to get to the banks of Running Eagle Creek and see the sinkhole causing the lower tier of the falls.
It turned out that despite the tranquility of Two Medicine Valley, this waterfall was pretty busy because the old school red tour buses would frequently stop here.
Running Eagle 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.
Running Eagle Falls sat in the Two Medicine Valley part of Glacier National Park, which we’ll describe the driving directions from St Mary since that was a common spot to stay at on the east side.
From St Mary, we drove south on US89 for about 19 miles until it junctioned with Route 49.
We then took Route 49 (which was a pretty rough paved road) for another 7 miles until it junctioned with Two Medicine Road on the right.
Taking Two Medicine Road, we then drove for about 5 miles to the large and well-signed car park for Running Eagle Falls.
To give you some context, St Mary was under 9 miles south of Babb 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.
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