Choose your own pace: Great Falls’ central location offers easy access to hiking, fishing, climbing, kayaking and more
Genuine adventure awaits in Great Falls, Montana. The central Montana town is ideally situated for days spent on the river, in the mountains or on the trails. Here are our top picks of activities to do while you’re making new friends and a lifetime of memories in Great Falls:
Hop on River’s Edge Trail
River’s Edge Trail pays tribute to both the industry that spurred the city’s growth and the wild beauty that the industry left untamed. Many of the trails are constructed on the former roads and railroad lines that served these pioneering companies. Lace up your hiking boots or rent a bicycle and travel along the paved path, past public art, the Black Eagle Dam, a fish hatchery, overlooks, photo ops and parks. The urban path also connects to a more rugged trail and a more demanding adventure past waterfalls and onto the challenging Mayhem Trails.
Try your hand at fly fishing
There is no better place in the world to try your hand at fly fishing than in Great Falls. There are a number of local outfitters in the area ready to teach you the ropes – or the fishing line – of the sport and suit you up with all the supplies (plus lunch) you need.
Check out all there is to do at Glacier National Park
It might be shorter to list the recreational activities not available at Glacier National Park. The Crown of the Continent offers activities such as camping, bicycling, hiking, boating and fishing – just to name a few. The variety of trails allow for short and easy strolls to extended backpacking adventures. If you’re just there for the afternoon, take the path to the St. Mary and Virginia waterfalls. Or head to Iceberg Lake, where you’ll discover gorgeous azure-colored waters reflecting the surrounding towering rock.
The park hosts a variety of education programs, as well. Learn about Native American history and culture from members of the Blackfeet, Salish, Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille tribes who share their heritage through dance, song and storytelling. Take a scenic boat cruise or sign up for a photo walk. The young ones in your group can even earn official Junior Ranger Badges.
Hit the Wall
Featuring a 1,000-foot vertical drop, the formidable Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness is a hike to add to your bucket list. It’s said that the daunting 22-mile limestone “wall” is one of the natural wonders that can be seen from space.
Hike to the summit of Mount Wright
Another popular hike is the 6-plus-mile round-trip trek to the peak of Mount Wright. The trail climbs 3,500 feet to the summit. Once at the top, all of your hard work is well rewarded with sweeping views of Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park.
Take to the Missouri on a kayak or paddleboard
In 1976, Congress designated the Missouri River segment and corridor in this area a National Wild and Scenic River. The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument spans 149 miles of the Upper Missouri River and adjacent areas.
One of the best seats in the house in Great Falls can be had leisurely skimming across the river in a kayak or canoe. Or if you prefer to give the view a standing ovation (and features like the 300-foot-high White Cliffs section certainly merit the applause), balance atop a paddleboard instead.
You can rent kayaks, canoes, rafts and paddleboards at Montana River Outfitters and launch them less than two blocks from the shop. Or if you prefer, sign up for a Montana River Outfitters’ guided tour of nearby Wolf Creek Canyon or beyond.
Find out why Great Falls is the gateway to Genuine Montana. Plan your trip at genuinemontana.com.