The Tallest Waterfall In Montana Is A Stunning 1500-Foot Cascade

© iStock.com/Jon Farmer

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: May 26, 2023

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Nature offers many fascinating facets, one of which is a waterfall. These cascading waters fall off rocky ledges and land with splashes into a plunge pool below. While doing it, they deliver a cooling mist that feels glorious on your skin if you’re close enough to feel it. Some waterfalls travel short distances, while others freefall for several seconds at a time. Some are wispy and tricky, while others rush down with much greater force. These expressions of nature are well worth a long hike! If you’re in Montana, visiting Glacier National Park is a must. You’ll see the tallest waterfall in the state!

The Tallest Waterfall In Montana

The tallest waterfall in Montana is Feather Plume Falls. It’s situated just above the powerful Cataract Creek, hidden in Glacier National Park’s gorgeous atmosphere. Not only is it a beautiful sight to behold, but it’s also the tallest waterfall in Montana. If this waterfall isn’t enough to get your hiking shoes on, you should know it’s in close proximity to another water wonder: Grinnell Lake (where the water is a glittering turquoise color). Feather Plume Falls has a mesmerizing 1,500-foot drop. It’s surrounded by various peaks and valleys, making the hike a nature lover’s dream.

You might wonder how the waterfall got its name, and when you see the fall, you’ll understand. Its wispy falls are rather thin and modest. Despite this, the falls can be spotted and appreciated even from a distance. Originally, the falls were a part of Blackfeet land. Later, the United States National Park Service acquired the land where the falls are found. Although Feather Plume Falls are worth a visit to Glacier National Park on their own, there’s plenty to do once you arrive.

Feathers Plume Falls are rather thin and modest. Despite this, the falls can be spotted and appreciated even from a distance.

©Kelly vanDellen/Shutterstock.com

Where Is Glacier National Park Located On A Map?

Feather Plume Falls is located above Cataract Creek in Glacier National Park in the northwest corner of Montana along the spine of the Rocky Mountains, about 40 miles northeast of the city of Kalispell.

Montana is located in the Mountain West region in the northwest of the United States. It shares a border with Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and the following Canadian provinces to the North: Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

Glacier National Park Activities

Hiking is a popular activity in Glacier National Park. There are over 700 miles of hiking trails to suit the novice who loves a short trail and those who are ready for something more intense like a full-on backpacking trip. There is a “leave no trace” ethical responsibility all park-goers need to abide by. There’s also an opportunity to plan your visit: consider essentials and understand the park’s commitment to sustainability. Get all the details you need to know about wilderness camping before you head out.

If you’re not the type to set off on your own adventure and prefer a guided tour, check out the great variety of options you have at Glacier National Park. You can set off on a boat tour to Two Medicine, Rising Sun, Many Glacier, or Lake McDonald. You can also settle into a bus for a tour that takes you around the park and highlights Blackfeet culture. Check out the guided hiking tours so you feel confident about your trek! For more adventurous spirits, some raft tours will guide you on the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River. There are options for horseback riding as well.

Backcountry camping attracts many and is an unforgettable experience with the most breathtaking scenery. Photographers have plenty to capture throughout the park. You can also go on a fishing trip (no license required), so long as you observe the rules and limits as stated by the park for each body of water. Private stock use is available, as well as the option to launch your own boat (with a free permit). When snow fills the park during the winter season, you can also head out for cross-country skiing.

With over 700 miles of hiking trails, hiking is a popular activity in Glacier National Park.

©Vaclav Sebek/Shutterstock.com

Wildlife Around Feather Plume Falls

There are over 71 mammal species around Feather Plume Falls, including bats, bears, beavers, bighorn sheep, elk, lynx, mountain goats, mountain lions, pikas, and wolverines. Amphibians include the western toad, Columbia spotted frog, rocky mountain-tailed frog, pacific tree frog, boreal chorus frog, and the long-toed salamander. There are over 260 bird species around Feather Plume Falls as well, including American dippers, Clark’s nutcracker, common loons, eagles, and northern hawk owls. Reptiles include western-painted turtles and garter snakes.

Other Breathtaking Waterfalls In Montana

There are several other breathtaking waterfalls to visit in Montana, including Woodbine Falls, a 280-foot fall in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Stillwater County. It’s less popular than Glacier National Park, which makes it even more peaceful and magical when you finally reach it. The Natural Bridge Falls in Gallatin National Forest in Sweet Grass County is a bit out of the way, but the 100-foot waterfall is worth it. It’s unique in that it sort of disappears under bedrock, but further below, it appears again just below a collapsed cave system. However, if your main destination is Glacier National Park, you can also check out the Swiftcurrent Falls, Bird Woman Falls, Running Eagle Falls, Apikuni Falls, and Grinnell Falls!


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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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