Exploring Montana; Kootenai Falls near Libby Montana

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Kootenai Falls near libby montana
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Swinging Bridge at Kootenai Falls in western montana

Kootenai Falls

Located on Hwy 2 between Libby, Montana and Troy, Montana, Kootenai Falls is one of the largest free flowing waterfalls in the northwest. The calm Kootenai River gathers momentum surging first through China Rapids and then over Kootenai Falls, dropping 90 feet in less than a mile. At an average volume of 10,941 cubic feet per second, the falls has a maximum recorded volume of 47,200 cubic feet per second. The main falls is 30 feet high and can be viewed from a "swinging bridge" that crosses the river. At a width of 845 feet, the falls showcases its' splendor with the magnificent cascading rapids that flow year round.

A convenient trail leads from the parking lot down to the Swinging Bridge and creates a nice hike that is not too strenuous. The well worn trail winds through the trees and provides many scenic vistas of the river.

The falls are considered sacred to the Kootenai Indians whose ancestors inhabited the area. They view it as the center of the world, a place where tribal members can commune with the spiritual forces, giving direction to the tribe and to individual members. In 1993, Universal Studios negotiated with the Kootenai tribe to secure permission to film the movie "The River Wild" at the falls.

This is an attraction not to be missed. Once you arrive, you just may not want to leave! If you can pull yourself away however, you may be able to work in a visit to the Ross Creek Giant Cedars in the same day!

Directions to Kootenai Falls near Libby Montana

From Main St. (Hwy. 200) in Thompson Falls, head west through town, and go through Trout Creek & Noxon. Turn right on Hwy 56 and continue on (you will pass the Ross Creek Cedars turnoff) until the road 'T's at Hwy 2. Turn right (east), heading towards Libby. There will be a parking lot on the left side of the highway, and a Kootenai Falls sign.

Please enjoy the photo gallery, and click on any picture to enlarge! You will need to use scroll bars for the enlarged pano.

If you'd like to see a great video of Kootenai Falls, just rent the movie "The River Wild" starring Meryl Streep!

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Kootenai Falls near libby montana Panoramic View
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