This Footage Shows Off The Spectacular Natural Beauty Of Kootenai Falls In Montana
Kootenai Falls cascades down ancient bedrock near Libby, Montana. It is the last major waterfall on a Northwest river that has not been dammed or harnessed to produce electricity. Although the falls are not a towering free-fall, the wide, tumbling waters are truly a remarkable sight!
The Kootenai Indians called this area home and considered the area sacred. Western expansion in the early 1800’s brought explorer David Thompson and the Canadian Northwest Company to the Kootenai River. His crews used the Native American game trails and markers to travel along the river. The Civilian Conservation Corps later constructed new trails and the first suspension bridge here. The Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge spans the river below the falls, so if you are not afraid of heights, it offers some of the best views of this amazing natural area. If you are familiar with the film “River Wild,” you may recognize the location, as the movie was filmed here in 1994!
Kootenai Falls is located on US Highway 2 at mile marker 21. There is parking lot for those who wish to hit the trails, see the falls, and walk across the swinging bridge. An ADA-accessible paved trail leads to an overlook with a picnic area and nice view of the falls, but the trail to the swinging bridge is unpaved and rocky. The trail is short (no more than a ½ mile long), and takes you to an enclosed pedestrian bridge that crosses over some railroad tracks. If you are lucky, you can watch the trains pass right beneath your feet!
Try to budget a couple of hours when you stop to explore Kootenai Falls. Keep your young explorers close and watch your step! The trails are not difficult, but the rock ledges near the falls can become slippery from the mist generated by the swirling water.
We have travelled to the Kootenai River and falls and explored this area year after year since 1975, but the scenery here never gets old. Our first trip here was a spectacular as the sights you see today. Please respect this area, as it is sacred spot to the Kootenai Tribe.
Videographer David Eggebraaten travels across the to document the stunning, one-of-a-kind features in Montana. Check out his videos of this eerily beautiful ghost town, his Fort Missoula Complex flyover, and the otherworldly ruins of the Canyon Creek Charcoal Kilns!