Skalkaho Pass on Montana Highway 38 connects the Bitterroot Valley to the Philipsburg Valley and sits just over 6,000 feet in elevation as it crosses over the Sapphire Mountains of western Montana. As you near the top, you will be pleasantly surprised when you turn a corner and stumble upon the picturesque Skalkaho Falls.

Although the name translates to “many trails” in the Salish language, you will not get lost searching for this beautiful waterfall. In fact, it is almost impossible to miss; Skalkaho Falls cascades right down to the edge of the road!

The small Skalkaho Creek tumbles over the rock slope for about 150 feet. Skalkaho Falls flows all year long, but it is most spectacular during spring runoff when the mountain snows melts away. There is a refreshing cool mist from the fresh mountain stream as you explore around the base.

The partially paved and gravel road was built in 1924 to connect mountain mining interests with population centers in the two adjoining valleys. This scenic byway is closed in the winter due to heavy mountain snow accumulations.

The top of the pass is heavily wooded, so you will not find the same sweeping landscape views that you may see from the peaks of other mountain passes; however the scenery on the eastern side of the byway through Philipsburg Valley is absolutely stunning.

Our family ‘discovered’ the falls in 1988 and have been back many times since. This hidden gem is a “must see” in western Montana and your adventure along the Skalkaho Highway Scenic Byway will not disappoint.

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, the stunning Kootenai River, and the otherworldly ruins of the Canyon Creek Charcoal Kilns!

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