Explore Holland Falls: A Montana Nature Adventure

Are you craving a break from your routine and a chance to reconnect with nature’s tranquility? Montana’s hidden gem, Holland Falls, awaits your exploration. Nestled amid the breathtaking Swan Range and the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the 50-foot Holland Waterfall stands as the centerpiece of Holland Lake, offering a peaceful escape.

But Holland Falls isn’t just about the waterfall. It’s a haven for various activities suited to all tastes, from easy hikes to challenging climbs, and mesmerizing waterfall views to peaceful fishing spots. 

In this guide tailored for adventurers like yourself, I’ll unveil the wonders of Holland Falls and provide valuable tips to ensure your journey is safe and fulfilling. I aim to help you plan an unforgettable outing amid the quiet charm of Montana’s untamed beauty. So, let’s dive in and discover the natural marvels awaiting you at Holland Falls.

7 Key Takeaways on Holland Falls

  1. Holland Falls, nestled in north-western Montana, offers a tranquil escape from tourist crowds, easily accessible via scenic Highway 83.
  2. The Holland Falls National Recreation Trail provides a compact adventure with picturesque views and various activities like fishing, kayaking, and camping, perfect for all visitors.
  3. Diverse activities await at Holland Falls, from hiking trails to fishing at Holland Lake, catering to nature enthusiasts and casual tourists alike.
  4. Local fishing experts recommend using boats along the shoreline of Holland Lake for the best fishing experience.
  5. Holland Lake Campground offers a nature lover’s paradise, while Holland Lake Lodge provides a hotel-like experience for added comfort.
  6. Holland Falls promises serene beauty, quiet charm, and unspoiled landscapes, making it nature’s best-kept secret for all visitors.
  7. An unmissable Montana experience, Holland Falls awaits discovery with its serene beauty and a range of outdoor activities for all nature lovers and explorers.

About Holland Falls

Location CoordinatesElevationNearby FeaturesLocation
47.4532701°N, -113.5878613°W4,068 feet (1,240 meters)Holland Lake, Swan Range, and West of the Bob Marshall WildernessMissoula County, Montana, near Condon off Highway 83

To get started on the Holland Falls adventure, head to the parking area east of the Bay Loop of the campground. The trail in Holland Falls offers a moderate hike with just enough challenge to keep it interesting, promising a satisfying workout without feeling overtaxed.

As you ascend, be prepared for jaw-dropping panoramas. The trail presents a splendid offering – a bird’s-eye view of the lake and the majestic mountains that envelop it. It’s like watching a time-lapse film of nature’s masterwork, but in real-time and in 360 degrees.

If you’re a fan of water features, the shoreline leading to the base of Holland Falls is a must-stop. The views of the cascading falls are simply breathtaking.

It’s a popular spot for hikers to take a breather, snap a few photos, or even try their hand at fishing in the cool, clear waters below the falls. You can also engage in swimming or simply watch the water tumble dramatically down.

For those who love blending the tranquility of nature with the thrill of outdoor activities, the area also offers ample opportunities for swimming and other water activities. And if you’re not quite ready to separate yourself from the serenity, camping is available near the lake.

You can extend your escape and spend the night surrounded by the calming embrace of the rocky slopes and starlit sky. On the luxurious side, if you prefer a soft bed over a sleeping bag, consider staying at the Holland Lake Lodge, available for reservations. 

If you decide to enjoy a hike that shows the beauty of the landscape at your own pace, choose to immerse in the lake, or opt for a spell of fishing, Holland Falls aims to please. And with the options for both camping and a lodge stay, you’re sure to make a thorough outing of it.

About the Trail

Hikers high-five to celebrate completing the trail at Holland Falls in Montana.

This hiking trail, an ‘easy’ contender in the difficulty arena, is your ticket to uncovering the charm of an underrated gem — Holland Falls — don’t let the modest distance deceive you!

  • Discover the Trailhead – The journey to Holland Falls starts at the trailhead, conveniently situated at the parking area east of the Bay Loop in the campground.
  • Experience the Trail – Measuring a modest 1.6 miles (2.5 km) long, this trail takes you on an upward journey of 750 feet (228.6 meters) along a picturesque ridge, a delightful meander up a mountain’s side.
  • Mesmerizing Views – As you hike, be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lakes and mountains around Montana. It’s Instagram-worthy!
  • Falls and Fun Lake Activities – For a relaxed contrasting vista, the shoreline by Holland Falls provides a perfect spot to soak in the cascading water and maybe throw in some fishing or swimming action.
  • Surrounding Activities – If you’re feeling more on the adventurous side, the area offers ample hiking and kayaking opportunities for more immersive experiences.
  • Camping Voyage – Love to camp? You’re in the right spot. Holland Lake’s leafy neighbor offers camping options for a complete nature immersion experience.
  • Resort Alternative – For those preferring the comfort of a more structured setting, the Holland Lake Lodge, available for reservations, is a viable pickup option.
  • Timing Your Hike –  If you’re up for a somnolent hike, set out early in the day to allow yourself plenty of time to explore and savor the lakeside offerings.

The trail is an all-in-one package that cleverly disguises its grandeur with a convenient length and moderate climb. If you’re just for a quick dip in the lake or just want to witness the falls, this trail is a hidden charm that’s a gem for all types of adventurers.

Activities You Can Do in Holland Falls

A close-up view of the rushing waters of Holland Falls tumbling over large rocks.

Looking for a little adventure and outdoor fun? You’ve come to the right place – Holland Falls is a playground for nature enthusiasts, offering a mix of hikes, fishing spots, and scenic views that are bound to fuel your adventurous spirit. Pack your sturdy boots, fishing gear, and a camera — you’re in for a treat!

Fish at Holland Lake

Holland Lake reflects the lush greenery and towering peaks under a clear blue sky in Montana.
source: flickr.com

Fishing at Holland Lake offers a serene escape, perfect for those seeking solitude and the excitement of reeling in a catch. So when’s the best time to cast your line? Here’s the catch:

  • Go for Gold on Weekdays – The rich appeal of Holland Lake isn’t lost come fall or spring. It’s less crowded on weekends, making it perfect for a serene fishing getaway.
  • About the Fishes – The lake is generous with its bounty, offering multiple types of trout and other fish that add zest to your angling adventures.
  • Taking the Boat Out– While shoreline fishing may be limited, you’re free to use a variety of watercraft like canoes, motorboats, and kayaks to explore prime fishing spots.
  • Mornings and Evenings – If you’re hunting for trout, make sure to pop out early in the morning or late in the evening. That’s when they’re biting the most.
  • Accessibility – Holland Lake isn’t too hard to find. A short drive on a well-maintained gravel road from Highway 83 and you’re in fishing paradise.

If you’re in the mood for a laid-back afternoon of fishing or an early morning paddle to the best trout spots, Holland Lake offers just the kind of peaceful getaway you’re after.

Camp at the Holland Lake Campground

An orange tent pitched on the grassy lakeside of Holland Lake Campground

Holland Lake Campground in Montana’s Swan Valley is a beautiful spot for nature enthusiasts. You can set up your tent close to the lake or a bit higher up, depending on your preference. Surrounded by tall pine and fir trees, it’s the perfect starting point for exploring Flathead National Forest and the Holland Falls National Recreation Trail.

Tips for Your Venture:

  1. Reserve Your Space – 24 of the 38 sites at Holland Lake Campground can be reserved, ensuring peace of mind for your adventure.
  2. Take Advantage of the Amenities – Amenities like boat ramps, trailer parking, and picnic tables mean you’re covered for a comfortable outdoor experience.
  3. Go on Horseback – If you’re looking to ride the trails, the Owl Creek Packer Camp is just half a mile down the road for horseback riders.
  4. Take It Indoors – Don’t fancy camping? The Holland Lake Lodge offers cabins and rooms, complete with a dining experience and an impressive wine list.

Campground Features and Considerations:

  • Reservations – 24 out of 38 sites can be reserved; the rest are first-come, first-served.
  • Amenities – Campfire rings with grills, toilets, and even group sites for both tent and RV camping.
  • Necessities – Seasonal drinking water is available, along with a dump/fill station within a 15-minute walk.
  • Stay Limits –  Enjoy your camping adventure for up to 16 days.
  • Access & Parking– The parking here mainly consists of gravel, dirt, or grass-covered areas.
  • Getting There – From Highway 83, take Holland Lake Road to reach this tranquil haven.

At Holland Lake Campground, you’ll get back to nature with no modern comforts like electricity or sewer hookups. But don’t worry, there’s a dump/fill station nearby within a 15-minute walk. If you’re into horseback riding, Owl Creek Packer Camp is just half a mile away, offering basic facilities on a first-come, first-served basis.

If camping isn’t your thing, you can stay at Holland Lake Lodge, which has cabins and rooms for a hotel-like experience. They have a great dining area with delicious food and an impressive wine list. It’s like mixing countryside charm with a touch of luxury.

Holland Falls Final Thoughts

A view of the cascading waters of Holland Falls from the National Holland Falls Recreational Trail.

Holland Falls stands as a tranquil oasis in north-western Montana, offering a serene escape amidst breathtaking landscapes. The majestic 50-foot waterfall cascading from Holland Lake provides a mesmerizing focal point, with the Swan Range and the Bob Marshall Wilderness as its stunning backdrop.

As visitors take a trip on the scenic drive along Highway 83 and venture onto the Holland Falls National Recreation Trail, they are greeted with opportunities for outdoor exploration that promise exhilarating experiences and unforgettable moments.

With a diverse range of activities available, from fishing to hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting, Holland Falls caters to adventurers seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

Despite its lesser-known status, Holland Falls exudes natural beauty and quiet charm, welcoming visitors to uncover its hidden treasures. Whether one seeks a peaceful retreat or thrilling outdoor adventures, Holland Falls awaits as Montana’s captivating gem, ready to be discovered and cherished for its unspoiled landscapes and untamed beauty.

Holland Falls FAQs

1. How to Get to Holland Falls?

To get to Holland Falls, take the Seely-Swan Scenic Drive on Highway 83 between Seeley Lake and Swan Lake in northwestern Montana. The falls are located near Condon off Highway 83.

2. How Long Is the Hike to Holland Lake Falls?

The hike to Holland Falls is approximately 1.6 miles (2.5 km) long along the Holland Falls National Recreation Trail.

3. What Is There to Do in Holland Lake Montana?

Visitors can engage in various outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, swimming, and wildlife spotting. There are also opportunities for camping near the lake, exploring the surrounding trails, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.

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Written by:

Ashley Smith
Hello there! I'm Ashley Smith, born on a chilly winter's day, Montana has been my playground since childhood. The first snowfall of the year always brings back memories of building snowmen and winter hikes. Co-founding PocketMontana.com was my way of sharing the magic of Montana's seasons with the world. While Chris dives deep into the landscapes, I'm obsessed with Montana's rich culture, from the local festivals to the tales passed down generations.

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