Morning Eagle Falls Adventure: Trail Options and Activities

Morning Eagle Falls in Glacier National Park is admired for its peaceful beauty and excellent views. This lesser-known waterfall draws hikers who want to explore the Piegan Pass Trail and the Morning Eagle Falls Trail, accessible from Lake Josephine and Lake Grinnell.

This guide to Morning Eagle Falls will help you find the best ways to reach this beautiful spot. You can take the easy-to-moderate Morning Eagle Falls Trail or the more challenging Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. 

Have you ever wondered about the secrets hidden in the heart of Glacier National Park? Let’s explore the paths to this amazing waterfall and enjoy the wonders of nature together.

6 Key Takeaways on Morning Eagle Falls

  1. Hikers can reach the falls via trails like Grinnell Glacier, Grinnell Lake, and Swiftcurrent Pass, each offering different stunning views.
  2. The Morning Eagle Falls Trail from Many Glacier Hotel is a moderate hike through forests and meadows to the falls.
  3. You can also access the falls through the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, providing diverse landscapes.
  4. Activities around the falls include hiking, photography, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and educational programs.
  5. Swimming is risky due to strong currents, but nearby lakes like Bowman and McDonald offer safer options.
  6. Other activities include boating, horseback riding, camping, and wildlife watching, always ensuring safety.

About Morning Eagle Falls

Location CoordinatesHeightNearby FeaturesLocation
48.73578° N, -113.69835° W220 feet (67 meters)Hidden Falls, Grinnell Lake, and Lake Josephine.Many Glacier region, Glacier National Park, Glacier County, Montana

Morning Eagle Falls is a hidden waterfall in Glacier National Park’s Many Glacier region. It’s loved by hikers on the Piegan Pass Trail. You can reach it from Lake Josephine and Lake Grinnell via the Piegan Pass Trail or the Morning Eagle Falls Trail.

The falls are on Mount Gould’s southeast slopes, next to Cataract Creek, at 5,707 feet (1739.4 meters) elevation. The best time to visit is from spring through autumn when the park is alive with the colors of wildflowers and the sound of rushing water.

If you want to customize your visit, you can either hike to the falls or take a relaxed partial-distance boat ride across Lake Josephine. This gives you different ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Hiking Trails to Morning Eagle Falls

A winding dirt trail to Morning Eagle Falls cuts through a dense, green forest.

When you’re set to see Morning Eagle Falls, put on your hiking boots and get ready for a Montana adventure in the Many Glacier Region.

These trails mix challenge with beauty, making the journey as great as the destination. Each trail shows off Many Glacier, with the falls as a highlight. Watch for wildlife, enjoy the fresh air, and take in the beauty of Montana.

1. Morning Eagle Falls Trail

A wooden bridge spans a small stream into a dense green forest near Morning Eagle Falls in Montana

DistanceElevation GainDifficulty LevelTrail Type
6.4 to 9.2 miles (10.3 to 14.8 km)520 feet (158.4 meters) Moderately challengingLoop

From Many Glacier Hotel, we start our trek to Morning Eagle Falls. The trail, rated moderate, is easier compared to the longer Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Below, I created a list of how to approach this adventure:

  1. You have two choices: take a boat or walk. If you pick the boat, start at Lake Josephine and head to Grinnell Lake or Grinnell Glacier.
  2. After leaving the lake, the trail gets quieter. You’ll walk through forests and fields to Cataract Creek Valley.
  3. Along the way, you’ll see Feather Plume Falls, a tall waterfall between Angel Wing and Mt. Gould. People say it’s beautiful.
  4. Further on, you’ll find Morning Eagle Falls. They flow over red argillite rock, with Mt. Gould and Bishop’s Cap in the background.

This trip isn’t just about seeing Morning Eagle Falls. You’ll also enjoy different landscapes, like calm lakes and green meadows. It’s a great place for anyone who loves nature, no matter their experience level.

2. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Thick fog covers a green meadow by huge mountains in the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail near Morning Eagle Falls

DistanceElevation GainDifficulty LevelTrail TypeNotes
12.4 miles (3.77 km)2,014 feet (613.8 meters)ChallengingPoint to pointThe precise distance from the entry point isn’t clear.

The starting point for the Morning Eagle Falls journey on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail isn’t clear. Even though we’re not sure of the precise distance, it’s famous for being beautiful and exciting. 

This part of the CDT runs for 94 miles in Glacier National Park. It has a mix of alpine meadows, mountains, and waterfalls, like Morning Eagle Falls.

As you hike, you’ll see Mount Siyeh, Matahpi Peak, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Pollock Mountain, Bishop’s Cap, and Mount Gould on the horizon.

The trail intersects with the Piegan Pass Trail, offering more exploration chances. You’ll eventually reach Morning Eagle Falls, with Bishop’s Cap and Mount Gould in the background, creating an unforgettable view.

3. Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier Trail

The bright turquoise Grinnell Lake sits in a valley among mountains with trees.

DistanceElevation GainDifficulty LevelTrail Type
Approximately 7.6 miles (12.2 km)Around 1,840 feet (560.8 meters)Challenging hikePoint-to-point

The Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier Trail in Glacier National Park, near Morning Eagle Falls, are great for hikers. They offer beautiful scenery and a tough but pleasant hike. 

The trail to Grinnell Glacier is challenging. It has steep snow and tricky terrain, so you need good gear and to be careful. You start at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead and hike up to the glacier without using boat shuttles across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine.

The path goes through different landscapes, like forests, rocks, and meadows full of wildflowers in the summer. Look for trail markers and signs to stay on the right path toward Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier.

To enjoy your hike, prepare, stay safe, and savor every moment as you explore the beauty of the Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier Trail. It’s a chance to see Montana’s nature and test your hiking skills.

Things to Do at Morning Eagle Falls

Morning Eagle falls tumbles down a cliff in Montana, surrounded by lush vegetation and melted snow

Morning Eagle Falls offers a peaceful escape in Montana’s Many Glacier region. When you visit, you’re greeted with a variety of activities that cater to different interests.

These activities can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and are a great way to fully experience the natural beauty of Morning Eagle Falls.

1. Swimming

Bowman Lake reflects trees and autumn colors in its water, with snowy mountains in the distance under a cloudy sky

Many people wonder if they can swim at Morning Eagle Falls. The quick answer is no. Swimming in waterfalls like Morning Eagle Falls is unsafe because the water is strong and can drag you down.

If you want to swim in Montana’s Many Glacier Region, there are safer places. Lakes and some river areas have calm, slow-moving water that’s better for swimming.

Here are 4 places near Glacier National Park where swimming is popular:

  • Bowman Lake
  • Waterton Lake
  • Lake McDonald
  • Lake Josephine

These spots are good for swimming, but the water can be very cold. That’s because glaciers and mountain streams feed them. Be prepared for chilly water if you decide to swim.

2. Boating

A woman wearing sunglasses kayaks on a calm lake in Glacier National Park, with a man paddling in another kayak in the background.

Boating is popular in Glacier National Park. It’s a great way to see the park from a new angle. If you don’t have your boat, don’t fret. There are many places nearby, inside and outside the park, where you can rent one.

Boating in Glacier National Park is popular, so you’ll see many others on the water. If you’re renting a boat, make sure to book ahead, especially during busy times.

Here are some popular places to rent boats and join boat tours:

  • Many Glacier – They offer both rentals and tours. It’s a great way to explore the park’s waterways.
  • Glacier Outfitters – This is another top spot for rentals.
  • Sea Me Paddle – They rent out boats and offer guided tours, which can be a cool way to learn more about the park and its wildlife.

Before you go, check the weather and make sure you have safety gear. The water can be cold, even in summer, so be ready.

3. Horseback Riding

A group of people on horseback ride along a curved path through a lush green field dotted with yellow flowers in Montana

Swan Mountain Outfitters is the top pick for a relaxing horseback ride in the Many Glacier Region. They’re one of the best in Glacier National Park, offering rides from Many Glacier, Apgar, and Lake McDonald. Visit their official website for more details.

Below is a table of the prices of trail rides offered by Swan Mountain Outfitters:

Ride DurationDate RangePrice
2 Hour Trail RideApr 20 – Oct 15$115
5 Hour Trail RideApr 20 – Oct 15$225 (Lunch included)
All-Day Trail RideApr 20 – Oct 15$325 (Lunch included)

These rides suit everyone and let you enjoy Montana’s beautiful scenery. With different lengths and options, you can choose what fits your schedule and what you like best.

4. Camping

A vibrant orange tent is pitched beside a rushing river in a lush green forest in Montana

Camping is a favorite for people who want to be close to nature in the Many Glacier Region. The park has different camping options, like RV parks with full hookups and backcountry sites.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your camping trip:

  • Campsite Variety – You can choose between different campsites, like RV parks or backcountry spots.
  • Reservations and Availability – Some campsites need reservations, while others are first-come, first-served. Check availability, especially during busy times.
  • Backcountry Camping – Some spots have campfire rings and picnic tables, while others need you to set up along the trail. Follow Leave No Trace rules and get permits if needed.
  • Essential Supplies – Bring a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, and clothes for Montana’s weather. Also, carry emergency gear, bear spray, and bear-proof food containers for safety.
  • Water and Hygiene – Bring enough water for drinking and washing, especially in the backcountry. Dispose of waste properly to keep the park clean and wildlife safe.

Camping in the Many Glacier Region lets you experience Montana’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife. With proper preparation and respect for nature, your camping trip can be safe and memorable.

5. Wildlife Watching

An osprey sits on a dead tree stump in a Montana forest near Morning Eagle Falls

Watching wildlife in Glacier National Park is a big deal. People come from all over to see the animals and birds here. You might see them by accident while hiking or on purpose near the water. The more you explore the quiet trails, the better chance you have of seeing something amazing.

For outdoor trips, be prepared. Take bear spray, extra snacks, and a flashlight, especially for long journeys. Wear a reflective vest so animals can see you.

Here’s a list of some of the cool wildlife you might see:

  • Elk
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Ospreys
  • Beavers
  • Bald Eagles
  • Mountain Lions
  • Black Bears
  • Grizzly Bears
  • Northern Hawk Owls

Before you go, learn about bear safety. You’re in bear country, so you might encounter one. Know how to stay safe and what to do if you see a bear. This helps you enjoy your time in the park while staying safe.

Morning Eagle Falls Final Thoughts

A close-up of Morning Eagle Falls, surrounded by jagged rocks and lush vegetation.

Morning Eagle Falls, nestled in Glacier National Park’s Many Glacier region, stands as a tranquil gem waiting to be discovered.

This less-visited waterfall, loved by hikers, combines challenge and beauty with its different hiking trails, such as the famous Grinnell Glacier Trail and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.

Around Morning Eagle Falls, there are many activities to enjoy, like exploring different hiking trails, taking beautiful photos, and having a peaceful picnic. These activities let visitors fully experience the area’s beauty.

While swimming at the falls isn’t advisable, nearby places like Bowman Lake and Lake McDonald are safer options. In the Many Glacier region, you can go boating, horseback riding, camping, or just watch wildlife.

Morning Eagle Falls FAQs

1. Are There Any Safety Precautions to Consider When Visiting Morning Eagle Falls?

Yes, visitors should follow bear safety measures, such as carrying bear spray, making noise while hiking, and storing food properly. They should also be ready for changing weather and carry essentials like water, maps, and first aid kits.

2. Can I Swim in the Pool Near Morning Eagle Falls?

Swimming beneath the waterfall is not advised due to strong currents and unpredictable conditions, which can be risky.

3. Are There Any Guided Tours Available for Exploring Morning Eagle Falls?

Guided tours and ranger-led programs are available for exploring Morning Eagle Falls and its surrounding trails. These tours offer insights into the park’s ecology, history, and wildlife while ensuring a safe and informative experience for visitors.

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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 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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