Discover Oberlin Falls: A Hiking Adventure Guide

Oberlin Falls in Montana is a nature lover’s dream. This 200-foot waterfall originating from Logan Creek is right off the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. What’s cool is you can see this tall waterfall from a road outlook with easy parking.

We’ll cover the falls’ height, nearby hiking trails, safe swimming spots, popular lakes for boating, and the thrill of white water rafting. Oberlin Falls is just the start of your adventure.

Imagine hiking near the falls, feeling the spray on your face, and taking a boat out on a crystal-clear lake. Ready to explore this stunning Montana landscape? There’s so much to do around the area. Let’s dive in and discover together.

6 Key Takeaways on Oberlin Falls

  1. Oberlin Falls, a 200-foot waterfall fed by Logan Creek, is easily accessible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
  2. Oberlin Falls are among the tallest in Glacier National Park and are visible from a road outlook with convenient nearby parking.
  3. Hiking trails near Oberlin Falls, like the challenging Highline Trail and the more leisurely Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, offer breathtaking views and the chance to explore the park’s beauty on foot.
  4. Swimming isn’t safe at Oberlin Falls due to strong currents, but nearby lakes like St. Mark and Lake McDonald offer refreshing, safer waters.
  5. Boating, from motorized to non-motorized, is a popular activity at lakes like Josephine and McDonald. Both offer boat rental options.
  6. For a thrilling adventure, white water rafting on the Glacier National Park’s rivers provides an adrenaline rush.

About Oberlin Falls

Location CoordinatesHeightNearby FeaturesLocation
48.69971° N, -113.72373° W200 feet (61 meters)Logan Creek Pass, Clements MountainGoing to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana

Oberlin Falls is a standout feature of any Montana adventure. This waterfall, with a height of about 200 feet, is easily accessible from the roadside. What’s more, you can enjoy the view hassle-free, thanks to a parking area close by.

What sets Oberlin Falls apart is that it’s a confirmed waterfall within Glacier National Park, making it part of a select group. In terms of height, it ranks among the tallest in the park.

The next time you travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road, make sure to watch for Oberlin Falls. It’s a natural wonder you can admire from your car, offering a unique and beautiful roadside experience.

Hiking Trails Near Oberlin Falls

Hiking near Oberlin Falls is a must-do in Montana. The trails offer stunning scenery, with the sound of cascading water accompanying your hike. Whether you seek a challenging trek or a leisurely walk, there’s a path for you.

1. Highline Trail

A view from the Highline Trail during a June hike to Oberlin Falls.

LengthElevation GainDifficultyRoute Type
14.9 mi (24.0 km)2,621 ft (799.8 meters)HardOut & back

The Highline Trail in Montana is more than just a path. It’s an epic 24.0-km round-trip adventure that challenges and inspires. Starting near Siyeh Bend, this trail treats you to breathtaking vistas. But be ready, it’s a tough trek that can take about 7 hours.

Here’s what you need to know before you lace up those hiking boots:

  • Best Times to Go – The months from June to October offer the best weather and trail conditions.
  • Pets – No dogs allowed, as much as we adore them.
  • Parking – At the Logan Pass Visitor Center, parking is limited, so arrive early. The Loop Trailhead, however, has no parking available.

This trail isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging adventure through some of Montana’s most stunning landscapes. If you’re ready, the Highline Trail promises an unforgettable journey.

2. Granite Park Chalet via Highline and Granite Park Trail

A beautiful scenic view witnessed from the Granite Park Trail in Montana in the late afternoon

LengthElevation GainDifficultyRoute Type
11.4 mi (18.3 km)1,400 ft (426.7 m)HardPoint to point

The Granite Park Chalet via Highline and Granite Park Trail is an 18.3-km journey near Siyeh Bend, Montana. It’s a point-to-point trail, meaning you start at one spot and end at another. This difficult trail often challenges hikers with its steep paths. On average, it takes nearly 6 hours to finish.

Plan your visit between June and October. These months offer the best weather and trail conditions. Also, dogs aren’t allowed on this trail, so make sure you have other plans for your four-legged companions.

Tackling the Granite Park Chalet via Highline and Granite Park Trail is a challenge worth taking. The stunning views and the sense of accomplishment at the end make it all worthwhile. If you’re up for a tough hike, this trail should be on your list.

3. Haystack Butte via Highline Trail

A stunning view featuring vibrant purple wildflowers at Haystack Butte via the Highline Trail.

LengthElevation GainDifficultyRoute Type
8.4 mi (13.5 km)1,758 ft (535.6 m)HardOut & back

The Haystack Butte via Highline Trail is a 13.5-km round trip adventure near East Glacier Park Village, Montana. It’s not just a hike, it’s a challenge waiting for you. This scenic trail is tough, so be ready for some serious trekking.

Despite the difficulty, the Haystack Butte via Highline Trail is a favorite among hikers. You’re likely to meet other people who, like you, enjoy a good, hard hike. The camaraderie adds to the experience.

For the best conditions, plan your visit between June and October. These months offer the right weather for a safe and enjoyable trek.

Dogs are not allowed on this trail. This rule helps preserve the area’s natural beauty and protect its wildlife.

4. Garden Wall Trail

Hikers are pictured on the steep rocky stretch of the Garden Wall Trail as they make their way to Oberlin Falls.

LengthElevation GainDifficultyRoute Type
14.98 mi (24.1 km)3,415 ft (1,041 m)HardOut & back

The Garden Wall Trail is a 24.1-km out-and-back adventure near West Glacier, Montana. It’s a path that’s not for the faint of heart. This trail is difficult, with challenges that only experienced adventurers should take on. If you’re up for a thrilling test of your hiking skills, this could be the perfect choice.

The area around the Garden Wall Trail is a backpacker’s dream. It’s a place where camping, hiking, and simply being in awe of nature come together. Because of this, you’re likely to meet other outdoor enthusiasts along the way.

For the best experience, plan your visit between June and October. These months offer the right conditions to tackle the trail and enjoy its stunning views.

5. Highline and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail

A lush green forest lines the Highline and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, which leads to Oberlin Falls.

LengthElevation GainDifficultyRoute Type
15.1 mi (24.3 km)3713 ft (1131 m)ChallengingPoint-to-Point

The Highline and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail near Siyeh Bend, Montana, spans 24.3 km, offering rugged terrain and breathtaking views. On average, it takes about 7 hours and 15 minutes to complete. This challenging trail rewards hikers with stunning landscapes at every step.

The trail is popular for backpacking, camping, and fishing, providing quiet fishing spots and picturesque campsites. Its beauty and variety of outdoor activities attract other nature enthusiasts along the way.

For the best experience, visit between June and September. These months offer favorable weather for tackling the trail and enjoying the surrounding beauty.

Keep in mind that this trail has a strict no-dogs policy to preserve the area’s natural beauty and protect wildlife. If you’re planning to hike with your furry friend, you’ll need to find a different path.

Things to Do at Oberlin Falls

The picturesque Oberlin Waterfall as it tumbles over rugged, layered rocks amid a mountainous landscape

Oberlin Falls is more than just a pretty view. It’s a place where you can dive into nature and feel its heartbeat. Here’s a look at some of the top activities that let you make the most of your visit.

1. Swimming

Bowman Lake as seen during a hike to Oberlin Falls in Montana.

Swimming at Oberlin Falls is a big no-go. Why? The currents there are super strong, making it really dangerous. So, it’s not a safe spot for a swim.

However, Glacier National Park has some awesome places where you can take a dip. For safer swimming adventures, check out spots like St. Mark Lake, Bowman Lake, Lake McDonald, and Lake Josephine within the park. These spots offer cool, refreshing water without the risky currents.

The water can be really cold, especially in lakes with mountain runoff and glacier melt. Even if you’re eager to jump in, go slowly to get used to the cold. That way, you can swim comfortably without any surprises.

2. Boating

A person kayaks on Josephine Lake with a view of distant mountains under a clear sunset sky.

Flathead County is great for boating or kayaking, with amazing locations that will inspire you. You can find these spots both in and outside Glacier National Park. 

Here are a few standout boating locations in Flathead County you can easily access:

  • Lake McDonald – A gem inside the park known for its stunning vistas.
  • Lake Josephine – Another beauty that might require a bit of a hike with your boat, but the effort is worth it.

Remember, in some places, you might need to carry your boat between streams, especially in the backcountry. This might seem tough, but it’s a unique way to experience the untouched wilderness.

If you don’t have your own boat or want to try something different, here are outfitters offering rentals and tours. Whether you prefer speed or peaceful paddling, you’ll find the perfect vessel.

  • Invert Sports
  • Heritage Outdoors
  • Rentals and Tours at Many Glacier
  • Glacier Outfitters
  • Sea Me Paddle

Before you start boating, check for any rules to keep the waters safe and fun for everyone. With these tips, you’ll be ready to explore the beauty of Oberlin Falls from the water.

3. White Water Rafting

A group of adventurers brace themselves as their white water raft enters the rushing rapids of a river.

If you’re seeking thrills, white water rafting is a must at Oberlin Falls. Many companies provide exciting adventures in the wild waters. Whether you’re new to rafting or a pro, there’s a trip for you.

Let’s check out some top rafting companies and what they offer:

  • Get Your Guide Day Rafting Trip – Perfect for beginners, this company offers one-hour rafting trips. You can enjoy the excitement of rafting without a long-term commitment.
  • Glacier Raft Company – Known for its day trips, Glacier Raft Company is a favorite among adventure seekers. They offer trips with various difficulty levels.
  • Great Northern Rafting and Resor – If you’re up for a challenge, this company’s overnight camping raft trips are a great way to experience the rapids. 
  • Rafting Trips with Wild River Adventure – For those who want a bit of everything, this company’s trips combine rafting with exploring the surrounding nature.

White water rafting here isn’t just about thrills. It’s a way to connect with the landscape and feel the river’s power. 

4. Horseback Riding

A woman enjoys a guided horseback tour with Swan Mountain Outfitters.

Flathead County and its surroundings are a horse lover’s dream. The place is full of ranches and outfitters that offer horseback riding adventures.

Here, you can find all kinds of experiences. Whether you want a short, scenic ride or an overnight adventure under the stars, they’ve got you covered. The variety ensures there’s something for everyone.

Before booking, check the companies’ websites for location details, activities, and trail ride lengths. This ensures you’re prepared and can make the most of your adventure.

Booking ahead is crucial, especially during peak travel seasons when spots fill up fast. Securing your booking early guarantees you a spot and allows the ranch or outfitter to tailor the experience to your preferences.

Here are some horseback riding guided tours in Flathead County to look into:

  • Rich Ranch
  • Big Sky Safaris
  • Dunrovin Ranch
  • Adventure Missoula
  • Swan Mountain Outfitters

Each place has its own charm and offerings. Whether it’s your first time on a horse or you’re experienced, you’ll find the perfect adventure in Flathead County.

Oberlin Falls Final Thoughts

A scenic view of Oberlin Falls from the bank of the plunge pool, with its waters tumbling down the outcrops amid lush vegetation.

Oberlin Falls is a showstopper right off the bat. This 200-foot waterfall grabs your attention as soon as you hit the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It’s a must-see on your Montana adventure.

But Oberlin Falls is more than just a pretty sight. It’s the starting point for all kinds of exploration. The area around the falls offers a buffet of hiking trails. There’s something for everyone, from the tough Granite Park Trail to the easier Highline Trail and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.

And it’s not just hiking. The whole region is alive with activities. You can swim, boat, raft, or ride horses nearby. These activities make sure every visitor, no matter their comfort level, has a great time.

Oberlin Falls is like a door to the wild. It invites you to discover the untouched beauty of Glacier National Park. This place is all about making memories and connecting with Montana’s pristine wilderness.

Oberlin Falls FAQs

1. Are Pets Allowed at Oberlin Falls?

While pets are permitted in certain areas of Glacier National Park, they are not allowed on most hiking trails, including those near Oberlin Falls. It’s important to check park regulations and plan accordingly if traveling with pets.

2. Can I Swim in Oberlin Falls?

No, swimming in Oberlin Falls is highly discouraged due to strong currents and hazardous conditions. Glacier National Park offers alternative swimming locations, such as St. Mark Lake and Lake McDonald, where it is safer to enjoy water-based activities.

3. Is Oberlin Falls Accessible Year-Round?

Oberlin Falls is best visited during the spring to autumn seasons when road conditions are favorable along Going to the Sun Road. However, during winter months, access may be limited or closed due to snow and icy conditions.

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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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