Discover Passage Creek Falls: Insights for the Perfect Hike

Passage Creek Falls in Gallatin National Forest offers a refreshing respite and is a popular, easily accessible hiking destination. This scenic spot along Passage Creek is a must-visit, providing a peaceful ambiance and delightful views suitable for visitors of all ages.

Our guide will help you reach Passage Creek Falls, providing trail information and highlighting points of interest. We’ll discuss the unique features of this location and offer directions for your visit.

Why do families and nature lovers enjoy Passage Creek Falls? Imagine a place where beautiful waterfalls meet tranquil forests, easily accessible and exceptionally beautiful.

Are you ready to experience Passage Creek Falls and go on an adventure? Let’s lace up our hiking boots and begin exploring!

4 Key Takeaways on Passage Creek Falls

  1. Passage Creek Falls within the Gallatin National Forest provides a tranquil spot along Passage Creek. The trail to the falls is a popular and easy 5-mile round trip, perfect for families or a quick nature getaway.
  2. For longer adventures to Passage Creek Falls, the nearby Crow Mountain Trail caters to those with a day to spare.
  3. Directions to the Passage Creek Falls trailhead are straightforward, guiding you through scenic routes and a well-maintained gravel road.
  4. Hiking to Passage Creek Falls is a pleasant journey through green landscapes, with the trail marked and respecting private property boundaries.

About Passage Creek Falls

Location CoordinatesElevationNearby AttractionsLocation
45.24155 N -110.49693 W6, 520 feet (1987.2 m)Snowbank Campground, Mt Wallace and Passage CreekBackcountry, Gallatin National Forest, Park County, Montana

Passage Creek Falls is in Gallatin National Forest near Park County, Montana, accessible via two hiking trails. The area offers shade and a cool atmosphere, ideal for escaping the summer heat. However, exercise caution near the water as swimming is not safe.

The Forest Service has ensured the safety and stability of the trail’s end. There are several pleasant spots near the falls to relax and enjoy the view. When you’re ready to leave, follow the trail back to your car.

Especially popular on weekends, the Passage Creek Falls Trail leads to impressive falls at the end. Spanning 5 miles round trip, it’s perfect for a family day out or a quick excursion. The path is mostly wide and smooth, suitable for hikers of all levels.

You can try the Crow Mountain Trail nearby if you have extra time and energy. It’s a nice choice for a longer hike around Mill Creek.

Passage Creek Falls is a great option for a short, family-friendly hike or a full, fun day. It’s a popular trail that many people visit for its stunning falls and easy hike.

Directions to the Passage Creek Falls Trailhead

A scenic view of Mill Creek Road leading to the Passage Creek Falls Trailhead surrounded by mountains and dry grassy fields

Finding the start of the Passage Creek Falls trail marks the beginning of your adventure to this incredible destination. And the best part? It’s easy to locate. Here’s how to get there:

  1. You’ll pass through the stunning Paradise Valley. Keep going for 16 miles until you hit a big intersection with Mill Creek Road. 
  2. After, you’ll cross the Yellowstone River and meet Hwy 540, also known as the East River Road. Just keep going straight.
  3. The road goes through ranches, going up to the mountains. After 6 miles, it turns into gravel in Custer Gallatin National Forest.
  4. Stay on Mill Creek Road (also called Forest Road 486). After about 6 miles, you’ll get to Snowbank Campground. However, in the winter months, the road here is closed.
  5. The trailhead for Passage Creek Falls is only 2.5 miles from the campground, with the road running alongside the creek. Along the way, you’ll see private spots, turnoffs, and places to camp following the creek.

In Custer Gallatin National Forest, you can camp almost anywhere suitable unless it’s marked otherwise. It’s called dispersed camping and is great for being in nature. Just be respectful and leave no trace.

Enjoy the journey through Paradise Valley and along Mill Creek Road, and get ready to be amazed when you reach the trailhead.

Hike to Passage Creek Falls

A winding dirt path through a lush green meadow leading to Passage Falls

The journey to Passage Creek Falls in Montana is an adventure into the heart of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness that begins on the Wallace Creek Trail (Forest Trail 58). It’s a connection that reaches to Yellowstone Park.

As you approach the falls, the Passage Creek Trail (Trail 558) branches off, guiding you to the mesmerizing Passage Creek Falls. Finding the trailhead is easy. Look to the right as you travel up the canyon, and you’ll see a spacious parking area between the road and Mill Creek, marking the starting point of your trek.

The trail is easy to spot, crossing Mill Creek via a large bridge. Despite a historic fire in 2007, the area surrounding Mill Creek has been restored, offering a lush and picturesque setting for your hike.

After about 1.25 miles, a sign indicates the path to Passage Creek Falls, leading you onto a road-like trail that starts wide and smooth before transitioning into a narrower and steeper route following another bridge.

As you progress, you’ll pass by a large open area with private cabins. Remember to respect the privacy of these areas and stay on the trail, which winds exclusively through the National Forest and around the private land near the falls.

This hike combines experiences, offering easy strolls and a taste of pristine, wild landscapes. It’s a journey that truly showcases the beauty and variety of Montana’s outdoors.

Passage Creek Falls Final Thoughts

Passage waterfall cascades through a dense, pine-filled forest in Montana under an overcast sky

Passage Creek Falls in Montana offers more than just a beautiful sight, it provides a perfect place for a day hike. The trail leading to the falls guides you through Montana’s stunning landscapes, providing an enriching outdoor experience.

The memory of the flowing waters at Passage Creek Falls stays with you as a reminder of the unspoiled beauty of nature. This spot is a peaceful blend of a lush forest and a captivating waterfall.

For adventurers and nature enthusiasts, the hike to Passage Creek Falls is a must. The trail is easy to navigate, making it accessible to a wide range of visitors and allowing everyone to enjoy the glory of the falls. It’s a showcase of Montana’s pristine natural environment.

Passage Creek Falls is a special place, especially for those who find peace and joy in hiking or surrounded by nature. Here, the meeting point of a quiet forest and a stunning waterfall creates a memory that will last a lifetime.

Passage Creek Falls FAQs

1. What Is the Distance of the Passage Creek Falls Hike?

The hike to Passage Creek Falls is a 5-mile round trip on an easy trail.

2. Is Swimming or Wading Allowed in Passage Creek Falls?

No, swimming, wading, or cooling off in the water near the falls is unsafe, as there is no designated area for such activities. Visitors are advised to stay well away from the stream banks.

3. What Other Hiking Options Are Available in Passage Creek Falls?

Nearby, the Crow Mountain Trail offers another good hiking option in the Mill Creek drainage for those exploring additional trails.

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