Journey to Piegan Falls: Things to See and Do

Piegan Falls in Montana is an underrated waterfall in Glacier National Park. This massive waterfall tumbles from Piegan Mountain, offering an awe-inspiring sight. With no direct hiking trial, it can be a challenge to reach. Yet, the journey is worth it for those who love adventure and incredible views.

I’ll guide you on the best paths to Piegan Falls. You’ll learn about the beauty of the trails and the caution needed for off-trail exploring. We’ll also discuss the safety considerations for enjoying this wonder in our exploration.

Ready to feast your eyes on a piece of paradise off the beaten path? Join us as we discover the wonder and adventure awaiting at Piegan Falls. Whether you’re an avid hiker or appreciate stunning landscapes, this experience promises to awe and inspire.

7 Key Takeaways on Piegan Falls

  1. Piegan Falls in Glacier National Park is a 2,400-foot cascade fed by the Piegan Glacier, making it one of its tallest waterfalls.
  2. Accessing the falls involves hiking from the Siyeh Bend Trailhead, located 2.2 miles east of Logan Pass. It offers a fantastic view from above.
  3. Swimming at Piegan Falls is unsafe due to strong currents, but Glacier National Park provides safe spots like Lake Josephine.
  4. Boating near Piegan Falls offers a serene way to enjoy the clear waters, with options to bring your own or rent from nearby outfitters.
  5. White water rafting is available near the falls for adrenaline seekers, providing thrilling experiences with various local rafting companies.
  6. Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant in the park, including seeing elk, bighorn sheep, and other animals in their natural habitat.
  7. Horseback riding for all skill levels offers a unique perspective on the falls and surrounding area. There are also guided tours available from multiple park locations.

About Piegan Falls

Location CoordinatesHeightNearby AttractionsLocation
48.71 °N -113.6779 °W2,400 feet (731.52 meters)Going-to-the-Sun RoadNear Piegan Pass trailhead, Glacier National Park, Glacier County,

Piegan Falls is a grand natural wonder nestled within Glacier National Park. It plunges from the heights of Piegan Mountain and Piegan Glacier with several major drops. The falls span a total drop of 2,400 feet (731.52 meters), making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the park.

Piegan Falls originates from Piegan Glacier’s melting snow north of Going-to-the-Sun Road. It shows how strong and beautiful nature can be. However, reaching it requires some effort.

Hiking to Piegan Falls offers a view from above, starting from an actual hiking trail near Siyeh Bend, about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) east of Logan Pass. For the more adventurous, a bushwhacking trail presents the opportunity to get a closer look.

Yet, it’s this tight location within a cliff’s cleft that makes capturing the falls on camera a real challenge. That’s why there are so few pictures of this gorgeous waterfall despite its impressive height and beauty.

Trailhead to Peigan Falls

Piegan Pass Trail leading toward the towering, rugged peaks that house Piegan Falls in Montana

Piegan Falls is in a tricky spot since there’s no straight path, and it’s between cliffs. But don’t worry, take the trail to Siyeh Bend to see it. The trail lets you see the falls from above as you go to Piegan Pass.

If you’re up for a hike with a view, starting from Siyeh Bend or the Piegan Pass Trail is your best bet. You’ll find the Siyeh Bend Trailhead about 2.2 miles east of Logan Pass on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. This trail offers a more gentle slope than the direct Piegan Pass Trail.

As you hike the Siyeh Bend Trail, you’ll notice how the landscape changes. The trail follows Siyeh Creek initially, then dives into the forest. About 1.1 miles in, you’ll hit the junction. Turn right for a view of the Jackson Glacier, and turn left to keep moving towards Piegan Pass.

The path through the spruce-fir forest eases you into the hike. As you near the Siyeh Pass Trail junction, the trees start to thin out, giving you a taste of the open sky.

Remember, always go left at the junctions to stay on course for Piegan Pass. If you take a right, you’ll find yourself in Preston Park on the way to Siyeh Pass.

Things to Do Near Piegan Falls

Piegan Waterfall in Montana flows over rugged cliffs surrounded by green pine trees under a clear sky.

When you visit Piegan Falls, you enter a world of natural wonder. The area has lots to do, from easy hikes to more adventurous spots. Let’s see what’s near this amazing waterfall.

1. Swimming

A peaceful landscape showcases Lake Josephine surrounded by lush greenery and tall mountains

Swimming at Piegan Falls might sound fun, but it’s not safe. The water has strong currents can pull you under, making it risky.

Glacier National Park has safe spots for swimming. Lakes like Josephine, McDonald, and Ipasha are good choices. But remember, the water from glaciers and mountains is really cold.

Here are some tips for a safe and fun swim in Glacier National Park:

  • Check out These Safe Spots – Lake Josephine, Lake McDonald, Ipasha Lake
  • Be Prepared for Cold Water – The area is chilly, even in the summer.
  • Respect the Signs – Some areas might not be safe or allowed for swimming.

Swimming in Glacier National Park can be awesome if you pick the right spot and know about the water. Enjoying the cool, clear lakes is a perfect way to relax and enjoy the beauty.

2. Boating

A person in a red jacket paddling a kayak on a calm river near Piegan waterfall

Boating is a big deal near Piegan Falls because the water is great. Imagine cruising over the clear, cool water with awesome views all around.

Here’s the lowdown on getting out on the water:

  • Bring Your Own – Feel free to bring your boat. You’re all set, whether it’s a motorboat for a fast ride, a canoe for a more relaxed pace, or a kayak for personal exploration.
  • Glacier Outfitters – For rentals, a great option is Glacier Outfitters. They’ve got a wide range of boats ready for your adventure.
  • Sea Me Paddle – Sea Me Paddle offers rentals and tours for those who prefer a guided experience. It’s a great way to see the sights and spot local wildlife.

Boating here isn’t just about riding. It’s a chance to see awesome views, spots amazing wildlife, and make unforgettable memories. Whether you’re paddling quietly or using the motor, the waters near Piegan Falls are ready for you.

3. White Water Rafting

A group of people in helmets and life vests navigate the rough river rapids near Piegan Waterfall in Montana in an inflatable raft

You can go white water rafting near Piegan Falls, perfect for adrenaline junkies. Riding the rapids in Montana’s landscapes is unbeatable, I promise.

Here are some top companies that offer white water rafting, each with its own set of thrills and unique touches:

  • Get Your Guide Day Rafting Trip – Ideal for a quick adventure fix, this company offers day trips perfect for first-timers and families.
  • Great Northern Rafting and Resort – Looking for a longer thrill? They’ve got multi-day rafting adventures that will get your heart racing.
  • Rafting Trips with Wild River Adventure – As the name suggests, prepare for wild rides with their specially crafted rafting trips.
  • Glacier Raft Company – Offers a variety of rafting experiences, including those inside Glacier National Park.

Before you book, make sure to check out what each company offers. Some have cool add-ons like riverside camping or gourmet meals. It’s a great way to make your rafting trip even more memorable.

4. Wildlife Viewing

A group of elk with large antlers rests on a grassy meadow near the trail to Piegan Falls in Montana

Finding Piegan Falls in Glacier National Park is an exciting adventure, especially for nature lovers. It’s not just about the amazing views, it’s also a chance to see Montana’s wildlife up close.

Watch as you explore the park, whether on a hike or drive. You might see amazing animals. Here’s who you could meet:

  • Elk
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bald eagles
  • Mountain lions
  • Black bears
  • Mountain goats
  • Ospreys

Just remember, while it’s exciting to see these animals in their natural habitat, observing from a safe distance is important. Enjoy the adventure and the beauty of nature at Glacier National Park.

5. Horseback Riding

A man and woman riding horses on a sunny forest trail near Piegan Waterfall smile at each other

Here are example prices for 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)

Riding horses in Glacier National Park is a favorite adventure for many. Whether new to riding or a pro, it’s for everyone. Swan Mountain Outfitters offers rides from three starting points: Many Glacier, Apgar, and Lake McDonald. You can visit their website directly for more information about their prices and schedules.

The trails cater to all kinds of riders and time frames. You can choose a quick 1-hour ride to fit into a busy day or go for an all-day adventure. They even offer private rides for a more personal experience.

Each ride is special, with short trips to pretty views or full-day adventures in the park’s beauty. You’ll see Piegan Falls and the landscape from a unique and unforgettable view.

Piegan Falls Final Thoughts

A stream from Piegan Falls runs from the top of a rugged mountain through a rocky area with a bit of snow

Piegan Falls leaves you with mixed feelings after your visit. It’s a place that truly showcases nature’s beauty in Glacier National Park. The amazing views and the size of the falls make it a must-see spot.

But getting there can be tricky since there’s no set path. Considering the risks, you must carefully navigate the dense growth.

For a safer adventure, think about other activities in the park. Boating, rafting, and horseback riding are great ways to see the beauty without the dangers of the falls.

Swimming at Piegan Falls isn’t safe because of strong currents. But don’t fret; there are other spots in the park’s lakes and rivers where you can swim. Just remember, the water from the glaciers and mountains is really cold.

Visiting Piegan Falls is an adventure you’ll always remember. Nature lovers can have a great time exploring, meeting animals, and enjoying the views.

Just keep in mind the tips for a safe and enjoyable visit. This way, you can fully experience the beauty and wonder of Glacier National Park. Remember the tips for a safe and fun visit.

Piegan Falls FAQs

1. Can You Swim in Piegan Falls?

No, swimming in Piegan Falls is unsafe due to dangerous undercurrents beneath the surface.

Visitors are advised to choose safer swimming locations within Glacier National Park, such as Lake Josephine, Lake McDonald, or Ipasha Lake in the backcountry.

2. What Activities Can I Do Near Piegan Falls?

Nearby activities include boating, white water rafting, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing.

Visitors can explore the park’s pristine lakes and rivers, embark on thrilling rafting adventures, or enjoy a scenic horseback ride through Glacier National Park’s stunning landscape.

3. Are There Established Hiking Trails to Piegan Falls?

No, there are no established hiking trails leading directly to Piegan Falls. However, visitors can glimpse the falls from the trail heading towards Siyeh Bend above the falls en route to Piegan Pass.

The most logical way to see the falls is to hike Siyeh Bend or start from the Piegan Pass Trailhead.

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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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