Running Eagle Falls: History, Hiking Trails, and Directions

Running Eagle Falls, also known as Trick Falls, is a secluded spot in Glacier National Park’s Two Medicine area. This waterfall is accessible via a short, easy trail suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Today we’ll explore this beautiful waterfall, detailing the trail, best visiting times, and its cultural significance to the Blackfeet people. We’ll also offer tips for navigating nearby scenic trails.

Why visit Running Eagle Falls? It’s a waterfall that changes appearance with the seasons. A natural ‘trick’ creates a double cascade in early summer. Discover and enjoy one of Montana’s natural wonders in Running Eagle Falls.

5 Key Takeaways on Running Eagle Falls

  1. Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls is located in Glacier National Park. It features a unique cascade that can appear as single or double, depending on the season.
  2. Running Eagle Falls is easily accessible, with clear refreshing waters that make it perfect for swimming and fishing.
  3. Located in the Two Medicine area, Running Eagle Falls holds deep cultural significance as they are named after a respected Blackfeet warrior woman.
  4. Despite its beauty and significance, Running Eagle Falls remains a peaceful retreat with lower crowds, allowing for a peaceful visit.
  5. Visitors should be prepared for limited cell service at Running Eagle Falls. However, free Wi-Fi is available at the visitor center. You can also plan for a technology-free nature experience.

About Running Eagle Falls

Location CoordinatesHeightElevationNearby AttractionsLocation
48.49755° N -113.35307° W40 feet (12.1 meters)4,952 feet (1,509 meters)Wolf Mountain and Two Medicine LakeGlacier National Park, Montana

Running Eagle Falls in Glacier National Park may appear as one or two falls, depending on the time of the year. During the summer months, melting snow forms an extra waterfall beside the main one to form a dual cascade.

This place is not only stunning to look at, but it’s also cool for hot days and good for quiet fishing. People like to swim and fish here because of the clean, refreshing water. It’s a simple way to enjoy nature.

Running Eagle Falls is more than a beautiful place for the Blackfeet. It is named after a respected female warrior and holds great importance. This adds extra meaning and history to your visit.

Don’t miss a visit to Running Eagle Falls in Glacier National Park. It’s ideal for those using a trail guide or seeking accessible waterfalls. Be sure to include it on your hike itinerary.

Keep in mind that cell service is quite limited in the Two Medicine area, particularly on the east side. However, you can utilize the free Wi-Fi at the visitor center for GPS assistance if you’re traveling from St. Mary.

Careful planning is essential for those coming from Browning or East Glacier Park. You’ll be leaving behind city comforts and immersing yourself more deeply in nature once you leave these towns.

Running Eagle Falls Trail Details

Running Eagle Waterfall cascading into a river surrounded by dense pine trees, with a mountain backdrop under a sunset sky.

LocationDistanceElevation GainDifficulty
Two Medicine, Glacier National Park0.7-mile loopNegligible (~30 feet)Easy

Running Eagle Falls is in Glacier National Park’s quiet Two Medicine area, far from busy places like Going-to-the-Sun Road. This makes it a peaceful spot for visitors.

Hiking to Running Eagle Falls is easy because it’s near the Two Medicine entrance station of Glacier National Park. Along with the Trail of the Cedars in West Glacier, it’s one of the two easiest trails to access in the park. This allows you to enjoy the beauty and cultural significance of the falls without a tough hike.

The area near the falls is culturally significant and offers various activities. You can swim in a mountain stream, view the impressive waterfall up close, and learn about the area.

The falls stay open longer than other places in Two Medicine, with boat tours and ranger stations operating until mid-September. This makes it a great spot to visit and enjoy Glacier National Park.

Running Eagle Falls is near several accessible trails, each providing a different view of the area’s natural beauty. Here are some of the trails you may want to explore:

  • Medicine Lake Trail
  • Sun Point Nature Trail
  • Aster Park Trail
  • Cobalt Lake Trail
  • Dawson Pass Trail
  • Kananaskis Trail
  • Medicine Lake South Shore Trail
  • Paradise Point Trail
  • Rockwell Falls Trail
  • Star Lake Trail
  • Upper Two Medicine Lake Trail

These trails add to the allure of Running Eagle Falls, inviting you to discover more of the Glacier National Park’s wonders.

Directions to Running Eagle Falls

A person runs a scenic trail in the mountains near Running Eagle Waterfall in Montana

Getting to Running Eagle Falls is easy and features an accessible trail. The trailhead is very close to the parking lot, and a bathroom is nearby for convenience.

You’ll quickly come to a fork when you start the hike to Running Eagle Falls. Signs point left to a nature trail and right for a direct path to the falls. For the full experience, take one route to the falls and return via the other.

The nature trail is great for hiking with kids. It starts paved with educational signs about the local flora. Further along, it shifts to hard-packed dirt but remains easy to walk, flat and wide. There’s also a section covered in smooth river rocks.

The trail offers amazing views upon nearing the falls. You’ll cross a sturdy wooden footbridge, offering the first glimpse of the cascades. Then, you’ll walk along the creek with its clear water and colorful rocks leading to the viewing platform.

The viewing platform offers a great view of Trick Falls. For a closer look and a different perspective, follow the quiet side trail just beyond the platform.

The area near the Running Eagle Falls Trailhead parking lot resembles a beach when the water levels drop in the summer. It’s not sandy, but it’s ideal for a cool dip or skipping rocks. The cold water, smooth rocks, and mountain views make it a rewarding spot.

You’ll see mountains rise in the distance, smooth river rocks guide your path, and the vibrant colors of underwater rocks stand out throughout your hike. These beautiful sights make the trip to Running Eagle Falls memorable.

Running Eagle Falls Final Thoughts

Running Eagle Falls tumbles into a pool surrounded by cliffs, river rocks, and lush greenery.

Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls is truly a unique location. The falls are beautiful and feature a natural trick — a hidden second waterfall behind the first.

Running Eagle Falls is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an easy, short hike to a stunning view suitable for everyone. Named after Running Eagle, a Blackfeet woman, the falls add historical and cultural depth to the visit.

Visiting Running Eagle Falls offers more than just witnessing a beautiful waterfall. It’s a chance to enjoy Montana’s natural beauty and dive into its history. This peaceful place is perfect for connecting with nature and the past. Don’t miss out on such a meaningful experience.

Running Eagle Falls FAQs

1. Is Running Eagle Falls Also Known as Trick Falls?

Running Eagle Falls is nicknamed “Trick Falls” due to its unique natural phenomenon, where it appears as a double waterfall during the high water levels of spring and early summer due to snowmelt.

As the water level recedes later in the season, the upper cascade disappears, leaving only the lower fall visible, hence “tricking” first-time visitors who might expect the double cascade year-round.

2. How Long Does It Take to Hike to Running Eagle Falls?

The hike to Running Eagle Falls is relatively short and easy, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The loop trail is about 0.7 miles long with minimal elevation gain, and it typically takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, depending on how long you spend enjoying the waterfall and surrounding views.

3. What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Running Eagle Falls?

The best time to visit Running Eagle Falls is in the spring and early-mid summer when the snowmelt feeds the upper cascade, creating the double waterfall effect.

Visiting in late summer or early fall is also rewarding as you can enjoy the lower cascade in a more serene setting and lower water levels, which make the “beach” area accessible for wading and rock skipping.

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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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