It’s short length, low elevation gain, and well engineered trail all help to make this one of the most popular day hikes for small kids, elderly, and beginner hikers. At .8 miles one way (1.6 miles out and back) and an elevation gain of only a couple hundred feet, it’s easy to see why this hike is so popular. This hike is also rare in that it is relatively low (5,300 feet), so it is clear of snow early in the year. Because of this, you can usually enjoy this trail from May until November.
The tour bus or transport drops you near the trail, which immediately immediately enters forest, and rarely leaves it on this trail. The trail is nicely maintained, and enters the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness almost immediately. There is a sturdy bridge along the trail that is well built- no wet feet on this trail! After the end of the trail, you are presented with a nice rock outcrop that was built so that viewers can get a good look at the falls. If you have the energy, I recommend the scramble up the hill, as it provides a better view of the falls. There is, of course, no fishing or camping allowed on this trail. This trail is also very sensitive to overuse (because of the popularity of this trail), so please help keep this area beautiful by picking up any trash that you see around. This hike is one of my personal favorites, and it’s over in a hurry.
The parking and campground areas are right along the famous Stillwater River that is home to Rainbow trout, Brown trout, and Cutthroat trout. It is open to fishing with a valid state or out-of-state Montana fishing license. Just a few miles up the road is the Main fork Stillwater River trail head.
Resident and Non-Resident Montana Fishing Licenses are available at most outdoor stores, many fishing shops, and in several cases at participating gas stations in smaller towns. Montana Fishing licenses are also available online at Montana.gov.
See also: Stillwater River and Sioux Charlie Lake
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