Natural beauty, rugged landscape, and breathtaking views make Great Falls the perfect autumn destination.
The Great Falls, so named by Meriweather Lewis, are more than 80 feet high, giving visitors to the Ryan Dam a view that was described by Lewis as “…the grandest sight I ever beheld…” Despite dams being built on all 5 of Great Falls’ falls (beginning in 1890 and ending in 1958), much of the Missouri River through Great Falls is just as it was when the Expedition came through, and there are several spots along River Drive to stop, take pictures, and enjoy the views of the River, the city, and the fall colors. Black Eagle Dam, Rainbow Dam, Colter Falls, Ryan Dam, and Cochrane Dam comprise the 5 dams visible throughout Great Falls, and perfect for a weekend drive.
The River’s Edge Trail offers fun and adventure year-round. Walk, jog, or bike on 50+ miles of trail along both sides of the Missouri River. With the crisp air of fall, bring a jacket! While enjoying the trail, you will see breathtaking views of the Missouri River, one-of-a-kind art, and the urban center of Great Falls.
Montana’s most visited state park, Giant Springs, is along the Missouri River and has one of the world’s largest artesian springs; everyday, 156 million gallons of water bubbles from these springs and flows into the Missouri. Giant Springs is home to the world’s shortest River (Roe) in the world. The Roe runs for less than 200 feet and flows into the Missouri.
While you’re at Giant Springs State Park, stop by the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The Interpretive Center is a premier stop for anyone interested in the history of our country, and how the West was inhabited. Through film, dioramas, and interactive displays, you’ll experience the journey of the Expedition as they explored this new land.
Great Falls has several scenic drives that can be enjoyed in one day, making Great Falls a perfect basecamp for your fall adventures throughout Central Montana. One such drive is the Mountains to Wind Towers Drive. On this route, you’ll drive through the charming mountain towns of Monarch and Neihart, cross Kings Hill Pass, and then into White Sulphur Springs, featuring a natural hot spring and unique Castle Museum built as a home by an early resident. The next town you’ll drive through is Harlowton, a small town that proudly displays an original steam locomotive. Turn north on US 191 to drive past 90 wind towers at Judith Gap. This picturesque point has multiple turnouts to take pictures, marvel at the sheer size of the towers, and watch the oscillating blades produce energy for Central Montana. Continue driving to Eddie’s Corner at the junction of 191 and US 87, and back toward Great Falls.
Your perfect fall adventure is waiting in Great Falls, and while you’re planning your weekend getaway, book a room at one of our hotels and experience relaxing hospitality. We’ll see you soon!