The Governor of Montana has extended the order to limit all restaurants to drive-through, take-out, delivery, or curbside service only until April 10th, 2020. This means there is no dine-in service available in the State of Montana.
Great Falls, Montana will ensure you are properly fueled for your outdoor adventures in Montana’s Basecamp. If you are staying in an extended stay suite that has a kitchen, take and bake dinners are a great option. If you don’t have a kitchen available to you, order to go from the restaurant’s full menu. Many establishments in Great Falls are still offering delicious food, and here are a few of our favorites that are open and ready to serve:
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*Electric City Coffee has made the difficult decision to temporarily close until the Governor of Montana’s Stay at Home Directive is lifted.
As we all adjust to the current COVID-19 recommendations, we at Great Falls Montana Tourism want you to know we are thinking of you. As long as you maintain a 6-foot distance between you and other humans, the outdoors are still open to keep you sane, and exercise helps reduce stress! Here are some ideas to keep your mind clear and your body healthy.
River’s Edge Trail
The River’s Edge Trail is a 53-mile (plenty of social distancing available) trail system along the banks of the Missouri River in Great Falls, Montana. It has 13 trailheads throughout Great Falls, making access to the trail simple. The trail will take you past all the Falls, has 24 works of art, and lets you trod where Lewis & Clark once trodded. The trail is open to hiking, biking, walking, and moseying.
Sluice Boxes State Park
Sluice Boxes State Park is an quick 45-minute drive from Great Falls and provides a diverse landscape steeped in history. There are two entrances into the park, each providing a unique experience. Either way, you will be delighted. One word of caution, the trail system in Sluice Boxes does cross Belt Creek 16 times. Inside the park, you will find an old homesteader cabin, abandoned train tracks, and the remains of a once-thriving mining operation.
Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area is a year-round birding paradise. Although, March through May give way to some of the grandest viewings with the waterfowl migration. 120,000 white geese and 7,200 swans along with numerous mallards and northern pintails have been observed at one time. The picture above is from a previous migration, rest assured, you have plenty of space available in the 12,000 acres of the area to social distance.
Giant Springs State Park
Giant Springs State Park provides visitors an extremely unique trifecta, an opportunity to stand in one spot and be at the World’s Largest Natural Spring, the World’s Shortest River, and North America’s Longest River. Yes! It’s true. Giant Springs is the world’s largest natural spring, flowing at 156 million gallons of water per day and remains at a constant 54 F year-round. The Roe River is 201 feet, flowing from the waters of Giant Springs into the Missouri River. The Missouri River is 2,341 miles long with headwaters 2.5 hours south of Great Falls and travels through 5 States.
Updated May, 2020: Lost Lake was previously open to the public by the generosity of the landowner, however, misuse and abuse has caused the location to close to the public. Lost Lake is a bit of a hidden gem in the Basecamp. This important geological site is generously provided to the public by the landowner, so please respect the privilege of treading on private land. Before the last Ice Age (some 100,000 years past) water flowed through this area and the cliffs created impressive waterfalls, similar to what you would see today at Niagara Falls today. What remains is a diverse landscape that was carved by massive water flows and glaciers. Read suggestions from a professional photographer on how to capture Lost Lake’s beauty before you go!
Rocky Mountain Front
The Rocky Mountain Front is an enormous playground for outdoor enthusiasts. It is open for day hikes, rock climbing, backpacking, scenic drives, wildlife watching, and stunning photography. With a variety of options and locations, our suggestion is to get a map. Our Lake, Black Leaf Canyon, Muddy Falls, and Gibson Reservoir are some of our staff’s picks for Glacier National Park like adventures, without the crowds.
On March 19th, 2020, Great Falls, Montana declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19. Per the guidance of Cascade City-County Health Department, all restaurants will be limited to drive-through, take-out, delivery, or curb-side service only. All bars and tasting rooms are closed.
On March 27th, 2020, Montana Governor Bullock issued a Stay at Home Directive to slow the spread of COVID-19.