One of my favorite things about living in Great Falls is how central we are to adventures around the state. Although it serves as the perfect basecamp to explore some of the more popular Montana attractions, in this blog post I want to highlight one of my favorite scenic drives that is a quick 30-minute drive and is easy to take to soak in the sunset after a day of work or on a Saturday afternoon!
For this mini-road trip, you’re going to take I-15 South and drive about 30 miles to exit 247. All of the locations in this post are accessible from this exit, but I’ve also included map pins to make it easier to plug it into a navigation application of your choice.
For our first stop on this trip, we took some time to explore Tower Rock State Park! Located right off the highway, this spot offers a beautiful opportunity for sight-seeing both at the picnic table area as well as on the trail if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. During our time there we saw a variety of wildlife and it was beautiful to see everything beginning to bloom and come to life along the trail! This spot is open from sunrise to sunset and the information on one of the signs indicated that the trail is around ¼ mile long.
Something important to note about this spot, in particular, is to be extra aware of snakes. As you’ll see in some of my photos, we encountered two different snakes and I’ve heard that rattlesnakes are very common on the rocks and cliffs as you hike to that area of the park! We decided to turn around after snake number 2, but as long as you’re aware of your surroundings, I wouldn’t let that stop you from exploring this beautiful area.
When we went during the weekend, we saw a lot of people in their boats around this area. I really love how beautiful this bridge is and I never regret going a few minutes out of the way to soak in these views, watch the people fishing, and even have the chance to see some bighorn sheep along the way! There are a couple of fishing access sites nearby, such as the area pictured in the panorama, that also make for great spots to stop.
I saved my favorite spot along this scenic drive for last! Pelican Point has been my go-to spot to take my dogs to play in the water while eating a picnic dinner for quite some time now. During the week it’s not too busy and watching the sunset from here while my golden retrievers play is always such a relaxing experience. This fishing access site has a decent number of picnic, a few grills, and there are also some campsites as well!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post of a quick, scenic drive to take from Great Falls! We’d love to hear what wildlife or plants you spotted during your drive and what your favorite view was along the way.
Jessica Billings is a Virginia native whose heart found its home in Montana. She and her husband along with their two adorable dogs are often found exploring Montana’s Basecamp for Art & Adventure. When she’s not hiking in places like Sluice Boxes State Park or photographing couples, Jessica enjoys spending her time at local places like Mighty Mo Brewing Company (for the amazing pretzel bites and riblets) and sipping hot chocolate at Crooked Tree! Follow Jessica on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her adventures.