An easy, popular, unremarkable trail to an impressive 100 foot waterfall in the Swan Range.
This is a very popular trail. On Sunday the 3rd of July, 2016, all designated parking spots were full when we arrived at 10:15am, and there were twice as many cars lining the road when we finished. For the best experience, get an early start.
The trail starts in a flat forest of skinny pine with lots of blowdown. It eventually climbs a bit but is mostly rolling. There are huckleberry plants along the way, and we found a few sunny spots with ripe berries early July, 2016.
About 2 easy miles in the flora and fauna get a bit more lush, and soon you hear the falls in the distance. The trail is more scenic here as you first pass a marshy pond, then Morrell Lake to your right, cross the creek on a sturdy bridge, and then walk the final quarter mile to the foot of the falls.
The falls appear to be about 100 feet high, and there are upper falls that you can’t see from here. As tempting as it may be, do not scramble around on the slippery rocks. Late spring and early summer the falls are spectacular, and consider yourself fortunate if you have it to yourself for even a few minutes. A group of 3 was just leaving when we arrived, and two bikers had locked their bikes but were nowhere to be found. We had the falls to ourselves for maybe 10 minutes on this busy 4th of July weekend, Sunday the 3rd, 11:30am.
The next group included Rosie, a 2 year old Red Lab. It was fun to watch her splash around in the shallow water. Lots of people bring their dogs, so if you aren’t comfortable around canines, this isn’t the trail for you.
From Montana Highway 83, take the Morrell Creek road at the north end of the town of Seeley Lake, about 8 miles total. There are a few signed forks in the road. I counted 17 parking spots - overflow parking on the side of the access road. There is an outhouse.