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Apex Falls, Montana

Apex Falls is one of 9 waterfalls that can be accessed along the Hyalite Peak Trail. This trail is one of the most popular in the Hyalite Canyon area.

Located near Bozeman, the Hyalite Peak Trail is a great 10.9-mile, out-and-back hike that not only passes a number of waterfalls but for the adventurous hiker will continue to the Summit of Hyalite Peak.

The Hyalite Canyon area is made from volcanic flows that occurred in the area millions of years ago. These volcanic flows make for great canyons and perfect rock drops for waterfalls.

Apex Falls is one of the last waterfalls along the Hyalite Peak Trail. It is also the most dramatic.

In the spring during run-off Apex falls seem to emerge from the trees as a rush of water. As the summer progresses the falls become a bit less dramatic, but they are still quite beautiful. The falls are fed by Hyalite Lake which sits at the base of Hyalite Peak.

Apex Falls is quite easy to view. You will cross a bridge over Hyalite Creek and the falls will be uphill of the bridge.

Apex Falls Statistics

apex falls statistics

  • Elevation: 8,429 feet 
  • Height: Unknown
  • Trailhead: Hyalite Creek Trail
  • Season (when can it be accessed): June to October

Recreational Activities Near Apex Falls

There are a number of recreational activities that you can enjoy while in the area of Apex Falls.

Hiking

Hiking is the most popular recreational activity located near Apex Falls. The falls themselves are located along the Hyalite Peak Trail, so getting to the falls will require a bit of a hike.

There are a number of other hiking trails that can be accessed from the Hyalite Creek Trailhead. There are also 8 other waterfalls along the Hyalite Peak Trail, most of these are accessed from satellite trails that branch off of the Hyalite Peak trail.

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is a very popular recreational activity in Hyalite Canyon. The dramatic volcanic rock cliffs make a great place for climbers to explore.

Many of the climbing routes in the canyon do not have good trails, so you’ll have to do a bit of trailblazing to get to the best places to climb.

Fishing

Hyalite Creek along with a number of other creeks and streams feed into Hyalite Reservoir.

This popular man-made reservoir is a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy some fishing. The reservoir is stocked with game fish including Montana’s famous trout.

Anyone wanting to fish in Montana needs to acquire a Montana fishing license. These can be purchased online at www.fwp.mt.gov.

Ice Climbing

Apex Falls are some of the best and most accessible for ice climbing in the Bozeman area.

Located just off the trail, and tucked into the shade, these falls stay iced longer than some others in the area. They are not too tall, so they are a good option for newer ice climbers.

The Hyalite Creek Trail can stay snowed in until mid-June, so hikers and climbers wishing to access Apex Falls will need to bring snowshoes for easier travel to the falls.

Trail Routes Near Apex Falls

trail routes near apex falls
Image: JustTooLazy

Hyalite Creek Trail

Hyalite Creek Trail gives you access to not only Apex Falls, but to 8 additional waterfalls along Hyalite Creek. This 10.9-mile out and back trail is considered moderately difficult due to the 2,139 feet of elevation gain.

The first mile of the trail is quite busy as it is not very steep and offers families and visitors an easy hike to Grotto Falls. From Grotto Falls the trail gets steeper and less busy.

The trail continues to Hyalite Lake where it meets with the Gallatin Crest Trail. At this junction, you can continue from the lake to the summit of Hyalite Peak.

Palisade Falls National Recreation Trail

Palisade Falls is another great waterfall experience in Montana. The trail to Palisade Falls is located in the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Area.

This short 1.1-mile out and back trail is really popular for families since it is short, and has minimal elevation gain. The trail ends at a great viewing point for Palisade Falls.

These falls are some of the tallest in Montana, and the viewing point is a great place to stop for a snack. Because this trail is in designated wilderness dogs are not allowed on the trail.

Emerald and Heather Lakes

This challenging 10.5-mile out and back trail offers hikers great opportunities to enjoy two very beautiful lakes near Apex Falls.

This trail is popular with backpackers as there are a couple of nice camping spots along the shores of both lakes.

Because of the elevation, this trail is snow-covered for much of the summer. Be prepared to cross some snowy areas. Hiking poles are recommended.

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