Situated in Glacier National Park’s less-visited Cut Bank region, Atlantic Falls is a 20-foot waterfall along Atlantic Creek.
Best observed from the famous Continental Divide Trail, the hike to the waterfall features plenty of natural beauty and a series of more minor water features, with the Atlantic Falls standing prominently at its heart.
Atlantic Falls, Glacier County Stats
- Elevation: 5364 ft
- Latitude: 48°34’24.9″°
- Longitude: -113°27’3.42″
- How to Get There: The easiest way to access the falls is via the Pitamakan Pass starting from either the Cut Bank Trailhead or the South Shore Trailhead.
Hundreds of fantastic trails intertwine their way through Glacier National Park‘s awe-inspiring landscapes.
Considering that no terrain vehicles are permitted in this region of the preservation, hiking remains the primary mode of transportation for those wishing to visit Atlantic Falls, Montana.
While there are numerous routes visitors can take, the most accessible method to reaching the falls is via the Cut Bank Trailhead near East Glacier Park Village. From here, hikers will follow the trail through Pitamakan Pass directly to where the Continental Divide Pass overlooks the landmark.
From the falls, visitors can decide whether to return to the trailhead or continue exploring the park’s other regions.
For those that continue their hike, paths can be followed either north of the falls to the St. Mary’s Lake region or to the South, where visitors can bask in the breathtaking landscapes of Two Medicine Lake.
Visitors to the park are permitted to fish in the Atlantic Creek, which feeds the falls. However, while wranglers will catch the occasional Brook Trout, these waters aren’t very populated, and visitors will have a better time casting their lines in one of the nearby lakes.
Instead, visitors to the falls should continue to follow the trail through the Triple Divide Pass to where the Atlantic Creek flows out of Medicine Grizzly Lake.
While not as exciting of a fishing spot as some of the park’s more popular destinations, the lake does offer a quiet place for catching indigenous Rainbow Trout.
Glacier National Park offers guests plenty of backcountry and front country camping.
For front country camping, visitors to Atlantic Falls can book a site right next to the trailhead at the Cut Bank Campgrounds. Featuring 21 serviced sites, this campground is a fantastic location to explore the region’s many hiking trails.
Alternatively, visitors engaging in extended or multi-day hikes can plan to spend the night at one of the park’s backcountry campsites. Luckily, the Atlantic Creek Campground is located just north of the falls and is a great spot to rest before advancing along the trail.
Permits are required to camp in Glacier National Park’s backcountry, so be sure to apply for a license before visiting.
Medicine Grizzly to Triple Divide Trail
The most straightforward way to get to Atlantic Falls is via the Medicine Grizzly to Triple Divide Trail. The 12.7-mile out and back trail starts at the Cut Bank trailhead and follows the Pitamakan Pass along the North Fork Cut Bank Creek for several miles.
After about 3.9 miles, visitors will arrive at a fork in the road. While the trail directs hikers to follow the Atlantic Creek and take the Triple Divide Pass to the right, the best views of the falls are had along the left path, known as the Continental Divide Trail.
The Falls are located only a brief jaunt down the left path, at which point visitors can return to the fork and continue the rest of the trail to Medicine Grizzly Lake.
Two-Medicine to St. Mary Lake Trail
The Two Medicine to St. Mary Lake Trail is considered a more challenging route that connects two of the most beautiful lakes in Glacier County State Park and passes by the beautiful Atlantic Falls in the process.
The multi-day hike is a 33.1-mile point-to-point trail starting at the South Shore Trailhead near Two Medicine Lake. The trail follows Dawson Pass for several miles before joining Pitamakan Pass along the Continental Divide Trail.
Hiking in a northern direction, the path will guide visitors directly through the Atlantic Falls observation point. After admiring the falls, visitors can choose to end their hike early and head to the Cut Bank Trailhead or continue along the trail to St. Mary Lake.