Situated along an unnamed stream that flows from Twin Lakes within Glacier National Park, Florence Falls is a great choice for visitors looking for an easy (though longer!) trail to hike for waterfall access.
The 250-foot-tall falls are easily accessible along a mellow hike that has loads of bridges and vantage points along the river where the whole family can enjoy a breather.
Details About Florence Falls
Florence Falls is a beautiful, 250-foot waterfall tucked into Glacier National Park along an easy hiking trail that almost anyone can traverse, though Florence Falls are at the end of a lengthier trail, so not all hikers will be able to make the full distance.
- Location: Glacier County portion of Glacier National Park
- Height: 250 feet
- Nearby Features: River, easy hiking trail, streams, pools
Can I Drive to Florence Falls?
You cannot drive to the waterfall itself. Florence Falls, Glacier County, Montana, is a waterfall that can be reached by foot only.
Are There Trails to Florence Falls?
There is one primary way to access Florence Falls on foot. The trail on which Florence Falls resides is 9.5 miles long, out and back from the trailhead of the Jackson Glacier Overlook.
Florence Falls Trail
According to All Trails, the trail is 9.2 miles long, while other sites say the trail is 9.5 miles. Whichever length, the trail is rated as “easy” or kid-friendly and moderately accessible.
The entire length of the trail will take you about 4 hours to complete. The trail is extremely popular for families and folks looking for easy hikes along trails with many attractive features.
The trail may be quieter at certain times of day, though, so don’t just ditch your plans because of potential crowds. But do please leave your pooch at home. Dogs are not allowed on the trail.
The hike begins at Jackson Glacier Overlook, which is about 12.5 miles west of the St. Mary Entrance Station. The trailhead is located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, near the eastern end of the parking area at the overlook. Take the Pigeon Pass Trail southbound towards Reynolds Creek Backcountry Campground.
Deadwood Falls is the first waterfall you’ll come to along the trail, about 1.5 miles from the trailhead. If you’ve got kids in tow who can’t make a heftier hike, this is probably the falls you’ll turn back after viewing.
Deadwood Falls are fed by Reynolds Creek, which you’ll hear burbling along the way as you hike. The waterfall is 10 feet tall, with clear pools of sparkling water both below and above the falls. This area is perfect for picnics and relaxation breaks along your hike, thanks to the many rocks that make for great seats.
Shortly after Deadwood Falls, you’ll intersect with Gunsight Pass Trail. You’ll need to turn right here to continue on toward Florence Falls. There’s a long suspension bridge past the junction. Then, you’ll come to St. Mary River at about 1.8 miles.
Here you’ll find some amazing views of Citadel Mountain and Dusty Star Mountain to the left. There’s also a swampy area visible, which is a great moose-spotting location.
Continue on and roughly at 3 miles, you’ll find one of the most picturesque locations in the park, alongside Mirror Pond. The opening along the forested trail opens out into a view of Mount Jackson, Fusillade Mountain, and Gunsight Pass.
Hikers recommend getting here early to have better views, as later in the day sun glare can be pretty bad.
Continue on the rest of the way to Florence Falls. As you go, though, be aware that much of the trail is going through grizzly bear habitat (why your pooches aren’t allowed on the trail!).
When you reach the “end” of the trail, you’ll be at eye level with the base of the falls. You won’t be able to see all the falls from this point, however, so if you’ve got the energy, scrambling up the hillside 15 feet will give you a better vantage point.
- Trail length: 9.2 to 9.5 miles
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Elevation gain: 1,174 feet
- Trail type: Out and back
Are There Lakes Near Florence Falls?
Along the trail to Florence Falls, there are many other water features, including swampy zones where moose hang out, Deadwood Falls, and Mirror Pond. The many features are some of the most beautiful and most famous sites within Glacier National Park.
What Can I Do at Florence Falls?
Florence Falls is a beautiful, magnificent waterfall within the Glacier National Park. That means that basically any outdoor activity or sport would be possible around or near Florence Falls.
As you visit the park consider any of the following recreational activities for an amazing experience in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States.
While you visit Glacier National Park, boating on the many lakes, rivers, and streams is an option, whether you choose Holland Lake or portage to a backcountry lake or stream.
While you shouldn’t go swimming in any of the waterfalls within the park, there are many rivers, lakes, and streams where swimming is a great option.
Just beware the water will be cold! Any still bodies of water like lakes will be glacier fed and quite chilly!
Throughout the park, including along the Florence Falls Trail, there are RV, tent, and backcountry campgrounds. Many of the sites can be reserved, but many or first-come-first-serve only.
Scenic Drives and Vistas
Florence Falls is only accessible by hiking, but there are many scenic drives and vistas throughout the park which you may enjoy via vehicle.
Throughout the park, you have the potential for seeing a wide range of wildlife, including grizzlies, moose, deer, mountain goats, elk, marmots, beavers, and pikas, to name just a few.
Throughout the park, including in the streams and rivers along the Florence Falls Trail, you may find great spots for fishing. Check with local guides to find the best places along the way.
There are many trails throughout the park that are suitable for biking, though Florence Falls Trail isn’t recommended because of the population on the trail.
There are several companies that have stables in and near Glacier National Park. The more populous trails will be restricted from horseback riding, but the companies know how to navigate the best trails open to riders.
Some of the outfitters in and nearby include:
Visiting Florence Falls in Flathead County, Montana
Florence Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Glacier National Park because of the magnificence of the falls themselves. The falls are more than 250 feet tall, with many cascades and pools of sparkling, rushing water. The falls are only accessible by foot, however, so prepare for a hike!
To get to Florence Falls, you’ll either need to park at the pullout for Jackson Glacier Overlook or take the park shuttle to that location.
Before you head out, consider your preparations.
- Pack snacks and plenty of water to sustain yourself on the 4+ hour hike
- Bring that camera – you won’t want to miss shots of the many vistas and the incredible falls!
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for hiking
- Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing
- Wear layers if the weather is cooler when you start out on your hike
Reserve a backcountry campsite along the trail if you’re planning to stay the night
Aim to hit the trail early so you get the best views along the way
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