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Lange Falls, Lewis and Clark County

Not much is publicly shared about Lange Falls in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. The falls are at a fairly high elevation, in backcountry terrain, accessible only by foot or horseback riding along the Lange Creek Trail and then bushwhacking trails.

Lange Falls, Lewis and Clark County

Statistics on the fall are limited (no height of the falls seems to be listed anywhere) but for those who enjoy a good backcountry hiking trip, the waterfall is likely worth the visit in spring in particular, due to mountain runoff creating heavier falls.

lange falls stats

Lange Falls Stats

Lange Falls is a waterfall tucked within the backcountry of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, accessible only by hiking in, followed by bushwhacking into the waterfall itself.

  • Location: Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Lewis and Clark County, Montana
  • Latitude: 47.60259
  • Longitude: -112.83506
  • Stream: Lange Creek
  • Elevation: 5041 feet
  • Season: Late spring to autumn
  • Notes: The waterfall is designated as “unconfirmed” on the World Waterfall Database, meaning it has been reported but not officially documented for the database.

Recreational Activities Lange Falls

In the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, you will find many activities and recreation opportunities throughout, both near and around Lange Falls.

The falls themselves involve hiking or horseback riding, trail running, or similar activities even to access them. But there’s so much more to do here than just hike into a single waterfall.

Swimming

swimming

Can you swim in Lange Falls? Because the falls aren’t described particularly well, it’s hard to tell whether or not you could swim here.

However, it’s always recommended, for safety’s sake, to avoid swimming in waterfalls because of the undercurrent, and instead swim in lakes and slow-moving streams and rivers.

Within “the Bob” as the Wilderness Complex is known affectionately, popular swimming holes include Tally Lake Campground Beach area, the Hungry Horse Reservoir developed sites, Ashley Lake Boat site, Holland Lake day use area, Swan Lake day use area, and Lion Lakes (North and South).

There are no lifeguards anywhere within the complex, so avoid swimming alone for safety.

Tubing

If you’re in the mood for a good river tube adventure, tubing is available in Swan River within the Bob. You can rent tubes from nearby outfitters, or bring your own.

Boating

Boating is popular in the Bob, as well, with many options of where to boat, and what kinds of boats to use.

Motorized boating areas include Hungry Horse Reservoir, Abbot Bay Boating Side, Doris Point Boating Side, Swan Lake, Holland Lake, Tally Lake, Ashley Lake, and Upper Stillwater Lake, among a few others.

Nonmotorized boating areas include North Fork of the Flathead, Great Northern Flats River, Polebridge River Access site, Middle Fork of the Flathead, Cascadilla Flat Tiver, Moccasin Creek River, Spotted Bear, Swan Lake, Hungry Horse Reservoir, and Tally Lake, among others, including all motorized boating areas.

If you don’t have your own boat to bring, there are many outfitters with rentals.

White Water Rafting

Day trips and pack rafting trips are one of the most popular recreational activities in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

There are many services that help you plan the right trip for you and yours, from “easier” short trips for a few hours to lengthier pack trips that take several days with all supplies accompanying you on your adventures.

Before you book a trip, consider your fitness level, stamina, and ability to camp rough along the way.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing

The Bob is a nature lover’s paradise, complete with incredible plant life, wildlife, and birding opportunities throughout. As you hike into Lange Falls, you could see any of the following animals or birds along the way.

  • Bighorn sheep
  • Mountain goats
  • Cougars
  • Wolverines
  • Beavers
  • River otters
  • Lynxes
  • Bobcats
  • Gray wolves
  • Elk
  • Whitetail deer
  • Mule deer
  • Grizzly bears
  • Black bears
  • Bald eagles
  • Falcons
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Grouse
  • Woodpeckers
  • Steller’s jays
  • Clark’s nutcracker
  • Camp robbers
  • Chickadees
  • Nuthatches

Be prepared as you hike and camp, though, with bear spray, proper food storage, and proper attire.

Photography

Photography is a popular activity within the Bob, so if you’re so inclined, bring along your camera equipment.

You might catch some amazing shots of wildlife, wildflowers, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, and more as you make your way to Lange Falls.

Fishing

Fishing is another popular activity throughout the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Cutthroat and bull trout are plentiful, with other species available as well.

Unless you’re highly experienced and know the area well, you’ll likely want to hire a guide for a fishing trip (partial, dull, or multi-day trips available) for finding the best fishing spots and knowing all the ins and outs of Bob Marshall fishing.

Trail Running

If you’re a trail runner, rejoice in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex! There are many suitable trails for your running adventures. Check the Trail Run Project and All Trails for the best trails to visit.

Horseback Riding

You can horseback ride to Lange Falls, as well as many other locations with the wilderness complex. Bring your own horse, if you have one, and set up camp nearby, or camp out along the route if you’re taking a multi-day trip.

Or hire a guide for a packing trip, a single-day ride, or a partial day ride – whatever best suits your trail riding fancies. Many outfitters in the area provide varying length trips, including

Hunting

Unlike most national parks and state parks, hunting is permitted in portions of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Various game may be hunted, ranging from wolves to elk and black bear to deer and smaller game like rabbits.

You’ll need proper licensing and to follow the hunting season schedule accordingly to safely and legally hunt within the wilderness.

Many folks prefer an organized hunting trip with guides to help take care of the paperwork and other similar matters. Some of the best outfitters for this include

Camping

camping

Camping is permitted in various locations throughout the Bob, including many RV parks and designated campgrounds, backcountry camping, and tent sites.

The wilderness area has six specific campgrounds where you can park and set up, but outfitters know great spots for pitching a tent along the way if you’re taking a trip.

Hotels and Cabin Rentals

Lodging in and around the Bob is plentiful, with everything from luxury resorts to low-key motels available, all with high ratings. You can also rent a cabin from Vrbo or individuals’ listings on Trip.com.

These are some of the highest-rated options around.

Museums and Educational Programs

Around the area, there are many museums and galleries to visit to learn about the history and culture of the area, as well as to simply enjoy the beauty and intrigue of the world of Montana in small portions.

Be sure to plan for plenty of time for both driving to the locations as well as spending time in each museum that intrigues you.

Trail Routes to Lange Falls

There appears to be only one route by which you may reach Lange Falls. If additional routes exist, they are not prevalent on maps.

Lange Creek Tail

lange creek tail

The Lange Creek Trail appears to be the only hiking trail that brings you near Lange Falls. The trail is 11.9 miles long and is only accessible by hiking, horseback riding, and skiing.

If you intend to camp out on the trail, there is an indication that backcountry camping is permissible, though you will need to check into camping permits to see whether or not you require a temporary permit.

The hiking trail is considered moderately challenging and is an out-and-back trail that leads to an area where you’ll find an existing bushwhack trail or two along the way, heading to the falls.

The trail may not be particularly noticeable, depending on the season, so it’s highly recommended that you bring along a topographical map and check your location via it and GPS.

Because the trail is a less frequented trail, it is also advisable that you do not hike alone and that you bring emergency gear with you, including emergency blankets, extra water, water purification options, extra food, and flashlights. Ideally, pack a solar power bank to recharge your cellphone, in case of emergency.

  • Distance: 11.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,280 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderately challenging
  • Trail type: Out and back
  • Notes: The trail is unpaved and suitable for hiking, trail running, horseback riding, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing. Mountain biking is not permitted on the trail.

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