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Martin Falls, Flathead County

Martin Falls is located in Flathead National Forest, along Martin Creek (giving the falls their name). There isn’t a lot written about the falls online, but you can catch some photos on Place and See. The rushing falls cascade down the hills, tripping over logs and stones through the forest setting along Martin Creek.

If you want to camp near the falls, the Martin Falls Campground offers primitive sites, while the Martin Creek Campground a farther distance away has 7 campsites with RV and vehicle access, potable water, and similar amenities.

Martin Falls, Flathead County

Martin Falls is tucked away into Flathead National Forest, with a primitive campground nearby, and reasonably accessible by foot. The waterfall is officially “unconfirmed” by the Worldwide Waterfall Database, but this simply means it hasn’t been officially documented by someone for the database.

martin falls stats

Martin Falls Stats

  • Location: Flathead National Forest, Flathead County, Montana
  • Latitude: 48.5669093°
  • Longitude: -114.6862577°
  • Stream: Martin Creek
  • Season: Mid-spring to mid-autumn
  • Campgrounds and RV parks nearby: 20+ campgrounds located within the park or nearby, with hundreds of sites available.

Recreational Activities Around Martin Falls

If you’re not sure what things to do at Martin Falls, you’ll be happy to learn that practically any outdoor sport and activity is an option nearby.

The falls themselves offer beautiful photography, wildlife viewing, and similar low-key activities while surrounding areas offer more active recreation opportunities.

Swimming

If you’re wondering, can you swim in Martin Falls, the answer is no. The falls are not suitable for swimming, nor is it recommended ever to swim in waterfalls.

Waterfalls create an intense undercurrent which is dangerous for swimmers, even those with safety gear.

Instead, choose slower-moving bodies of water, like streams and lakes. Check out the many lakes, rivers, and streams within the Flathead National Forest or nearby Glacier National Park, where many sparkling (albeit cold!) bodies of water are appropriate for swimmers of varying levels.

Boating

Throughout both Flathead National Forest and nearby Glacier National Park, boating is a popular sport. From canoeing and kayaking to motorboats and paddle boarding, equipment is available from various outfitters nearby, as well, in case you don’t own your own gear.

Be sure to follow all restrictions and standards at the various bodies of water nearby, and never swim alone. There are no lifeguards on duty.

Some of the local outfitters and guides include

White Water Rafting

Near Martin Falls and Creek, you’ll find many guided white water rafting opportunities. If you own your own equipment and have experience and companions, you can also find many access points along the various rivers and streams throughout the region.

If you’re going with a guide, be sure to check out the various add-ons for the trips. Many offer meals, snacks, lodging, and camping packages for their partial, single, and multi-day trips.

For best-rated trips, check out:

Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing

bird and wildlife viewing

Within both Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park in Flathead County, you’ll find many wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.

The large game, small animals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are plentiful throughout the protected area, so bring your camera! You just might spot a once-in-a-lifetime furry or feathered friend on the trail!

  • American dippers
  • Bald eagles
  • Mountain goats
  • Bats
  • Beavers
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Black bear
  • Clark’s nutcrackers
  • Common loons
  • Coyotes
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Grizzly bear
  • Northern hawk owls
  • Ospreys
  • Pikas
  • Ptarmigans
  • Swifts
  • Wolverines
  • Harlequin ducks
  • Lynx
  • Marmots
  • Moose
  • Mountain lions

Scenic Drives

scenic drives

After your adventures at Martin Falls, you may wish to see the many beautiful vistas within the forest or nearby Glacier National Park.

Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time for slow driving so that you can enjoy the scenery thoroughly and snapshots or hop out and explore trails along the way.

For Glacier NP goers, you have the option of booking a Red Bus tour if you don’t want to drive and keep your eyes peeled. The tours book up fast, though, so prepare ahead of time and book in before you get there to guarantee a ride!

If you’re going to Glacier, be aware that there are entry fees.

Photography

Throughout the region, you’ll find many incredible opportunities for nature photography. Within the forest and parks, you’ll find lush meadows, forested paths, wildlife, wildflowers, scenic overlooks, rivers, streams, lakes, and, of course, waterfalls, all worth photo-taking breaks.

Be sure to bring plenty of memory cards and batteries, though, so you don’t run out before you snag all the shots you want.

Other Water Sports

On the many lakes in the area, you’ll also find a variety of other water sports, ranging from waterskiing to paddle boarding, wakeboarding, knee boarding, or kiteboarding. You’ll find many of the same boating outfitters rent this equipment.

Fishing

fishing

You’ll find plenty of fishing opportunities in and around Martin Falls. Be sure to have proper licensure or book a guide to help you prepare.

You may want to book a guide, anyway, to help you find the best fishing locations in the park and forest. Both Glacier Guides and Get Your Guide offer great fishing trips to the many lakes, streams, and rivers in the area where you’ll find trout, salmon, and many other species.

Cycling

Many of the trails throughout Flathead and Glacier double as off-road biking trails. Be sure to check ratings, elevation gain, and similar elements about a trail before heading out, though, as many are not suitable for cycling.

To find the best trails in Flathead, check out the MTB Project or All Trails. For Glacier check out MTB Project or consider booking a lift-access ride with Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Trail Running

Trail running is a popular activity throughout both Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. Similar to mountain biking, though, you’ll want to check the difficulty levels of the trail, any obstacle notes, maintenance levels, and elevation gains before you set out.

Both Great Runs and All Trails offer great lists of running trails in Glacier National Park. For Flathead National Forest, check out these guides on All Trails and Trail Run Project.

Horseback Riding

Get out your jeans and chaps, because horseback riding is a great option in Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. You’ll find many trail ride options available, ranging from one-hour casual rides to overnight pack trips.

Swan Mountain Outfitters, has three stables within Glacier National Park: Many Glacier, Apgar, and Lake McDonald. Other companies in the area include Rich Ranch, Big Sky Safaris, Dunrovin Ranch, and Adventure Missoula.

Camping

Martin Falls Campground is located near the falls. It is primitive camping only, with toilets but no showers, no running water, and no electricity available at the sites or grounds.

Nearby at Martin Creek Campgrounds, you’ll find more amenities and RV spots. And at the 20+ other campgrounds nearby, you’ll find a range of options for camping, ranging from RV hookups with all the amenities to backcountry campsites where you pitch a tent along the trail.

Wherever you camp, you will need to take precautions against wildlife, including protecting your food with bear-safe lockers.

Hotels and Cabin Rentals

Since both the forest and the nearby parks are extremely popular tourist destinations for both American and international visitors, you’ll find many, many places to lodge.

During peak season (May to late September), you’ll want to book ahead to guarantee a comfortable spot for the night, though! The lodging around here fills up fast.

If you’re looking for a spot within Glacier National Park, the Many Glacier Hotel is a popular choice. Otherwise, the following rentals, lodges, motels, and hotels are great choices.

Museums and Educational Programs

Montana is a place of natural wonder and natural history, with incredible tales of survival, beauty, exploration, and discovery.

If you enjoy museums and galleries, you’ll find more opportunities than you could possibly partake of while visiting!

Trail Routes

trail routes

Martin Falls appears to be a roadside waterfall within the Flathead National Forest. No apparent trails lead to the waterfall, however, there is likely a bushwhack trail from the road on either side of the u-shaped portion of National Forest Development Road #910.

The more likely entry visible would be on the eastern side of the road, as the waterfall is a little closer to that half of the curve in the road.

There is also likely a walking path or short trail from the Martin Falls Campground to the waterfall. The best recommendation for finding this would be to look for signage within the campgrounds.

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