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Monture Falls, Powell County

Monture Falls is a beautiful, backcountry waterfall, nestled deep within the Lolo National Forest in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Powell County, Montana.

The waterfall is only accessible by hiking, horseback riding, trail running, or cycling along an unpaved trail that follows Monture Creek through the forest.

You’ll reach the falls via the Monture Creek Trail, heading out from the Monture Creek Campground in the forest. The waterfall is at an elevation of 5446 feet, but not much else is known about this remote waterfall.

It has been confirmed on the World Waterfall Database, though, as existing, in this location, at this elevation, along this trail.

Monture Falls, Powell County – Guide

If you’re ready for some backcountry adventure and want to catch glimpses of beautiful scenery along the way, with stunning waterfalls to follow, the Monture Falls in Lolo National Forest is a great option.

Monture Falls Stats

monture falls stats

  • Location: Backcountry, Lolo National Forest, Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Powell County, Montana
  • Latitude: 47.26442
  • Longitude: -113.17597
  • Stream: Monture Creek
  • Elevation: 5446 feet
  • Best season: Late spring and mid-autumn, winter for frozen falls
  • Campgrounds and RV parks nearby: 20+ campgrounds nearby, plus designated and undesignated backcountry campsites throughout the area

Recreational Activities Near Monture Falls

In Lolo National Forest and nearby in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, you’ll find more outdoor activities and recreational pursuits than you could ever enjoy in a lifetime.

From winter sports like cross country skiing and summer sports like water skiing, it’s all here and available for those who love adventure.

Winter Sports

Throughout Lolo and the Bob, as the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is affectionately known, you’ll find many wintertime activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, ice skating, snowmobiling, and more.

Before heading out on any trails, though, be sure to check information on recommendations for the trail and any restrictions, as some will not be suitable for given sports.

Swimming

Can you swim in Monture Falls? While you may decide to opt for a swim in Monture Creek, it’s not recommended that you swim in Monture Falls. Waterfalls create an undercurrent that can grab you, sweep you under, and put you in severe danger.

Instead, choose creeks, slower-moving rivers, lakes, and quiet pools to swim in. These will be much safer. But do always go swimming with companions as there are no lifeguards on duty in and around the area, except in strictly designated locations at specific times.

White Water Rafting

There are many white water rafting opportunities through this region of Montana, from spots in the Bob to Glacier National Park not too far off.

If you’re highly experienced and have your own equipment and rafting companions, you may set out on your own adventures, with backcountry camping and portage or a simple day trip.

If you’re not well-versed in your rafting skills, though, or don’t have equipment of your own, there are many companies in the area that provide multiple packages to choose from.

Some included snacks or meals, while others include lodging or camping for longer trips. Be sure to check out the various trips available on their websites to choose the right option for you.

Boating

boating

Boating in and around Lolo National Forest is a popular option. Many rivers, streams, and lakes make for great boating locations, whether you’re into paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, motorboats, or casual pontoon floats.

Some of the more popular locations in the Bob include Flathead Lake and Corridor, Swan Lake, Salmon Lake, Placid Lake, Hungry Horse Reservoir, and Noxon Reservoir.

Provide your own boat, rent from a company in the area, or book a tour if you want the water without the work.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife and birds abound within Lolo, Glacier, and all the other parks, forests, and recreations nearby. While you’re hiking to Monture Falls or boating on Lake McDonald, you’re likely to catch glimpses of many of them.

Some of the most commonly seen species include

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

Scenic Drives

Lolo National Forest is home to many stunning views, beautiful vistas, and incredible natural beauty. You may opt to take some time to drive through the forest, breathing in the fresh air as you take in the sights.

You can pop over to Flathead National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, or Glacier National Park to take in many more.

Or if driving doesn’t appeal, you can book tours like the Red Bus tour in Glacier NP for a few hours of glorious views. Be sure to book early, though, as tours tend to fill up fast.

Photography

Whether you’re a photographer or a casual Instagrammer, you’ll find that photography is almost a must in Lolo National Forest and surrounding areas.

With all the waterfalls, vistas, wildlife and wildflowers, mountain peaks, and glaciers around, you’ll want to snag photos of your favorite spots.

Be sure to bring along plenty of memory for your phone or camera, and batteries or power banks to switch out or recharge.

Fishing

Both Glacier Guides and Get Your Guide are great places to find an experienced fishing guide to take you through the forests and parks nearby.

They know all the ins and outs of fishing in the area, including any licenses required, the best gear for the area, where to find the fish species you’re interested in, and more.

If you’d rather head out on your own, though, you’re more than welcome to, with some highly recommended locations including:

Do be aware that some bodies of water are strictly closed to fishing, however, so check ahead before you venture out.

Other Water Sports

Out on the lakes and rivers, you’ll find folks doing other water sports like paddle boarding and water skiing. Feel free to bring your own gear or rent from a local outfitter for any of the popular water sports, including

  • Waterskiing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Wakeboarding
  • Kneeboarding
  • Kiteboarding

Cycling

Many of the hiking trails in and around Monture Falls and Monture Creek within Flathead, Lolo, Glacier, and Kootenai double as fantastic cycling trails. No motorized bikes are permitted on these mountain trails, however, but they’re great for mountain bikes and some hybrids.

To find the best trails, check out

Trail Running

trail running

Trail running is also a fantastic option within the area. Many of the trails are rated excellent for running. Be sure to check the elevation, difficulty ratings, and any recommendations or precautions given on the following sites:

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is another popular option in and around Monture Creek in Lolo National Forest. Many of the trails within the forest and nearby parks welcome our equine friends and their riders, with many outfitters offering exciting trail ride opportunities and trips.

The companies typically offer various trail ride packages, as well, including short rides, partial day rides, full day rides, and multi-day rides, some with add-ons and extras like wine tasting, meals, or specialty guides.

Camping

Campgrounds and individual sites are available throughout the area. There’s also a campground near Monture Creek (where you’ll start the hike to Monture Falls). The campground here is a no-fee campground, with open grassy areas and large ponderosa pines clustered nearby.

The trailhead for the Monture Creek Trail is adjacent to the grounds, with fishing access, and public stock facilities available.

No water is available at the campgrounds, and no reservations are possible. Instead, pull in as early as you can set up to ensure yourself a site for the night. The campground is open from May to September and tends to have light usage, so you are likely to get a spot if you don’t come too late in the day.

There is a vault toilet nearby and each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table.

Hotels and Cabin Rentals

cabin rental

Pretty much all of northwestern Montana is a tourist destination, with the many national parks, national forests, and recreation areas like the Bob. Because of this, you’ll find plenty of lodging options, including hotels, motels, cabins, glamping sites, and more.

During peak season, the lodging around here does tend to fill up pretty quickly, though, so be sure to book in advance.

Some of the most popular rentals and rooms may be found at

Museums and Educational Programs

The entire region is a haven of learning and exploration, from the historical records and artifacts of First Nations people of the area to early settlers from European backgrounds, to the more modern history and programs and art of contemporaries.

You’ll find museums, galleries, and educational centers throughout the region, including some of the most popular:

Trail Routes

trail routes monture

There is one specific trail that provides excellent access to the Monture Falls. The Monture Creek Trail is accessible via the Monture Creek Trailhead at the Campground of the same name.

Monture Creek Trail from the Monture Creek Campground

According to blogging hikers at Snowshoe Mag, the Monture Creek Trail begins as a two-track road that narrows to a single track after heading out of the campground area.

As you make your way along the trail, you will find other trails crossing and intersecting with the main trail (beginning at about 0.5 miles in). You will eventually find a log bridge that crosses Falls Creek. There are some lovely picnic spots in this area beyond the bridge, where hikers often stop for a while.

At the bridge, you will find the trail splits again. Take the left route to remain on the Monture Creek Trail. The trail gradually climbs but the terrain is fairly consistent with the rest of the trail behind.

If you’re not sure which one to take, remember that Monture Creek is milder than the much steeper Falls Creek Trail to the right.

  • Distance: Unknown
  • Elevation Gain: Mild to moderate
  • Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
  • Trail type: Out and back
  • Notes: Not much is specifically listed about this trail, but other trails with similar names (Monture Trail, for example) have more information. To find the waterfall, be sure you are on the Monture Creek Trail that heads out from the Campground.

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