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Morrell Falls, Montana

Morrell Falls are some of the most popular waterfalls in Montana. Located in the Swan Mountains in the heart of the Lolo National Forest, this is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy a beautiful waterfall.

The hike to Morrell Falls is an easy 5.5-mile out and back hike. The trail only has 150 feet of elevation gain so it is perfect for families and pets. The trail is a national recreation trail, a designation it has held for many years. 

Once you reach the falls, there is a short, steep trail access to the top of the falls which provides excellent views. 

Morrell Falls and the trail are in the Seeley Lake area. The most difficult part of the trail is locating the trailhead. The hike to the falls starts at the end of Morrell Falls Road. 

There is good parking at this location, once you find it. From Condon, MT you’ll access the trailhead and Morrell Falls from Highway 83 and Morrell Creek Road.

This area is popular for wildlife viewing. It is also located in grizzly bear country. Even though the hike is short, it is a good idea to bring bear spray and be aware of safe travel practices in bear country.

morrell falls
Image: Irene’s Pics

Morrell Falls Statistics

  • Elevation: 4,840 feet 
  • Height: 90 feet, double falls
  • Trailhead: Morrell Falls Trail
  • Season (when can it be accessed): Year-round.

Recreational Activities Near Morrell Falls

Besides the falls, there are plenty of other things to see and do around Morrell Falls.

Hiking

hiking

Hiking is a very popular activity in the Morrell Falls area. Besides the Morrell Falls National Recreation Trail, there are a number of other trails in the area. Most of the popular trails are located on Forest Service lands so they are multi-use trails. 

Many of the trails are popular with mountain bikers and are accessible during the winter for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Camping

Camping is very popular in the Morrell Falls area and the Flathead Valley. At Morrell Lake, approximately 1-mile from the Morrell Falls trailhead there are a number of dispersed camping sites.

There are also dispersed camping sites that can be accessed along the Forest Service road you’ll travel to the Morrell Falls trailhead. 

Additionally, there are numerous developed campgrounds located in the Flathead Valley that are great for families and RV owners.

Both private and public campgrounds will charge a fee, and because this part of Montana is very popular with tourists, you’ll want to reserve your camping spots early.

Fishing

fishing

Try your hand at fishing at one of the many lakes in the Flathead Valley. Morrell Lake is a great place to fly fish and cast fish from the shore. You’ll have better luck with fishing at Morrell Lake in the early morning or late afternoon when the crowds are smaller. 

This is a fairly small lake, so don’t expect to catch trophy-size fish. If you’re looking for a larger catch, many of the lakes in the Flathead Valley are well stocked.

If you want to cast your line and try your hand at fishing, you will need to purchase a Montana fishing license. They can be purchased from the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks website. 

Snowmobiling

The trail to Morrell Falls, though designated as a non-motorized trail in the summer, is open to snowmobiles starting on December 1st of each year.

With heavy snowfalls many of the Forest Service roads that wind through the Swan Mountains are impassable to vehicles, so they become heavily used by snowmobilers. 

Before you head out on your snowmobile, make sure you are aware of snowmobiling rules, and regulations as well as be aware of Forest Service and private property boundaries.

Trail Routes Near Morrell Falls

Morrell Falls National Recreation Trail

The Morrell Falls National Recreation Trail is considered an easy hike that is great for kids and pets. With just 456 feet of elevation gain over the 5.5 miles, this hike is accessible to all levels of hikers. 

The trail follows near Morrell Creek, and starts at the end of Morrell Falls Road. The trail ends at Morrell Falls, a nice 90-foot double waterfall.  The trail is popular for wildlife and wildflower viewing.

Pyramid Lake

This hike is great for individuals that are looking for a beginner-level backpacking trip. This trail is 10-miles out and back, offering a moderately challenging hike that is best for more experienced hikers. 

The trail has approximately 1,961 feet of elevation gain including a few pretty steep climbs and many switchbacks. There are also a few designated camping sites at the end of the trail. 

Portions of the trail and Pyramid Lake are in burn areas, with minimal shade. Make sure to bring sunscreen on your hike. 

east of falls park
Image: Jerry

Boy Scout Bridge to Seeley Lake

Though short, this trail is considered to be a bit more challenging than some of the other short trails in the Seeley Lake area. At just 1.9-miles out and back, this trail is great for kids and beginner hikers. 

The trail walks you to Seeley Lake, one of the more prominent lakes in the Flathead Valley. From the lake, you’ll have great views of the Swan Mountains.

Lake Dinah

Lake Dina Trail is a great walk if you enjoy some lakeside views. The trailhead starts near Lake Elsina. You’ll follow the shoreline of Lake Elsina for about a mile and then you cross into a beautiful meadow. 

This trail is not as well known as others in the area, but it is well-maintained and easy to follow. The trail is 4.4 miles, out and back, with a modest 751 feet of elevation gain.

It’s a moderately easy trail for most hikers. The trail ends at Lake Dinah which is a nice spot for a picnic lunch.

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