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Shower Falls, Gallatin County

Shower Falls is one of 9 waterfalls that can be viewed from the Hyalite Lake trail. Though not the largest of the 9 waterfalls, Shower Falls is one of the prettiest along Hyalite Creek.

Shower Falls is located in the Gallatin Mountains just to the south of Bozeman Montana. The Hyalite Canyon area is quite popular for recreation as it is so close to one of Montana’s largest cities.  Shower Falls is the fourth waterfall on Hyalite Creek as you head up the Hyalite Lake Trail.

Shower Falls, Gallatin County

Shower Falls fits its name perfectly. This spot is a nice place to cool off as you are progressing along the Hyalite Lake trail. Water tumbles over a volcanic rock ledge creating a “shower” effect. The falls are easily accessible from the trail, and many people stand under the water to cool down.

Shower Falls Statistics

shower falls statistics

  • Elevation: 8,200 feet
  • Height: Unknown
  • Trailhead: Hyalite Lake Trail
  • Season (when can it be accessed): Year Round

Things to Do Near Shower Falls

things to do near shower falls

Hyalite Canyon is one of the most popular recreational areas near Bozeman, MT. As such there are tons of great activities for visitors to the area to participate in.

Hiking

The Hyalite Canyon area has numerous hiking trails that vary from super accessible to very difficult.

Trails near Shower Falls give hikers the opportunity to summit some of the peaks in the Gallatin Range, while others provide relaxed hikes around Hyalite Reservoir.

Hyalite Canyon also has one of the few wheelchair-accessible trails in Montana, that are not located in either Glacier or Yellowstone National Park.

Camping

Shower Falls are located in the Custer Gallatin National Forest which provides plenty of camping opportunities. In the Hyalite Canyon area, there are two developed National Forest campgrounds.

Sites at these campgrounds can be reserved in advance. The sites are able to accommodate tents and RVs, though sites may not have RV hook-ups for power, water, and sewer.

For visitors that are looking for a quieter camping experience, the Forest Service offers dispersed camping on any non-wilderness lands. This includes backcountry camping locations that are only accessible on foot.

Additionally, there are plenty of campgrounds and RV parks in the areas surrounding Bozeman as well as near the border with Wyoming in close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.

Skiing/Snowshoeing

Many of the trails in the area of Shower Falls are open all year round. This makes the trails ideal for cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.

Most Forest Service trails are multi-use so you’ll find that the trails around Shower Falls are as busy during the winter months as they are in the spring and summer.

Near Hyalite Reservoir there is a designated cross-country ski area that is popular for Bozeman locals. This trail system wanders through some of the open areas around Hyalite Reservoir.

This area is fairly flat, making for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing that is ideal for all experience levels.

Fishing

The Bozeman area is one of the most popular parts of the state for fishing. With numerous streams, creeks, and rivers as well as accessible lakes and reservoirs, there are plenty of opportunities for fishing near Shower Falls.

Hyalite Creek is a great spot for fly fishing as it approaches Hyalite Reservoir. The stream becomes deeper and slows down, making it a great spot to try your luck at catching one of Montana’s renowned trout.

Hyalite Reservoir is another great place to fish near Shower Falls. This reservoir offers locations for both fly fishing and bait casting.

Before you cast your first line, make sure that you have a current fishing license. Montana fishing licenses can be purchased through the  Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks website.

Can You Swim at Shower Falls

Shower Falls is not a great place for swimming. The falls do not have a pool that is accessible for swimming or even wading.

Many people like to take a “shower” in Shower Falls since it is easy to access the falls directly and stand under the flow of water.

Where to Stay Near Shower Falls

Because of the proximity of Shower Falls to Bozeman, there are plenty of lodging options. In the area of Shower Falls, you’ll find hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, cabins, campgrounds, and RV parks.

Trail Routes Near Shower Falls

Hyalite Canyon offers a number of multi-use trails near Shower Falls. The area is located within the Custer Gallatin National Forest, which maintains many trails in the area.

Trails near Shower Falls are frequently multi-use so expect to encounter equestrians and mountain bikers while hiking.

Hyalite Creek to Hyalite Lake

hyalite creek
Image: Eric Gross

This is the trail that you’ll use to access Shower Falls. Along Hyalite Creek you’ll pass 9 waterfalls, including Shower Falls.

The hike is relatively flat and moderately difficult until you reach the climb to Hyalite Lake. This section of the trail is fairly steep and has many switchbacks. Traveling to Hyalite Lake is a 10.9-mile out and back hike.

The trail splits at Hyalite Lake which is a small lake at the base of Hyalite and Fridley Peaks. From this point, you can take additional trails through the National Forest.

The beginning section of this trail, closest to the trailhead, has been made wheelchair accessible to the base of Grotto Falls. This portion of the trail is quite busy, especially on the weekends.

West Shore and Crescent Lake Loop

This 3.3 mile loop trail follows along the shore of Hyalite Reservoir. It is a nice hike for families since it is well-maintained and fairly flat.

There are only 347 feet of elevation gain along the complete loop. This loop is quite popular for locals, so do expect to see plenty of people on the trail.

Palisade Falls

palisade falls
Image: Troy Smith

Palisade Falls is another nice waterfall in the area of Shower Falls. To reach this waterfall, you’ll access the Paradise Falls trail from the Palisade Falls Picnic area. The trail is relatively easy, with only 239 feet of elevation gain.

The trail is a 1.1-mile out and back hike. Palisade Falls is fairly tall so they are an impressive site at the end of the trail.

Hood Creek Trail

Hood Creek is another small creek that feeds into Hyalite Reservoir. The trail along Hood Creek is a nice trail for families with older children and it is heavily used by area trail runners.

The trailhead for the Hood Creek trail is located along Forest Road 62 which runs along the eastern side of Hyalite Reservoir.

The trail is a 4-mile out and back trail with 843 feet of elevation gain. The trail summits on a peaceful overlook where you’ll have great views of Hyalite Reservoir and Hyalite Canyon.

Grotto Falls

grotto falls

Grotto Falls trail is a very easy hike from the Hyalite Lake trailhead to the base of Grotto Falls. This trail has been maintained as a wheelchair-accessible trail, allowing differently-abled individuals to enjoy the forest experience.

The trail is 2.4 miles out and back, with 278 feet of elevation gain. The trail is not paved, but it is wide and smooth, allowing easy access to Grotto Falls for a variety of visitors to the area.

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