We took a 5 day, 4 night camping trip through central and northwestern Montana and even jaunted into eastern Idaho for our big family adventure this summer. Our first stop was Great Falls.
Great Falls was found by Lewis and Clark on their expedition through what is now Montana in 1805. There are actually 5 different waterfalls in the area. Only 1 of the falls remains in its natural state today as the other 4 have been dammed. The area was not settled until the 1880s. Because of its proximity to the Missouri River it became a prospering area in the early 1900s. It is now the third largest city in Montana.
Our favorite stop was Giant Springs State Park. There is a fish hatchery right on the Missouri River, a bridge between the Giant Spring and the Missouri River, a nature trail that the kids loved, as well as a nice park with a playground and picnic tables. A fun fact is that the Giant Springs produces the shortest river in the world, Roe River, that runs into the Missouri River.
We also drove out of town to see the official Great Falls which has been turned into Ryan Dam. There was a suspension bridge that only 6 people could walk on at once to cross over to the island from which you could see the waterfall/dam. Although it was memorable, everyone was disappointed to see the waterfalls turned into a dam instead.
We had a very enjoyable afternoon visiting Great Falls and I am sure we return again sometime.
Next Stop: Valier on the way to Glacier National Park.