Great Falls – Not So Great During The Summer

Sorry I left you hanging. The past few weeks I’ve been distracted by my family. Specifically my grand children who have once again met me on my travels South. Being with them always reminds me just how much I miss them when traveling around as I do.  But more of that soon.

Travel Journal – July 21, 2016

Missouri River - Great FallsShould you go to Great Falls? Yes. Is this a beautiful city? Yes. Is there a lot of history? Yes. Are the waterfalls spectacular? Not as great as I imagined. Will I return? Yes, probably in the next couple of years. I would like to see the falls in the Springtime when the Missouri River is full of the Winter’s run off. 

The series of waterfalls were first made famous during the travels of the Lewis and Clark excursion in the early 1800’s. As they proceeded up the Missouri River their movement was was stopped dead in it tracks by the Great Falls, in what they soon found were five great waterfalls. At that point they had to leave the river, porting their canoes and equipment around not only the great waterfall, but four more major waterfalls. Their trek took over a month. Lewis wrote in his journal “they (the falls) were the grandest sight he’d beheld thus far in the journey”.

On their trip West they came upon the Big Falls (or Great Falls), with a height of about 96 feet. after climbing a hill they learned there were four more falls. Crooked Falls (or Horseshoe Falls at about 19 feet), Rainbow Falls (about 44 feet), Colter Falls (about 6 feet) which is seldom visible due to the Rainbow Dam and finally Black Eagle Falls (about 26 feet).

Great Falls Montana - The Ryan DamGreat Falls waterfall was the most spectacular of the group of falls during our visit. Jagger and I went to the park on an island right below the Ryan Dam at the Great Falls waterfall. A nice park reached by crossing a suspended foot bridge over part of the dams overflow. When we visited there was a wedding setting up for a ceremony later in the day. I grabbed a few pictures and again tried to image the Great Falls without the dam.

Cruising The City

West of the city of Great Falls, the Missouri River drops a total of 612 feet. Jagger and I made several trips out of Great Falls, exploring as much as we could in just a few short days. On one of our trips I stopped at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls. It’s built along the Missouri River just outside the congestion of the city. There I learned more about Lewis and Clark’s adventures in the area. Many displays including dioramas and artifacts. Outdoors, along the river they had hands on demonstrations on using flint to start a campfire and putting up a full size teepee.

As we cruised through the city we passed the Charles M. Russell museum complex. I wasn’t in the mood to go through an art exhibit, but my neighbors here said it was well worth the entrance fee. Great Falls seems like a nice city, with some older areas mostly well kept. Many areas are built right on the river. Jagger and I visited several beautiful community parks right on the river at sunset for our walk.

Our stay at Dick’s RV Park, Great Falls was adequate. Not my favorite type of camp, due to the closeness of your neighbors. Most staying here were for just a few nights, but there were a few “long term campers”. The park was an older. very large RV park right in the city. There is not too many choices I’m aware of close by the city. If you are interested a link below has my full review.

Jagger and I are moving on after a short four day stay. We have a lot to see as we turn, heading back West to our Montana home.

More Photos: Great Falls Montana

Review: Dick’s RV Park

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