21 Incredible Glacier National Park Waterfalls To See

There are over 200 Glacier National Park waterfalls. Each offering a unique hiking experience. Some can be seen from your vehicle, some require a short hike, and some will take a full day to reach. 

I visited Glacier National Park and my favorite waterfall hike was Avalanche Lake. Even though I visited later in the season (September), Weeping Wall was still flowing, a nice surprise for your drive along the Going-To-The-Sun Road.

During my trip across the country, visiting many National Parks, I’ve found that Glacier National Park waterfalls are some of the most accessible, impressive and enjoyable. There’s something for everyone on this list of 21 incredible Glacier National Park waterfalls.

Know Before You Go: Glacier National Park


Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit Glacier National Park is between July-September when the weather is favorable and the trails are open. 
Going-To-The-Sun Road, the only road that cuts through the park and connects the East and West sides, does not open until July each year. Many of the hiking trails on this list are only accessible via GTS road. 
If you’re interested in Glacier National Park waterfalls then July is the best time to visit, when snowmelt is best. 
If you’re hoping to avoid crowds I recommend going to Glacier National Park in September, after Labor Day (this is what I did).


Where To Stay: There are 13 campgrounds with over 1,000 sites to choose from within the park. Some popular ones include Apgar, Many Glacier, and St. Mary. Reservations can be made for some sites, while others are first-come, first-served.
If you prefer to stay outside of the park there are many options on the East and West sides. The West side of the park is more popular and has more options for where to stay at Glacier National Park.


How To Get There: The closest airport is Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), located in Kalispell, Montana, approximately 30 miles west of the West Entrance. However, most people fly into Missoula International Airport (MSO) to save money. MSO is approximately 150 miles south of the park.


How To Get Around: The best way to get around the park is with the free NPS shuttle service. The shuttle only runs during peak season, so if you plan to arrive before July or after Labor Day then you’ll need to bring your own vehicle. No reservations are required for the shuttle. It operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

It’s possible to drive your own car, but you’ll need a timed-entry pass during peak season (more on this below). Driving Going To The Sun road has a vehicle limit of 21 feet long and 8 feet wide. Also keep in mind that parking in Glacier National Park can be extremely challenging year-round. Even during off-peak season I still had trouble finding parking spaces at most trailheads.


Reservation System: Between May 24 – September 8 vehicles entering Glacier National Park are required to have an advanced vehicle reservation. Reservations can be obtained through Reservation.gov up to 6 months in advance on a rolling window.


Safety: Glacier National Park is a safe park, but it has abundant wildlife, including Grizzly bears. Always hike with bear spray readily accessible, and know how to use it.


Entrance Fees: Glacier National Park entrance fees are $35 per vehicle (good for 7 days). During the winter season this pass is only $25 (Nov-Apr).

Map of Glacier National Park Waterfalls

You can save this map of Glacier National Park waterfalls to your Google Maps for easy access during your trip!

Best waterfalls in Glacier National Park

Did you know that there are projected to be over 200 waterfalls in Glacier National Park? The park is massive, and largely remote, so I can believe that they’re not all named or even known.

If you look at the map of Glacier National Park you’ll notice that most of the trails are along Going To The Sun Road, which cuts through the center of the park and connects the East and West sides, but everything North and South of the road is much more remote with far fewer trails or campsites.

My visit to Glacier National Park was in mid-September, when you typically don’t expect to see many waterfalls after the summer heat dries them up and all the snow from the mountain tops has melted. However, I was excited to see that some of the Glacier National Park waterfalls were still flowing!

Below is a list of 21 Best Glacier National Park waterfalls – they’re all fantastic, but my favorites are Avalanche Lake and Saint Mary Falls.

1 Virginia Falls

Waterfall Drop: 50 feet
Distance: 3.1 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop or St. Mary Falls Trailhead
AllTrails Link: St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail on AllTrails

Virginia Falls, Glacier National Park waterfall
Virginia Falls waterfall in Glacier National Park

Extra Info: The hike to Virginia Falls starts from the St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop. The trail offers views of Dusty Star Mountain, Almost-a-Dog Mountain, and Little Chief Mountain.

Sadly, the area was affected by the Reynolds Creek Fire of 2015, so you’ll pass through a burned section. Before reaching Virginia Falls, you’ll pass two series of cascades and waterfalls that are also worth a stop. For whatever reason, these are still unnamed.

Pro Tip: Parking can be a hassle during the summer, so it’s recommended to arrive early, like really early (close to sunrise), or take the shuttle from Sun Point or Rising Sun. It’s also possible to find parking later in the afternoon, typically after 3pm when the daytime crowds head out to find dinner. 

My Experience: When I visited during the off season parking was still extremely challenging at these small parking lots, so plan for extra time and try to arrive early in the day. Shuttles don’t run for the entire year, typically stopping the first week of September, so if you plan to visit when there isn’t shuttle service your early morning arrival is even more important.

2 St. Mary Falls

Waterfall Drop: 35 feet
Distance: 1.7 miles roundtrip (3.1 miles if you continue to Virginia Falls)
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop or St. Mary Falls Trailhead
AllTrails Link: St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail on AllTrails

St Mary Falls waterfall in Glacier National Park at sunrise
Saint Mary Falls in Glacier National Park

Extra Info: This hike is the same route as the Virginia Falls path and begins at the St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop. You’ll actually pass St Mary Falls before you get to Virginia Falls. Both falls are along Saint Mary Lake.

Alternately, you can start from Sun Point parking lot and pass by Baring Falls on your way to Virginia Falls. This is a good option if parking at St Mary Falls trailhead is full, but it will add about a ½ mile to your hike in each direction.

Parking options for Saint Mary Falls and Virginia Falls waterfalls in Glacier National Park

Pro Tip: Pack a bathing suite! There’s plenty of places along this hike for you to jump in and cool off, and it’s fairly common so you won’t be swimming alone.

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3 Baring Falls

Waterfall Drop: 25 feet
Distance: 1.3 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: Sun Point Parking Lot
AllTrails Link: Baring Falls via Piegan Pass Trail

Bearing Falls waterfall in Glacier National Park
Bearing Falls Glacier National Park waterfall

Extra Info: The hike to Baring Falls starts from Sun Point, following the Piegan Pass Trail. At about 0.5 miles, you’ll reach a junction. Turn left to continue towards the falls.

The waterfall drops about 25 feet over a rock ledge and flows into Saint Mary Lake. The area is good for spotting American dippers, small birds that forage in the water.

Pro Tip: The trail is short and easy, making it a good option for a quick hike. However, parking can be extremely limited, so it’s advisable to arrive early or use the shuttle service.

Because Virginia, St Mary, and Baring Falls are all along the Northwestern side of Saint Mary Lake it’s possible to use different trailheads and parking lots to see the falls. If Saint Mary’s Falls Parking Lot is full (it only has 19 spots) you can also try parking in the pull off .2 miles East of the lot along GTS road or at Siyeh Pass trailhead.

My Experience: While it’ll add some mileage to your hike to Virginia and St Mary Falls, I found that parking was much easier at Sun Point Parking Lot – it’s a much larger lot with lots of spaces, and it even has picnic tables and bathrooms.

4 Running Eagle Falls (aka “Trick Falls”)

Waterfall Drop: 40 feet (upper falls), 20 feet (lower falls)
Distance: 0.7 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Two Medicine
Trailhead: Running Eagle Falls Trailhead
AllTrails Link: Running Eagle Falls Trail on AllTrails

Running Eagle Falls, also known as Trick Falls, waterfall in glacier national park
Running Eagle Falls waterfall in glacier national park

Extra Info: Running Eagle Falls, also known as “Trick Falls,” is located in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. The trail is a wide, well-maintained path suitable for everyone, including those with mobility challenges.

This is one of two handicap accessible trails in Glacier National Park (Trail of the Cedars is the other).

The waterfall has two separate falls: a 40-foot upper falls and a 20-foot lower falls. Depending on when you visit you may be able to see both.

During spring runoff, the upper falls completely or partially obscures the lower falls. By late summer, as water volume decreases, the upper falls “dries up,” and water continues to flow through a sinkhole at the top of the cliff, creating the lower falls. 

The waterfall is named after Pitamakan, or Running Eagle, a female warrior leader of the Blackfeet Nation in the early 1700s.

Pro Tip: The trail is short and accessible, making it a great option for a quick and easy hike. The area offers different vantage points for viewing the waterfall, so feel free to explore around!

5 Redrock Falls

Waterfall Drop: Not specified
Distance: 3.7 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Many Glacier
Trailhead: Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead
AllTrails Link: Redrock Falls via Swiftcurrent Pass Trail on AllTrails

Redrock Falls in Glacier National Park
Redrock waterfalls at glacier national park

Extra Info: The hike to Redrock Falls in Glacier National Park begins from the Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead in Many Glacier, located at the end of the parking area for the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.

I drove into this area during sunrise and wow! The drive in is epically beautiful even before you hit the trail.

The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and passes through areas rich in thimbleberries and huckleberries. You might see a bear or a moose! 

Be Bear Aware

Practicing bear safety on trails, particularly in Grizzly territory, is important for keeping you and the wildlife safe.

Remember to:
Always carry bear spray. You should be able to access your spray in <4 seconds. I keep mine in a holster for easy access.
– Hike in groups of 3 or more people, when possible.
– Make loud noise by singing or shouting ‘hey bear’ so you don’t surprise a bear. I also carry a bear bell on my backpack and my dogs collar for extra noise.

At 1.7 miles, you’ll reach Redrock Lake, providing beautiful views and a glimpse of Redrock Falls on the opposite side of the lake. The trail, mostly shaded, continues along the northern shore of the lake, passing red rock formations that inspired the naming of the lake and falls.

Just over 2 miles along the path you will reach the falls – a series of cascades that are among the more impressive waterfalls in Glacier National Park. 

Pro Tip: This hike is relatively short and flat, making it an excellent choice for families and those looking for a less strenuous adventure. If you have the energy and time, consider extending your hike to visit Bullhead Lake further up the valley, adding another 3 miles and 100 feet of elevation gain to your journey.

I have several hiking friends who said Bullhead Lake was full of Moose on their visit!

Additional Option: The Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead is just ½ mile past the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead. Grinnell Glacier hike is my absolute favorite hike in the United States and the views are breathtaking. Parking can be limited, so I recommend walking down to the trailhead to pick up the Grinnell Glacier Trail.

6 Florence Falls

Waterfall Drop: 100+ feet
Distance: 10 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: Jackson Glacier Overlook
AllTrails Link: Florence Falls via Gunsight Pass and Florence Falls Trail on AllTrails

Florence Falls Glacier National Park
Credit: AllTrails

Extra Info: The hike to Florence Falls in Glacier National Park is moderately strenuous and mostly shaded. Starting from the Jackson Glacier Overlook on the Going-To-The-Sun Road, the trail descends 665 feet in the first 1.2 miles, taking you through thimbleberry patches and areas rich in cow parsnip, a favorite food source for grizzly bears in spring – so be bear aware and have your bear spray easily accessible.

You’ll pass by Deadwood Falls, a beautiful 10-foot waterfall (also on this list), before reaching the Gunsight Pass Trail junction. Turn right here and cross a suspension footbridge to continue towards Florence Falls.

The trail offers stunning views of Dusty Star and Citadel Mountain, and you might even spot a moose in the swampy areas full of willows.

At 3.9 miles, you’ll find a series of cascades, and a side trail on your right leads to Florence Falls, about a mile away. The last mile to the falls is heavily overgrown and you will need to bushwhack a bit.

When you reach the base of Florence Falls, you might need to scramble up the hillside a bit to get a full view of the impressive waterfall as it tumbles down the cliff like a set of steps.

Pro Tip: Given the length and elevation changes of this hike, it’s crucial to be well-prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and bear spray. The trail’s dense vegetation and prime bear habitat make it especially important to be bear aware and practice safe hiking habits.

7 Sacred Dancing Cascade

Waterfall Drop: Not specified
Distance: 0.2 miles roundtrip from pull off or 5.6 mile roundtrip hike from McDonald Lake
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Near the north end of Lake McDonald, Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: Roadside parking area near McDonald Creek or McDonald Lake North end
AllTrails Link: Sacred Dancing Cascades Hike From McDonald Lake

Sacred Dancing Cascade waterfalls in Glacier National Park

Extra Info: Sacred Dancing Cascade is a wide river waterfall located just upstream from a footbridge spanning McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park.

The cascade is easily accessible, requiring only a short 0.2-mile roundtrip hike from a roadside parking area. The trail takes you alongside McDonald Creek to a sturdy bridge, from which you can get a clean upstream view of the waterfall.

If you’d prefer a longer hike, you can pickup the trail at the North end of McDonald Lake. It’s under 6 miles roundtrip and follows the river.

There is some confusion about the name of the waterfall, with some sources possibly mistaking it for McDonald Falls or other nearby cascades (also on this list). However, based on GPS data and official park maps, the waterfall described here is indeed Sacred Dancing Cascade.

Pro Tip: This is a quick and easy stop along the Going-To-The-Sun Road, perfect for stretching your legs and enjoying a beautiful waterfall without a strenuous hike. The area is also near other attractions such as McDonald Falls and the McDonald Creek Overlook, making it a great spot to explore multiple features of the park in a short amount of time.

If you’re also visiting Avalanche Lake or Trail of the Cedars this is a great post-hike stop in the same area of the park.

8 McDonald Falls

Waterfall Drop: Not specified
Distance: Roadside or 1.6 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Near Lake McDonald, Going-To-The-Sun Road
Trailhead: Roadside parking area near McDonald Creek
AllTrails Link: McDonald Creek via Johns Lake on AllTrails

McDonald Falls waterfall at glacier national park

Extra Info: McDonald Falls is a beautiful river waterfall located on the western side of Glacier National Park, easily accessible from the Going-To-The-Sun Road. The waterfall can be viewed from a narrow viewing area, which is reached via a short set of stairs descending from the road. However, the views can be somewhat obstructed depending on where you stand.

Interestingly, the best spot to view McDonald Falls might not be from the official viewing area, but rather from the road before descending the stairs, depending on how thick the obstructing vegetation is at the time of your visit.

The scenery on the west side of Glacier National Park’s Going-To-The-Sun Road, closer to Lake McDonald, is generally considered less dramatic than the east side. However, this area still attracts a lot of visitors, partly due to the popularity of the Avalanche Creek Trail leading up to scenic Avalanche Lake, as well as Apgar Village.

If you’d prefer to hike into McDonald Falls you can follow a 1.6 mile roundtrip path starting at Johns Lake Loop Trailhead.

Pro Tip: Since McDonald Falls is easily accessible from the road, it makes for a quick and easy stop to enjoy the beauty of Glacier National Park without the need for a strenuous hike. It’s a great spot for photography, and its proximity to other attractions in the area makes it a convenient choice for those looking to explore multiple features of the park in a short amount of time.

9 Apikuni Falls

Waterfall Drop: Over 100 feet
Distance: 1.8 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Many Glacier, near Poia Lake Trailhead
Trailhead: Poia Lake Trailhead
AllTrails Link: Apikuni Falls Trail via Appekunny Creek Trail on AllTrails

Apikuni Falls waterfalls at glacier national park

Extra Info: Apikuni Falls, also spelled “Appekunny Falls,” is a stunning waterfall located in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park.

In my experience, the Many Glacier area of the park is the most scenic. 

The trail to the falls begins from the Poia Lake Trailhead and is almost completely uphill. The hike is relatively short but does involve a steep ascent, with an elevation gain of about 625 feet.

You can get close enough to the waterfall to touch it – but you’ll need to scramble some boulders in order to reach it. If you’re lucky you may even see bears, bighorn sheep or moose on this trail.

The name “Apikuni” comes from the Indian name given to James Willard Schultz, a noted author, explorer, guide, and historian of the Blackfoot Indians.

Pro Tip: The parking area at the trailhead is quite small, with space for only about 12 cars, so it’s a good idea to get there early to secure a spot.

With a major increase in traffic to Glacier National Park since 2020 the park is often overwhelmed with vehicles it wasn’t built to accommodate, especially in the summer months.

10 Rockwell Falls

Waterfall Drop: 30-40 feet
Distance: 6.6 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Two Medicine
Trailhead: South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake
AllTrails Link: Rockwell Falls Trail on AllTrails

Rockwell Falls waterfalls at glacier national park

Extra Info: Rockwell Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. The hike to the falls begins from the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lake.

Next, the trail takes you through a variety of landscapes, including beaver ponds, montane forests, meadows, and across a suspension footbridge over Paradise Creek.

The waterfall itself consists of two separate falls, with the main visible falls dropping roughly 30-40 feet. There is another waterfall located about one hundred feet behind the main falls, roughly equal in height, but it is a bit more difficult to see due to the angle and some tree cover. For those willing to do a little bushwhacking, there are better viewpoints available further up the trail.

Moose are frequently seen in this area, especially around the beaver ponds, making it a great spot for wildlife viewing. The trail is considered moderately challenging, with a total elevation gain of 375 feet.

Pro Tip: Like most parking lots in Glacier, the South Shore Trailhead parking area can fill up quickly, so it’s best to get an early start. Additionally, the option to take a boat back to the trailhead from the western shore of Two Medicine Lake is available for a fee, providing a unique way to end your hike. The boat only runs during the season, so plan ahead!

Additional Option: About 1.1 miles into your hike the trail splits, giving you the option for a short detour to see Aster Falls. This adds .4 miles total.

11 Ptarmigan Falls

Waterfall Drop: Over 30 feet
Distance: 5.2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Many Glacier
Trailhead: Iceberg Lake Trailhead, located behind the cabins near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
AllTrails Link: Ptarmigan Falls Trail on AllTrails

Ptarmigan Falls in Glacier National Park
Ptarmigan Falls waterfalls at glacier national park

Extra Info: Ptarmigan Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. The hike to the falls starts behind the cabins near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, and there is a parking lot next to the trailhead that can accommodate 10-15 cars.

However, this area is very popular, so it’s likely that the lot will be full, and you may need to park in front of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.

The trail to Ptarmigan Falls is a moderately challenging hike with a total elevation gain of 768 feet. The trail offers outstanding views of the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Grinnell, Swiftcurrent Mountain, Mt. Wilbur, and the Ptarmigan Wall.

The first segment of the hike passes through open terrain with grand views, but as you proceed, the trail enters a dense section of pine forest. At 2.5 miles, you will reach a small clearing overlooking Ptarmigan Falls. The view of the waterfall is somewhat obstructed by trees, and steep terrain makes it difficult to get a closer look. However, just above the falls is an open and rocky area that is a popular spot for a snack break or rest stop.

Be warned, this area is prime bear habitat, so it’s crucial to make a lot of noise, carry bear spray, and hike in groups or 3 or more whenever possible.

In my experience, hiking in large groups is not always possible. All of my hikes in Glacier were done solo. If you’re hiking alone, I recommend timing your hike so you’re sharing the trail with others – this helps mitigate wildlife concerns, and it also gives you the option for help if you have an emergency on the trail.

Pro Tip: Given the popularity of the area and the limited parking, it’s best to get an early start. Also, be prepared for bear encounters and know what to do in case you encounter one.

This trail is also a gateway to some of the best hikes in Glacier National Park, such as Iceberg Lake or Ptarmigan Tunnel, if you wish to extend your hike.

12 Bird Woman Falls

Waterfall Drop: 492 feet
Distance: N/A
Difficulty: N/A
Location: Going-to-the-Sun Road, between Mount Oberlin and Mount Cannon
Trailhead: Bird Woman Falls Overlook on Going-to-the-Sun Road
AllTrails Link: Not applicable as it’s only viewable from the road

Bird Woman Falls waterfalls in glacier national park

Extra Info: Bird Woman Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Glacier National Park, plunging a spectacular 492 feet. The falls are nestled between Mount Oberlin and Mount Cannon, and they are easily visible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, making it a popular stop for visitors. 

The waterfall is fed by snowmelt, and it is most impressive in the spring and early summer when the snow is still melting rapidly.

As the summer progresses, the flow of the waterfall diminishes, but it remains a beautiful sight throughout the season.

Pro Tip: Since the falls are visible from the road, this is a great option for those with limited mobility or those who are short on time. The overlook can get crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so try to visit early in the day or later in the afternoon for the best experience.

13 Weeping Wall Falls

Waterfall Drop: A series of cascades
Distance: N/A
Difficulty: N/A
Location: Going-to-the-Sun Road, west of Logan Pass
Trailhead: Paradise Meadow Overlook along Going-to-the-Sun Road
AllTrails Link: Not applicable as it’s only viewable from the road

Weeping Wall Falls waterfalls in glacier national park

Extra Info: Like Bird Woman Falls, Weeping Wall is also only viewable from the road. The Weeping Wall is a unique and popular feature in Glacier National Park, located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, west of Logan Pass.

It’s not a traditional waterfall, but rather a series of cascades where water flows directly over the retaining wall of the road, creating a “weeping” effect.

During the early summer, when the snow is melting, the Weeping Wall can be quite impressive, with a substantial amount of water flowing over the road.

Visitors driving west-bound along GTS road might even drive right through its spray, and it’s a popular spot to roll down the windows and get a refreshing splash of cool snowmelt.

However, as the summer progresses and the snowmelt decreases, the flow of water lessens, and the wall may only have a slight “weep” to it.

During my visit in September the water was present but very lightly flowing.

Pro Tip: The Weeping Wall is a popular stop for visitors driving along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it can get crowded. The road is especially narrow along this turn so it’s not possible to walk up to the waterfall, but you can get a good view of it by parking along the bend at Paradise Meadow Overlook. This is also a great overlook to see the mountain range and valley, and is one of the more iconic viewpoints in the park.

14 Deadwood Falls

Waterfall Drop: 10 feet
Distance: 2.2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Going-to-the-Sun Road
Trailhead: Jackson Glacier Overlook
AllTrails Link: Deadwood Falls Trail on AllTrails

Deadwood Falls waterfalls in glacier national park
Credit: AllTrails

Extra Info: Deadwood Falls is a charming 10-foot waterfall located in Glacier National Park. The hike to the falls begins at the Jackson Glacier Overlook, and it’s a relatively easy 2.2-mile roundtrip journey with a total elevation drop of 665 feet on the way to the falls (which means you’ll be climbing back up on your return).

The waterfall features deep, crystal-clear pools of water above and below the falls, and there’s plenty of rock around the waterfall, making it a great spot for a snack break or a picnic lunch.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to add some distance to your hike and don’t mind a bit more climbing, you can also reach Deadwood Falls from the St. Mary Falls trailhead.

Alternatively, you could turn this into a one-way hike by continuing along the Piegan Pass Trail to the St. Mary Falls parking area and then taking the Glacier Park shuttle back to the Jackson Glacier Overlook parking area.

15 Appistoki Falls

Waterfall Drop: Unknown
Distance: 1.3 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Two Medicine
Trailhead: Scenic Point parking area
AllTrails Link: Appistoki Falls Trail on AllTrails

Appistoki Falls waterfalls in glacier national park
Credit: AllTrails

Extra Info: Appistoki Falls is a delightful destination in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. The hike is an easy 1.3 miles roundtrip, making it accessible for hikers of all levels.

You’ll start your journey at the Scenic Point parking area, following the Mt. Henry Trail for most of the route. 

This trail was originally built in 1913 to facilitate transportation between the Glacier Park Lodge and the Two Medicine Chalets.

The trail also serves as a segment of the Continental Divide Trail, stretching from New Mexico to Canada.

At just six-tenths of a mile from the trailhead, you’ll find a short side trail leading to the waterfall. The viewpoint for Appistoki Falls is less than a hundred yards from the junction, offering a glimpse of the waterfall as it cascades down Appistoki Creek.

The creek flows out of the basin below Appistoki Peak and Mt. Henry, creating a picturesque scene as it tumbles into a steep gorge. However, the terrain does prevent hikers from getting an up-close view of the falls. 

The name “Appistoki” comes from the Blackfeet language, named by a topographer who was creating an early map of the park. It refers to the Indian god who looks over everyone and everything.

Pro Tip: If you’re up for more adventure and stunning views, consider continuing on the Mt. Henry Trail up to Scenic Point. This extension has panoramic views of the Two Medicine Valley, making the extra effort well worth it.

16 Lunch Creek Falls

Waterfall Drop: Varies, as it’s a series of cascades
Distance: N/A
Difficulty: N/A
Location: Going-to-the-Sun Road, near Logan Pass
Trailhead: Lunch Creek pull off
AllTrails Link: Not applicable, as it’s only viewable from the road

Extra Info: Lunch Creek is a picturesque spot located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, just below Logan Pass. The creek flows down a natural rock staircase, creating a series of beautiful cascades against the backdrop of Pollock Mountain. The area is surrounded by carpets of wildflowers in the summer, adding to its scenic beauty.

The site was named for its popularity as a lunch stop for early visitors to the park, and it continues to be a favorite spot for travelers to take a break and enjoy the scenery. The accessibility of Lunch Creek from the road makes it an easy stop for visitors of all ages and abilities.

Pro Tip: Lunch Creek is a great spot to take a break and enjoy a snack or a picnic while taking in the stunning scenery of Glacier National Park. There are pull outs located on either side of Lunch Creek, along Going-To-The-Sun Road, approximately .08 miles East past Logan Pass Visitors Center. You must drive here, there is no shuttle access. 

17 Silver Staircase Falls

Waterfall Drop: 40 feet
Distance: N/A
Difficulty: N/A
Location: Silver Staircase Pull Off, Highway 2
Trailhead: N/A
AllTrails Link: Not applicable, as it’s viewable from the road

Silver Staircase Falls waterfalls in glacier national park

Extra Info: Silver Staircase Falls is a stunning 40-foot waterfall located just outside of Glacier National Park, along Highway 2. The falls are easily accessible from the road, making it a convenient stop for those traveling in the area. The waterfall cascades down the cliffs in a series of steps, creating a “staircase” effect.

The falls are best viewed in the early season when the snowmelt is rushing down from the mountains. Despite being outside the official boundaries of Glacier National Park, Silver Staircase Falls is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike, offering a quick and easy way to experience the beauty of the region.

Pro Tip: Since the falls are located right off Highway 2, they can be a great addition to your itinerary if you’re exploring the area around Glacier National Park.

Keep in mind that the flow of the waterfall can vary significantly depending on the time of year and recent weather conditions, so plan your visit accordingly.

18 Avalanche Lake Falls

Waterfall Drop: Not specified
Distance: 5.9 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Lake McDonald Area
Trailhead: Trail of the Cedars Trailhead
AllTrails Link: Avalanche Lake Trail

Avalanche Lake Falls, best waterfalls in glacier national park

Extra Info: This is one of my favorite hikes in Glacier National Park! The hike to Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park is a popular trail that begins from the Trail of the Cedars Trailhead.

While I do not think most of this trail is difficult, there is a modest elevation gain of 730 feet that’s consistent throughout the hike.

The waterfalls are best seen from the Northern edge of the lake, which is the side you’ll approach first. This gives you a great view of the lake and the waterfalls along the Southern border. 

My Experience: I noticed that not many people hike to the Southern end of the lake. Instead, they make it to the Northern shoreline and turn around. The path narrows along the lake but it’s definitely worth completing your trip at the Southern edge where there’s fewer people. This is also a great place to take a cold plunge if you’ve packed a swimsuit.

Pro Tip: To capture the best photographs and avoid the crowds, consider starting your hike around daybreak or later in the afternoon when the sun is behind you. Parking can be challenging during peak tourist season, so plan accordingly.

The packing lot for Avalanche Lake is also the trailhead for Trail of the Cedars, which is a much shorter hike and worth seeing.

Read more about my experience hiking Avalance Lake trail, as well as tips for the best time to hike here.

19 Trail of the Cedars

Waterfall Drop: A series of cascades
Distance: 0.9 miles loop
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Lake McDonald Area
Trailhead: Trail of the Cedars Trailhead
AllTrails Link: Trail of the Cedars

Trail of the Cedars waterfall in glacier national park

Extra Info: The Trail of the Cedars is a short and easy loop trail located near Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. This wheelchair-accessible trail is known for its lush, old-growth forest of western hemlocks and red cedars, providing a cool and shaded hike.

The trail features a raised boardwalk that winds through the forest. The lush greenery of ferns and mosses adds to the trail’s beauty, creating a habitat more commonly found along the Pacific Coast.

One of the highlights of this trail is the footbridge that spans Avalanche Creek, offering a stunning view of the lower Avalanche Gorge and a cascading waterfall.

My Experience: When I hiked this short trail it was very crowded, probably because it’s an easy trail for anyone with small children or mobility challenges. I completed this quick loop after hiking Avalanche Lake Trail as the two trails share a starting point.

Pro Tip: The Trail of the Cedars is a popular spot, so consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. The parking lot is particularly narrow – while I was able to park my van here (it’s 22 ft long) it was a challenge.

20 Twin Falls

Waterfall Drop: Not specified
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Two Medicine
Trailhead: Two Medicine Boat Dock
AllTrails Link: Twin Falls Trail via Two Medicine Lake West End Boat Dock

Twin Falls waterfall hikes in glacier national park
Credit: AllTrails

Extra Info: Twin Falls is located in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. The trail to the falls is an easy 2 miles roundtrip, making it accessible for hikers of all levels. The total elevation gain is 115 feet, and the highest point of the trail is at 5,275 feet.

You have the option to start the hike from either the North Shore Trailhead (following Dawson Pass Trail) at the Two Medicine Campground or the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake (following Two Medicine South Shore Trail). 

However, taking the shuttle boat across Two Medicine Lake can save you a significant amount of hiking distance. The hike described here assumes you are taking the boat to the west end of the lake. Keep in mind that the shuttle boat is only available June through September and advanced reservations are highly recommended due to limited space aboard.

Pro Tip: The shuttle boat can save you a lot of hiking time, but make sure to check the schedule and fees in advance. The area is rich in berries, making it a good place to spot bears, so be bear aware and carry bear spray.

21 Beaver Chief Falls

Waterfall Drop: 1,291 feet
Distance: Nearly 20 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Challenging
Location: Lake McDonald Area
Trailhead: Lincoln Lake Trail
AllTrails Link: Lincoln Lake

Beaver Chief Falls waterfall in glacier national park

Extra Info: Beaver Chief Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Glacier National Park, boasting a staggering drop of 1,291 feet. The falls are located between Lincoln Lake and Lake Ellen Wilson and descend in a series of braided drops, with the tallest single drop measuring at 517 feet.

The waterfall emerges at the top of a hanging valley just beyond the outflow for Lake Ellen Wilson, cascading down to Lincoln Lake below. The journey to Beaver Chief Falls is a challenging one, requiring a nearly 20-mile roundtrip hike, making it a less frequented destination within the park.

If you’d prefer to make this a multi-day hike you can spend the evening at Lincoln Lake Backcountry campsite, just remember to make advance reservations.

Due to its remote location and the strenuous nature of the hike, Beaver Chief Falls remains one of the more secluded and pristine waterfalls in Glacier National Park. I think this makes these falls even more special!

Pro Tip: Given the challenging nature of the hike and the remote location of Beaver Chief Falls, it’s crucial to be well-prepared before embarking on this adventure. Ensure you have adequate supplies, including water, food, and bear spray, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. It’s also advisable to start your hike early in the day to ensure ample time for the roundtrip journey, or to backpack overnight at Lincoln Lake Campground.

FAQs About The Best Glacier National Park Waterfalls

Snowy lake in Glacier National Park

How many waterfalls are there in Glacier National Park?

There are over 200 waterfalls in Glacier National Park, ranging from easily accessible roadside views to hidden gems deep within the backcountry. 

What are the three waterfalls in Glacier National Park?

While there are over 200 waterfalls in Glacier National Park, the three most popular are Virginia Falls, St. Mary Falls and Running Eagle Falls, also known as Trick Falls. 

What is the biggest waterfall in Glacier National Park?

The tallest waterfall in Glacier National Park is Feather Plume Falls, which cascades dramatically for over 1,500 feet down the cliffs near Many Glacier. Its slender and elegant stream makes it a breathtaking sight, especially when viewed from the trails around Many Glacier.

What is the waterfall lake in Glacier National Park?

The waterfall lake in Glacier National Park is Avalanche Lake. It’s known for its serene waters and the scenic waterfalls that cascade into it from the Sperry Glacier.

This is one of my favorite hikes in Glacier National Park and is an easier hike most that park visitors can complete.

Claire at Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park
My hike to Avalanche Lake

What are the best places for waterfalls in Glacier National Park?

The best places for waterfalls in Glacier National Park include the areas around Many Glacier, where you can find Grinnell and Apikuni Falls, and Going-to-the-Sun Road, with highlights like Bird Woman and Weeping Wall Falls. The Logan Pass and St. Mary Valley also offer stunning falls, such as Virginia and St. Mary Falls.

What are the best waterfalls in Glacier National Park?

  1. Virginia Falls
  2. St. Mary Falls
  3. Baring Falls
  4. Running Eagle Falls / “Trick Falls”
  5. Redrock Falls
  6. Florence Falls
  7. Sacred Dancing Cascade
  8. McDonald Falls
  9. Apikuni Falls
  10. Rockwell Falls
  11. Ptarmigan Falls
  12. Bird Woman Falls
  13. Weeping Wall Falls
  14. Deadwood Falls
  15. Appistoki Falls
  16. Lunch Creek
  17. Silver Staircase
  18. Avalanche Lake
  19. Trail of the Cedars
  20. Twin Falls
  21. Beaver Chief Falls
Benefits Of Traveling Alone

Written by Claire Fleming

I’m a travel enthusiast who spends half the year in my self-built camper van with my dog, Oscar, and the other half at my home in Raleigh, North Carolina or on international adventures.

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