What are the Best Things to do in Great Falls, MT?

Introduction

The Great Falls is part of the larger Missouri River watershed that carries water from places as far away as Montana and North Dakota to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. The Missouri is the longest river in North America, and can be up to 1,500 miles (2,414 km) long. It collects tributaries including the Flathead River and the Beaverhead River.
The Great Falls of the Missouri was created by erosion that occurred over millions of years by water flowing around a relatively flat rock dome. As it flows toward Lake Sakakawea near Bismarck, North Dakota, it drops 42 feet (13 m) in elevation over a distance of about 8 miles (13 km). In the past, waterfalls greater than 1,500 feet (457 m) high existed. Geologists suspect that a stream running through the Missouri River Valley eroded the soft sandstone and shale over time to create the Great Falls.
The choice of cities for this study is based on several factors including location, miles of rivers within the city limits, their relationship to one another, or other similar criteria. Great Falls is selected for this study because it is a medium-sized town with a population of approximately 55,000 people.

great falls mt to missoula mt
great falls mt to missoula mt

The Hidden Gems of Great Falls Montana

Great Falls, Montana is a very small place with a big reputation. There are actually quite a few hidden gems like the historic districts and parks in Great Falls that no one really knows about because of the town’s size. This article will share some of the things that Great Falls has to offer.
Great Falls Montana was named for the Great Falls of the Missouri River. It was originally a French fur trading post, which later became a stagecoach stop. The early settlers came to reside in the area because of the abundance of water and transportation. The city began to grow around 1900 when it became home to Montana’s first hydroelectric plant, designed by William E. Massey. This increased the population dramatically and brought many economic opportunities. Farming was popular in the early years, but with the development of their water power, Great Falls became an industrial powerhouse.

great falls mt to missoula mt
great falls mt to missoula mt

Great Day Trips from Great Falls?

There are a few day trip options from Great Falls but since the city is so small and underserved by services, it is best to do same-day excursions from Missoula or Bozeman. The most popular destinations from Great Falls include Lincoln County and the Rocky Boy Museum. There are also several options for seeing the local attractions.
1. Lincoln County
The most popular excursion from Great Falls is an hour-long trip to Lincoln County, Montana. Located on Interstate 90, it is the home of the historic district and Fort Ellis. One of the most interesting things visited in Lincoln County is a stop at an old silver mine which was worked in the 1800s. The mine has been filled in with concrete and only a few pillars remain of its former use.
2. The Rocky Boy Museum
One of the many stops in Great Falls is the Rocky Boy Museum, which was built to preserve and showcase the art, history, and culture of the region. Located on the campus of Montana State University, it is best to see it on your way to or from Lincoln County. It includes a cultural museum which includes artifacts from various cultures and a living history museum where people reenact various historic events. Also in this area are acres of natural forests that contain wild mustangs and buffalo.
3. Lake McDonald

great falls mt to missoula mt
great falls mt to missoula mt

What are the Must-See Attractions in Great Falls Montana?

Part of what makes Great Falls one of the best day trips in Montana is that there are several attractions worth seeing. The main attraction in Great Falls Montana is the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. This center does a great job of explaining the steps that Lewis and Clark took between 1804 and 1806. There is also the Mallard Bluff Nature Dr. with an excellent overlooks the city itself. The Great Falls market offers great food and shopping, as well as a good place to just relax. There is also the Giant Springs State Park which includes a large swimming area. Of course, you can’t go to Great Falls Montana and not visit the falls themselves.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center details the historic path that Lewis and Clark took on their famous expedition. The center was designed by architect Robert Lucas, who was inspired by the architecture of Yellowstone National Park. The center is full of fascinating multimedia displays that allow history buffs to have an interactive experience when learning about the expedition. There are several exhibits that allow the visitors to explore meeting points, plant and animal life, and even equipment used by the men themselves. If you find yourself in Great Falls Montana, do yourself a favor and explore the Lewis and Clark Trail.

great falls mt to missoula mt
great falls mt to missoula mt