Kootenai Falls

Located on the Kootenai River near Libby, Montana, we hiked down established paths to Kootenai Falls, to view a sacred area of the Kootenai Indians.

The Kootenai Indians view the falls as the center of the world, a place where tribal members can commune with the spiritual forces that give direction to the tribe and to individual members.


Kootenai Falls


The calmly flowing Kootenai River suddenly picks up speed as elevation begins to drop with running rapids, eventually to Kootenai Falls which drops 300 feet over several hundred yards.  The widest point of the falls is 1,000 feet.  It is one of the largest free-flowing waterfalls in the northwest United States.


Kootenai Falls


Kootenai Falls is also where the majority of the 1994 movie, River Wild, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, was filmed.


Kootenai Falls rapids


It started to get tricky with our footing, so we didn’t venture any further along the trail to get closer to the top.

And there really was no need.  From our standpoint, the vibrant colors and relaxing sounds were just gorgeous.


43 thoughts on “Kootenai Falls

    • We had to take a switchback trail down to the falls, when we first got a glimpse of the water’s color, I couldn’t wait to get down to see it! Glad you enjoyed, Jane, thanks!

  1. Wow! What gorgeous scenery! And you had picture perfect weather for your hike. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The color of the water is gorgeous! I can almost hear it.

    In the top image I thought I spied a bear, but I can’t zoom in and I’m sure it’s just a stumpbear because you wouldn’t have missed it! I get fooled all the time by stumpbirds, leafbirds, and branchbirds. 😂

    • The colors were fabulous, and so mesmerizing, Eliza, I could have sat there all day and dreamed…. 🙂

      You are very correct on the dangers too. I didn’t know this until after our visit; 4-5 days prior, a 17 yr old slipped and fell at the falls and was swept away. Unfortunately he didn’t survive, and they didn’t find him until almost two weeks later four miles down the river. 😢

        • We all hear on occasion in the news someone falling off rocks and cliffs around the country, usually in a NP tradegy it seems. Oh my, there are so many more falls and deaths than we know. People take too many risks, to be cool, gotta do a selfie, accidental slipping/getting bumped, etc. Yes, such sad losses…..

  3. Parts of “River Wild” were also shot here at our Rogue River… you’ve seen its estuary in a recent post of mine. 😏
    Funny how locals take certain things for granted… stay away from the edge of cliffs and river banks… we lose a lot of tourists who seem to be oblivious to the dangers while shooting their selfies. 😲

    • Cool, I didn’t know about Rogue River being part of the shots! Yes, so many of those east coast, flat-land living tourists are oblivious. We just learned of a friend of a friend who went dirt-biking out west and went off a cliff by accident. Lost his life…. 😦

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