Explore Great Falls, Montana: Your Ultimate Guide

Embark on a journey to Great Falls, Montana, where prairies meet mountains, and the Missouri River weaves through the heart of the city. This picturesque destination, often regarded as Montana's hub for western art, beckons outdoor enthusiasts and history aficionados alike.

City of Waterfalls and History

Named after five waterfalls on the Missouri River, Great Falls holds a rich history tied to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, who spent 31 days preparing to portage around these falls. Today, three of the falls power hydroelectric dams, earning the city the moniker "The Electric City." Drawing over a million visitors annually, Great Falls boasts 10 museums, historical sites, and abundant outdoor activities.

Top Attractions in Great Falls

  • River’s Edge Trail: Traverse the city's main pedestrian corridor, linking key attractions like historic downtown, Gibson Park, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Giant Springs State Park, and The Great Falls of Missouri.
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center: Immerse yourself in the history of the expedition that spent over 30 days in Great Falls. This expansive museum within Giant Springs State Park offers galleries, educational displays, and interpretive trails.
  • Giant Springs State Park: Home to one of the largest freshwater springs in the U.S., this park, explored by Lewis and Clark, offers warm waters and a 4,500-acre playground for fishing, hiking, biking, and hunting.
  • C.M. Russell Museum: Delve into the world of Western art at the museum named after Charles Marion Russell, a renowned Montana artist. Explore Russell's log cabin, studio, and a captivating collection of art and artifacts.
  • First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park: Uncover Native American history and enjoy a hike through this park, where cliffs were once used for bison hunting.

Recreation Activities

Discover a range of activities in Great Falls:

  • Biking: Explore miles of trails, including the River’s Edge Trail and single-track trails in Giant Springs State Park.
  • Fishing: Try fly-fishing on the Missouri River or find quiet spots along the River’s Edge Trail.
  • Hiking: Wander through scenic trails in Giant Springs State Park, Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and Sluice Boxes State Park.
  • River Sports: Venture beyond the city for rafting, canoeing, and kayaking on the Missouri River.
  • Rock Climbing: Head to Blackleaf Canyon and Memorial Falls for climbing adventures.

Living in Great Falls

With a cost of living nearly 10% lower than the national average, Great Falls offers affordability. The city is safe, though crime rates are somewhat elevated, with violent crimes being less common.

Best Time to Visit

Great Falls experiences distinct seasons. For ideal conditions:

  • Sightseeing: September brings warm weather and fewer crowds.
  • Shopping: November hosts a renowned holiday market.
  • Festivals & Events: August features numerous outdoor events.

Accommodations

Great Falls provides a range of accommodations, from chain hotels to bed and breakfasts. Some options include Crystal Inn Hotel, StayBridge Suites, and Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel.

Weather by Month

Consider the weather when planning your visit:

  • Summer (June to August): Warm temperatures and ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Fall (September to November): Crisp air and fewer tourists.
  • Winter (December to February): Cold temperatures, occasional snowfall.
  • Spring (March to May): Rising temperatures but with increased rainfall.

Find the Original Article Here: https://discoveringmontana.com/towns/great-falls/

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