Scenic USA - Montana

Running Eagle Falls

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Running Eagle Falls

Photos by Chris Henn
Trick Falls inset photo courtesy NPS

     Glacier National Park, a popular summertime retreat, is Logan Pass - Glacier National Park, Montana often cleared of snow by the end of May, providing the first visitors with fantastic snow-covered vistas on their journey over the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Although it opens earlier in the season than the main park area, many visitors bypass the Two Medicine District on their way to Rising Sun and Logan Pass. Located 15 miles south of the Saint Mary east park entrance, Two Medicine is much like Bowman Lake and Many Glacier where the access road only allows out-and-back travel into a small section of the park. But here in the quiet side of Glacier National Park, you find the Medicine lakes and Running Eagle Falls. The Two Medicine section of the park offered a popular park destination before the Sun Road was completed.
     Running Eagle Falls, found in its own quiet corner, is sometimes referred to as Trick Falls. In the springtime, snowmelt flowing from the Two Medicine lakes fills the Medicine River to capacity. The torrents of water cascading over the upper fall completely obscure the lower fall. Trick Falls - Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, Montana This view captures nature's magic trick where both waterfall tiers appear as one. The black and white inset photo shows Running Eagle Falls at a different angle where a portion of the lower falls is seen. In late fall, when the Medicine River is calm, the lower falls is much easier to see, appearing to flow from a large opening in the cliff face.
     Modern Americans are not the only ones having the desire of getting away from it all. Blackfoot culture has passed down the tale of Pitamakan (Running Eagle), a female warrior finding solitude along this beautiful waterfall trail. The Blackfeet Indians still enjoy a small section of their traditional hunting grounds just to the east of Glacier. Here Tribal members rely on farming, ranching, lumber, and oil and natural gas production, a considerable transition from their nomadic way of life and reliance on the buffalo just 150 years ago.


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