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Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail, MT

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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MT > North Central
4 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 0.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,952 feet
Elevation Gain 16 feet
Accumulated Gain 25 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 0.73
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
27  2018-07-25 tibber
1  2017-07-13 friendofThunderg
26  2014-07-19 tibber
7  2011-07-22 writelots
34  2011-07-22 tibber
4  2011-07-11 seattlehiker
18  2008-07-13 tibber
3  2006-09-15 Crzy4AZ
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, Jul, Aug → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Summer
Sun  6:13am - 6:42pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Riparian Stroll
by Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
Running Eagle Falls is a "must see" when visiting the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. This very easy 0.6mi R/T lasso loop walk-nature trail, with no elevation gain, has a sweet pay-off with the major snow melt in late June: From Two Medicine Creek, a roaring 25' falls where water shoots out of a rocky hillside.

The short walk to Running Eagle Falls is a refreshing stroll through a lush riparian forest environment. There are two possible paths to follow. One near the bridge is wide, gentle, and not paved. The other begins near the center of the parking lot and is paved with a portion of this trail being wheelchair accessible. The two trails converge before arriving at the confluence of Dry Creek and Two Medicine Creek. Early morning offers the best opportunity for pics of this unique- "two falls in one" waterfall.

The Glacier Natural History Association and the National Park Service have provided a Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail guide. One can acquire this guide for $0.50 (as of YR'08) at the TH. This trail guide tells the story of Running Eagle, in English and in the Blackfoot language. This guide also provides background information on the Blackfoot People's traditional and medicinal uses for some of the plants one will encounter along the trail. This guide will enhance ones appreciation of this naturally beautiful and culturally rich area. Also, this falls is very close to the TH making it accessible to almost any hiker.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-07-11 Grasshopper
  • goat haunt map st mary map mcdonald map
    area related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail
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Second hike of the day after the Rockwell Falls hike. But before getting there I had to stop on a corner of the road as it was loaded with wildflowers with Indian Paintbrush being the highlight. There was another elderly person using one of those tablets to take pictures of the abundant wildflower scene. I take such great delight in watching others embibe in the beauty of the park. The husband patiently waited in the car.

I hadn't done this hike since 2011 with Wendy and Gary so thot it was time for a quick re-visit. THIS time there was a small foot bridge :) you could use to cross the river. This meant I could get up close and personal with Twin Falls (Running Eagle). Of course as you come in on the wheelchair friendly trail toward the falls, I could see it was running in its twin state and fast and furious. I stood up on one of the viewing benches to get a picture before heading out on the beach.

It was fun to cross the bridge over the fast running water filled with beautiful GNP colored rocks. You proceed on the north side until you come to a :o viewing platform... well that is certainly new but how nice. There was a family frolicking just below the falls in the shallow water. There is an off-trail that continues up toward the falls. It doesn't get quite high enough to see the water flowing from the top and it is quite steep, especially coming down.

It was an overcast and windy day. The overcast helped with taking pics of several different flora on my hike back. Fortunately the residual smoke from all the fires of WA, OR and BC didn't interfere with this hike; altho I still couldn't smell Glacier Park as it still smelled smokey :( . There were a few other souls coming and going but it was still peaceful. I think this hike should always be a "must do" if you're over in the Two Medicine Valley. There is also a nature interpretive trail but I was hungry so it was time to head over for dinner at the infamous Two Sisters outside of Babb, MT.

FYI - Two Sisters lived up to its reputation :DANCE: . I sat at the counter as it was packed. I couldn't decide what to eat so I had a cup of Big John's Chili with cheese and crunchy pita chips (the chips were great with the chili) and onion rings. There were so many crispy/tender onion rings I only ate half the basket but of course, the highlight was the huckleberry pie (however I was too full so had it for breakfast the next day). I watched these local chefs work in very tight confines putting out some of the best looking food. I spoke with the owner about other items on her menu as they were different like a raspberry/rhubarb pie and a huckleberry aioli that they used on their steak.

VIDEO and I think the colors and light turned out great on the falls:
Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail
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Day 2, Jul 22 Two Medicine Day - Part 1
- weather started out bad and wasn't projected to get any better so today we would be mostly driving. So after a breakfast of Costco granola with "homemade by Wendy" :) yummy yogurt, making sandwiches and a visit by some deer :D at the campsite it was off to the Two Medicine area and Glacier Park Lodge via the Kiowa Loop

- We did stop before getting to Montana Hiway 49 to get some pictures of some horses grazing below us with the Rocky Mountains in the background. It would have been nice to be a little closer to the horses. Unknown to us, this would happen later that afternoon when we drove to the Cut Bank TH.

-The Loop is actually a windy, narrow and rough highway with a 21 ft vehicle limit that is quite scenic and a short-cut of sorts to East Glacier. I love this road because of the view of the plains as they turn into mountains 8) . We stopped at a turn out where we could make out two large crosses thinking they were probably for road fatalities but in fact, that was not the case. Instead it was a memorial to two members of the Blackfeet Reservation which borders Glacier Park. The weather got really nasty up on the bluff but you could see Upper Two Medicine and Two Medicine Lake from here as well as the mountains to the West.

Video (Campground deer, drive on Kiowa Loop and to Two Medicine):

-We arrived at the TH and fortunately the weather was still holding. It wasn't too crowded so that was good. Off we went on the very nice trail through bushes of thimbleberry and other assorted flora, some of which was labeled. Before you know it you are at Two Medicine River and can see that the Falls is definitely in "Trick" mode However, you have to know what the "Trick" is ;) which was almost hard to do this time because there was SO MUCH water coming over.

We walked down the river a bit and hung out for awhile before making our way back to be directly across from the Falls. In drier years, you can get across the river and walk up closer to the Falls but not this time as the river was running high and fast. As we walked around the bend you got another view of the falls and a side pool/pond of water that had been created by nature :FG: to accomodate the volume of water this year. It presented some nice photo ops. Right behind this view was a camera for a bat research project.

I persuaded Wendy and Gary not to take the normal path back but to walk along the river a little ways and then back to the trail before coming out by the bridge. We encountered a fisherman along the river in his wading gear so that was a bit of a surprise. We were lucky that the weather held for most of our time out on this nature walk.
Video at Running Eagle/Trick Falls:

-The weather would not hold for the remaining part of this part of our trip in the Two Medicine area. We arrived at Lower Two Medicine Lake to a crowded parking lot and rain and wind and cold. We decided to hang out at the Gift Shop/Camp Store (in what was once a Chalet in the Park and have a sandwich at their lunch area along with a warm beverage. I don't know how long we spent shopping but we loaded up on many fine huckleberry things. :y:

After lunch and realizing a hike in the Two Medicine area would not pan out, we headed to East Glacier to check out Glacier Park Lodge. On the way, we encountered a black bear :DANCE: foraging alongside the road. It was concentrating on nothing but eating no matter the weather or the cars. I was able to get a short 1:31 Video:

We arrived at Glacier Park Lodge to see a dog being harassed by two magpies. One of them nipped the dog on this back. All of a sudden this dog brings a stick to Gary and throws it toward his feet. So Gary obliged and they played fetch for a few minutes before we went to walk the long garden strip at the Lodge. Soon the weather would change as the rain drove us inside; not such a terrible place to be believe me. We toured the lodge for awhile until the sun came out when we finished our walk along the garden and the outside of this magnificent structure.
Video of "catch", Lodge garden and Lodge:

To see Part 2 of our Two Medicine Day, see the Cut Bank Pass Trail triplog
Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail
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I had been to Running Eagle (also called Trick Falls) back in 2003 but it was in August so you didn't get to see the double falls. The trail had thimbleberry bushes on both sides of the wooded area of the trail. Believe it or not, you can actually make jams and such with the thimbleberry. It is many times confused with the raspberry. Both are members of the rose family.
On the trail I ran into a New Yorker I had met up at Logan Pass. That's what fun about GNP is that it's small enough you may run into someone else you've seen along the way. There was only one other couple on the trail at around 10AM.
The falls were flowing pretty ferociously as there was snow melt going on for the middle of July. There was much more snow on the west side but nevertheless, for July, water volume was pretty high.
We only spent a very short time as we were heading for Two Med to catch the next boat ride. But it is a rewarding destination walk that ANYONE can do.... even when only the lower Falls are falling. Photos later. And aren't you surprised...15 mins in and out for me is amazing.
Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail
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A lifetime dream to visit GLACIER NATIONAL PARK comes true!

After 2.5 days(1300+ mls) of driving from Phoenix to reach East Glacier Park, MT 59434, three of us arrived at our remote rental house with an excellent view of the Northern Rocky Mountains and the east entrance to GNP at the TWO MEDICINE AREA just five miles away. We arrived a little early on Sat-6/28 to take possession of our "home away from home" for the next 9nts/10days, so of course we headed straight for the TWO MEDICINE AREA entrance station. We first stopped at the ranger station to pick up some local maps and ask for some updates on things going on and trail conditions in this area of the park. With the high snow falls in GNP this past winter, we already knew that some of our hiking plans would be limited at the higher elevations, but the advantage to being here in late June-early July(considered early season for GNP) was: still unsurpassed beauty everywhere you look, roaring creeks, and waterfalls, and the start of the GNP wildflower season. All this and much more with fewer people to distract our views!

My personal "thank you" to our HAZ members who suggested ALL the wonderful hikes, many of which we did in our 10 day visit to the east and north sections of GNP: Two Medicine, Cut Bank, Saint Mary's, Many Glacier, and Going-to-the-Sun-Road from St.Mary's Visitor Center over Logan Pass to Lake McDonald. In this extended visit we accomplished 10 wonderful hikes clocking a total of 77 miles of hiking with 14K'+ AEG.. :) and lots of beautiful pics, unfortunately none of which were mine to post on HAZ.. :(

I do plan on writing-up HAZ hike descriptions and trip logs for all these wonderful GNP-Montana hikes that we did or attempted to do in some instances after having to turn back before our destinations due to dangerous snow/ice conditions. Writing-up these hikes will be my way of "re-living" a dream come true to visit this grand wonder of nature know as Glacier National Park. Now I know why we never see any Montana license plates in Arizona!.. :D

On this day of arrival, after our visit to the Two Medicine ranger station, we stopped at this "must see" Running Eagle Falls & Nature Trail to just get a peek at what was yet to come!..please see my hike description write-up for more details.

Permit $$
no fees or permits reported

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Glacier National Park
$30 per car(week), $12 bike/foot(week), $50 annual View Current Entrance Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From East Glacier Park, MT: Take Hwy 49 into Glacier National Park via the Two Medicine entrance road. Drive down the Two Medicine entrance road to the Glacier National Park entrance station at Two Medicine. Continue 1.2 miles West to the parking and TH start on the Right side of the Two Medicine entrance road.
page created by Grasshopper on Jul 11 2008 2:34 pm
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