Hiking to Holland Falls and Holland Lake, Swan Valley, Montana
Holland Lake and Holland Falls are located in the Swan Valley in northwest Montana. Located just 24 miles north of Seeley, Montana, off of Highway 83, this is the perfect place to stop and enjoy a getaway when traveling to and from the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park.
Holland Lake has to be one of the prettiest and most picturesque lakes in Montana. It is just three miles from Highway 83. It doesn’t get too crowded, making it ideal for kayaking, swimming, and boating. You will find beautiful peaks on either side of the lake.
Holland Falls is a beautiful waterfall located up the mountainside at the head of Holland Lake. This requires a 3-mile round-trip hike with a 700-foot elevation gain. You pretty much gain all of the elevation at the end, because the start of the hike is fairly flat around Holland Lake.
You will drive past Holland Lake and the Lake Lodge until the road dead ends at a parking lot. This is where you will park and begin hiking. There is a bathroom at the trailhead. You will reach a fork in the trail just after you begin hiking, and you will stay to the right to get to the falls. (There is a sign at the fork.) Then you will see a sign saying “Dead End Trail” to your left, and that is the trail you will take the rest of the way to the falls.
The hike is fairly shaded to start, but the end where you hike up the hill to reach the falls is pretty exposed and will be hot in the afternoons in the summer. As always, I would hike early in the morning when the weather is cooler. However, the waterfall puts off a huge spray of water that will cool you down once you reach the falls.
This is a day hike that children can easily do. One thing to keep in mind though is that there is not really an easy way to get to the waterfall once you reach the end. It requires climbing down a hillside and up and over a lot of slippery rocks. There is also nowhere to sit once you get there. So perhaps this isn’t great to do with really small children.
The hike around the lake offers lots of places to stop and take a swim. Another great idea would be to kayak over to this shoreline and leave your kayak tied up while you hike to the waterfall.
There is so much to do at Holland Lake, I highly recommend making this stop on your drive in northwest Montana!
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog