Hiking to Twin Falls, Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, Montana
The hike to Twin Falls in Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, Montana, begins at the South Shore Trailhead just past the boat dock at Two Medicine Lake. Twin Falls are a beautiful set of two waterfalls found in Glacier’s forest, a beautiful place that is so easy to reach.
The entire hike is 3.8 miles, but I recommend taking the boat trip across Two Medicine Lake, making the trip only 0.9 miles each way.
The boat tour on Two Medicine Lake will cost you $12.50 per person round trip (in 2014), and is well worth the small amount of money. The tours provide you with interesting information about the area, open views of the surrounding mountains, as well as cutting the time off your hike. To catch the boat, park in the Two Medicine parking lot and the boat dock leaves from there. Click here to read more about the boat tour of Two Medicine Lake. The boat tours are also available at other locations, such as Many Glacier.
Once you cross the lake, you will exit the boat. This end of the lake is a great place to look for bears. The hike to the falls from the dock is flat and takes you through a thick forest over two small creeks, with the hike opening up at the end for some beautiful views. The elevation gain is only 100 feet.
The Pumpelly Pillar view is especially beautiful:
Twin Falls is a beautiful set of two waterfalls they come trickling down and meet into one small stream in the woods. These are some of the prettiest falls I’ve ever seen. I’ve been wanting to visit Croatia and the Krka National Park, but I think that these pretty falls could rival those waterfalls.
A few tips for you:
1. You should catch the first boat trip across the lake that leaves at 9 AM so that you get to the falls early and have the waterfall to yourself. Guided tours are available to the falls on the 1 pm and 3 pm boats, and if you don’t want to do a tour, you want to beat these large crowds to the falls.
2. If you would like to participate in the group guided hiking tour to the falls, they are offered as part of the boat tours on the 1 pm and 3 pm boats. The guided hikes do give you information you may not otherwise know about. (One thing I found particularly interesting was elk thistle.) Personally, for me, I would rather go on my own, as this is an easy hike and I would rather not have a bunch of people at the waterfall for photos. Also, the hikes require you to go at their pace and sometimes you will be standing in the hot sun wherever they stop on the trail to give you information.
3. If you cross the waterfall closest to you, of course taking care to be very careful on the slippery rocks, and are able to climb up the waterfall on the right, there is a small pool of water a short way up that although cold, looks like it would be great for swimming. Of course, do this all at your own risk. Water is the most dangerous thing in Glacier National Park, it is cold and fast and is not safe.
I truly believe this is a wonderful hike for families, it is very easy, and is very pretty.
You will then walk back down the trail the way you came and catch the boat back to the Two Medicine parking area. You will receive a purple ticket when you exit the boat, which is your return ticket back on the boat, and priority seating is given to those with the purple ticket. The afternoon boat pickups (particularly the 3 pm boat) tend to be very busy, with sometimes hundreds of people waiting to board the boat. The boat will do additional trips to pick up additional passengers, but they do give the first priority to those with the purple tickets. I think the boat can hold 40-50 people. *Note: If you hiked over and want to catch the boat back, you can do this, but you will have last priority because you will not have the purple ticket. You will pay for your ticket when you get back to the boat dock.
This is a great hike to do on your way to the Upper Two Medicine Lake, because it is just off of the main trail to the lake. That is the way we did it. Click here to read about the hike to Upper Two Medicine Lake.
If you visit the Two Medicine area, I highly recommend this hike, even if you do it as part of a larger hike such as Dawson Pass, it is worth the quick detour to visit Twin Falls in Glacier National Park.
Warm wishes from big sky country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog