The Falls of the Missouri River
Giant Springs State Park:
This state park along the river includes one of the largest springs…and one of the shortest rivers in the world. Every 24 hours, 156 million gallons of water bubbles up from these springs and flows into the Missouri via the Roe River…recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as one of the shortest rivers in the world.
Despite the dams being built, much of the Missouri River here is just as it was when the Expedition came through. The first dam constructed was Black Eagle Dam (1890). Next came the Rainbow Dam (1910), which left the original cascade untouched but covered Colter Falls. Ryan Dam (1915) was built at the Great Falls, raising the water level so that the falls are now 148 feet high. Morony Dam (1930) is the farthest downstream of the 5 dams. The newest, Cochrane Dam (1958), is situated between Crooked Falls and the Great Falls. Runoff from melting mountain snow makes early spring and summer viewing of the falls quite spectacular.
River’s Edge Trail:
Walk, Jog, bike or rollerblade on 48 miles of trail along both sides of the Missouri River. A 20 mile portion of the trail is paved, has restrooms and provides easy access to spectacular views of the river, dams and waterfalls. Some of the unpaved trail is more physically challenging.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center:
The Interpretive Center is a premiere stop for anyone interested in the history of our country. Through film, dioramas and interactive displays, you’ll experience the journey of the Expedition as they explored this new land.
Visitor Information Center:
If you are looking for things to do, places to visit, or any kind of information about the Great Falls area, the visitor facility atop the Broadwater Overlook (look for the big flag) has a friendly helpful staff, information on just about everything, and a great panoramic view of the city.