Giant Springs, as it is called by the locals, was established in the 1970’s as a state park. It was discovered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and is one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. This is also the site of the Roe River, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s shortest river. Giant Springs flows at an astonishing 156-190 million gallons of water per day. The water stays at a constant temperature of 54 degrees and has been carbon-dated to be about 3000 years old. It bubbles up into a crystalline pool, which then flows 201 feet via the Roe River into the Missouri River.
More than a quarter of a million people, visit Giant Springs State Park each year. Many come to marvel at this remarkable feature, or to view the variety of bird life. Some come to visit the nearby Rainbow Falls Overlook, the visitor center, and the fish hatchery for rainbow trout and salmon. The fish hatchery raises and distributes about 1.3 million fish annually, most within a 150-mile radius of the hatchery .
The area is also a haven for at least 80 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Interpretive walks and programs are offered each summer. A group picnic site is also available.
The visitor center (right across from the roadway from the springs) features taxidermy mounts of grizzly and black bears, educational features on fish and bird recognition, wildlife photographs, and a mini-theater that shows wildlife videos.
Giant Springs Heritage State Park
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
4600 Giant Springs Road | Great Falls, Montana
406-454-5840 | 406-454-5858 | http://stateparks.mt.gov | [email protected]
Giant Springs State Park is located off US Highway 87 in Great Falls, then 1 mile east on River Drive to Giant Springs Road.