For a gorgeous shorter hike, try adding Rockwell Falls in Glacier National Park to your list. There’s beautiful views, and of course a gorgeous waterfall as well.
Rockwell Falls wasn’t our main destination for the day, but it was so magical when we got there it was definitely hard to leave. We were actually heading for Two Medicine Pass, and knew we’d be seeing both Rockwell Falls and Cobalt Lake as well.
We loved all 3 destinations so much, I highly recommend any and all. To do everything, you’re looking at 17-19 miles give or take depending on how many side trips you take. So with that in mind, Rockwell Falls all by itself makes a great short(ish) day hike.
There’s 2 sides to see the falls on, the first is a climbers trail right before the footbridge. We saw several families heading up that side to eat lunch with their kids before heading back.
This side is more exposed and while it’s not necessarily dangerous, it’s no place to be messing around either. The main view point is directly to your right after the footbridge. This viewpoint is what you see in the first photo in the post.
Everything you need to know about Rockwell Falls:
- It’s 7 miles roundtrip.
- The elevation gain is 375 feet.
- The trail head starts on the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park.
- It can be combined with a hike to Cobalt Lake as well as Two Medicine Pass and numerous peaks to climb as well. For more climbing info, be sure and check out the climbing in Glacier books by Blake Passmore.
- One other option is to take a boat ride on the Sinopah across the lake and hike from there. From looking at the trail maps, it looks like it’s approximately 4.4 miles roundtrip this way. The idea appealed to me if we ever get to take family/friends into this area of the park who aren’t wanting to go as far. Also I could picture my nephews and niece having a blast on the boat, and enjoying the shorter hike!
- Rockwell Falls is actually 2 sets of falls, but you can’t see the upper set from the main viewpoint. Both sets of falls are around 30-40′ and are equally gorgeous. By taking the climbers trail before you get to the footbridge, you’ll potentially get to see most of the upper falls as well. I say ‘potentially’ because we were there when the water wasn’t flowing as high, and it’s hard to say how close you can get if you go early in the season!
In the above photo Tyler is standing on the footbridge I mentioned above for the 2 different sides to see the falls.
Even though we went in late August, there were still gorgeous pockets of wildflowers since there’s abundant water in the area.
These 2 photos are of Tyler peeking around the corner to get a shot of the upper falls which you’ll see below.
Once you’ve thoroughly enjoyed your time at Rockwell Falls, there’s always other things to do in the area as well. Aster Falls and Aster Park are a short side trip. And if you took the boat, Upper Two Medicine Lake would be a 4 mile roundtrip from the boat dock where you got off.
Finally No Name Lake would be a 5.8 mile roundtrip from the boat dock as well if you want to make it a longer day and have the time and energy, (Rockwell + No Name Lake from the boat dock would be 10.2 miles total).
I hope you’ll find all this useful in planning out your day. And I just wanted to finish by linking to Glacier’s website where we found a map of the trails which should help you in planning what you want to see when you’re in Two Medicine!