Great Falls, Montana

Photo by Tony Hisgett

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Great Falls truly offers some of the best of Montana. It’s pure West.

That starts at the C.M. Russell Museum, which showcases a huge collection of works from the Western artist. It also features his home and log studio. The museum’s tagline is “The Art and Soul of the American West,” and Charlie Marion Russell (1864-1926), exemplified this spirit. 

Along the Missouri River, near Giant Springs State Park, is the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which features exhibits that follow the path of the famous expedition and has walking trails in the very steps the crew walked. 

Other important areas include the nearby First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park, which has archeological history dating back to the year 900, and the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, which houses a unique collection in a historic building.

On the water, fishing is a favorite pastime in the area. You’ll find northern pike, walleye, perch, catfish, trout and more. In the winter months, put on your parka and head out ice fishing. There are plenty of places to do it on and around the Missouri River.

Then, of course, as is customary in Great Falls – you’ve got to get a view of the Great Falls. Although a dam controls the flow of water, and has since 1915, it’s an impressive sight. Take in the view from Ryan Island Park.

You can also head upstream to Crooked Falls or Rainbow Falls for a more accurate representation of what the river looked like 200 years ago.