By Alkali Springs Correspondent
It may be dry in Montana and dry in the beautiful Bear Paws, but last weekend at our camp, we had an occurrence that had not been with us for two solid years, going on the third.
In our yard we have sort of an ornamental spring that runs into a rock pond and down a tiny brooklet in front of the cabin. For two years now, it has been as dry as the proverbial bone. Much to our surprise, we went out for some wood last Sunday, and there was that spring running like it had never stopped. From that, we can deduce that as dry as it has been on Beaver Creek anyway, there is more runoff and moisture than in the last two early springs. That made us really happy to see it running. Kind of like old times and maybe we will have some moisture back once again!
Then we got unhappy. We went inside and was looking at the latest issue of Sunset magazine which featured a story about the most beautiful waterfalls in this part of the country. And much to our consternation, there was not one single mention of any of the scores of most beautiful waterfalls in Glacier National Park. We couldn't believe it! It is like, if it is northern Montana, it doesn't exist at all!
So we started to think that if we were asked to say what the most beautiful waterfall in Glacier is, which one would we give as our "best of all."
And that led us to start thinking of the beautiful Bear Paw waterfalls that we know about. Which is the most beautiful of all of them?
Granted, there may be some we don't even know about and then there is your description of waterfalls in general. For instance, some would consider the hundreds of two- and three-foot water cascades in White Pine Gulch to be miniature waterfalls. We didn't consider those. We thought they should have some elevation gain and have an impressive amount of water coming over them at least once in a while.
Of course, the largest is Rotary Falls in Beaver Creek Park. This waterfall is low, but impressive most all season of the year. Located just downstream from Bear Paw Lake, it sends a huge volume of water over it with a loud roar and much spray crashing above the rocks.
Just down the road from that waterfall, there is at Beaver Creek Road marker five, a narrow coulee that has many dubious names all associated with drugs. That is because it was apparently a site of drug taking in the 1960s and 1970s. Anyway, up a narrow path and suddenly there is a very pretty little waterfall in front of you that runs most all of the year on wet years and is very pleasing and restful.
Then just above Beaver Creek Park in the Rocky Boy Recreation Area, in the vicinity of Miner's Gulch, is the Rainbow Waterfall, complete with a grotto, ferns and a tranquility not found in many other parts of the Bear Paws.
Winter or summer, this is a beautiful waterfall and really has a torrent of water in the spring and early summer.
At the top end of good old Bull Hook Creek is a long waterfall known as Bull Hook Falls. This waterfall is as erratic as Bull Hook Creek itself but when it is running, it must have a twenty- to thirty-foot drop, making it the longest waterfall in the Bear Paws.
Our favorite of all those? Rainbow Falls, of course.
And our personal best of the Glacier waterfalls. That is not nearly as easy to determine. We like all of them for very different reasons. But of all the scores and scores and scores that we have seen, if we had to choose but one, and this will surprise you, we would have to take the waterfall at Avalanche Gorge as our favorite. That's what a waterfall should be for us. And second, and far different from Avalanche, Bird Woman falls on Going-to-the-Sun Road.