Average Gradient
150.00 ft/mi (28.41 m/km)
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
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Kootenai Falls was recently made famous as the setting for a swimming scene in the 2015 movie "The Revenant," but it is known among boaters as a great spot to park and huck when the flows are right. Start by parking at the Kootenai River Historical Marker, which commemorates the Kootenai people and records their struggles with the neighboring Blackfeet and white settlers. A short hike form the historical marker will take you to Kootenai Falls, which is a river-wide waterfall with multiple channels that are in the range of 15 to 25 feet tall.  

The left ledge, known as the Main Falls, is a very clean drop that lines up great for a boof or for a freewheel. As the river approaches the lip it also splits around a small butte that has another runnable drop on the far side. Though the 20 footer on the left and in the center of the river is very clean, a swim off of the center ledge would be extremely unpleasant due to a powerful recirculating hole at bottom. Diagonal ledges create an interesting lead-in depending on the level.  Make sure to scout to determine which channel you'd need to be in to get to the section of the falls you wanted to run.

Play waves can be accessed with eddy service directly downstream from the falls, and they vary depending on the water level.

Kootenai Falls is a great way to break up a drive, or for those more local to the area, a great spot for a quick park, huck and play.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass



Short hike. Easy to re-run.


Crowded at times. Swim could be bad.

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

48.4549, -115.7631

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

48.4548, -115.765



Overall difficulty


Route Characteristics: Character

Pool Drop

Suitable for

Stand-Up Paddleboards


Nearby Adventures


Everywhere I look, there's P Macy.
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