Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
265.00 ft (80.77 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

With its family-friendly path and steep canyon backdrop, Ousel Falls is Big Sky’s favorite short hike. The 100-foot falls takes its name from the American Dipper, also known as a water ouzel, which can be found along the rocky banks of the river fork doing its signature bob.

The trail quickly moves down the canyon on a wide, gravel path. You’re soon engulfed by tall conifers lining the riverbank. The trail winds along the river, crossing it twice. Be sure to check out the South Fork Cascades before the second bridge.

Find a picnic area and large lookout by Ousel Falls. Steps lead the adventurous down for a misty view at the bottom, and a trail leads up to the right for a view at the top. The falls are at their most impressive in the late spring and early summer, when the snowmelt is at its highest.

The trail is popular year round. Much credit is due to the Big Sky Community Organization, whose tireless winter maintenance ensures recreational access for winter revelers taking a break from the slopes around Lone Peak.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Large waterfall. Kid friendly.

Cons

Busy.

Trailhead Elevation

6,575.00 ft (2,004.06 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Wildflowers
Fishing

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.