Glacier National Park: Running Eagle Falls


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We spent our first day in Glacier National Park exploring the Two Medicine area. We started out early and made the pleasant drive across Route 2 from Columbia Falls to East Glacier. The Two Medicine entrance to the park is about 15 minutes north of East Glacier.


Just before the main parking lot at the lake is a smaller lot on the right for Running Eagle Falls. This is a great place to start as the trail to the falls is flat and less than a mile round-trip. At 8:30 in the morning, we were the first car in the lot.


The trail begins as a woodland trail, dotted with wildflowers. In no time, we were standing on the banks of the pristine Two Medicine Creek with the sound of the falls roaring nearby. Since we were there early in the season, the snow was still melting and the creek looked more like a river.


We encountered a local couple on the trail who said they visit Running Eagle often. They said that in late summer, when there is less water, it shoots out of the side of the mountain instead of falling over the ledge. When we looked more closely it seemed to be doing both.


The falls are named for Running Eagle who was a female Pikuni warrior in the 1700s. Traditionally, only men fasted and went on vision quests. Nevertheless, Running Eagle persisted and ‘found her medicine’ above the falls. She went on to become an influential and legendary leader of her people.


She was killed leading a raid in Flathead territory when she was 30. She was buried in a tree overlooking the falls by her people. This is a sacred place.


To see my other Glacier NP/Two Medicine Posts, click the following links:

  • Running Eagle Falls
  • Aster Park
  • Two Medicine Lake
  • Twin Falls

Location: 2 Medicine Rd, East Glacier Park, Mt 59434

Designation: National Park

Date designation declared: 5/11/1910

Date of my visit: 6/23/2018


39 thoughts on “Glacier National Park: Running Eagle Falls

    1. Thanks! The water was around 40 degrees, so we did not try it. A little later in the trip, I did put my feet in Lake McDonald…still cold, but refreshing after a long day of hiking.

  1. Beautiful! The last time we were in Glacier (2015), the east side was on fire, so we didn’t even know about this other entrance. Good reason to go back!

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    1. Thanks! We were there in June when there was still a lot of spring melt happening. From what I hear, this fall and many others in the park slow to a trickle as the summer progresses. Depending on when you were there, that could be why it was less memorable.

  4. Pingback: Glacier National Park: Twin Falls – National Parks USA

    1. Thanks! We were there a little too early in the season to hike the High Line…and I don’t think we could have made the full 11 miles anyway. We did get most of the way up the trail to Grinell Glacier, but the higher elevations were still blocked by snow and ice.

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