Glacier National Park: Running Eagle

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Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
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We explored the Two Medicine area on our first day in Glacier National Park. 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.

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We stopped first at the trailhead for Running Eagle Falls. The flat trail to the falls winds about a half mile through woodlands to the riverbank. At 8:30 in the morning, ours was the first car in the lot.

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The trail begins as a woodland trail, dotted with wildflowers. We emerged onto the banks of the pristine Two Medicine Creek with the sound of the falls roaring nearby. The creek rushed like a river, still engorged with snow melt.

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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.

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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 embarked on her own quest and ‘found her medicine’ above the falls. She went on to become an influential and legendary leader of her people.

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She fell in battle leading a raid in Flathead territory when she was thirty. Her people buried her in a tree overlooking the falls. This is a sacred place.

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Location: 2 Medicine Rd, East Glacier Park, Mt
Designation: National Park
Date designated/established: May 11, 1910
Date of my visit: June 23, 2018

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11 thoughts on “Glacier National Park: Running Eagle

  1. Kings On the Road

    I really like the story associated with the hike. Montana is so beautiful and it still has more wildlife than people. It’s the last best place!

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