New book chronicles Montana’s waterfalls

Print Article

There are many books on the plants, animals and sights to see in Montana, but none until now have been devoted to the state’s wild and wonderful waterfalls.

“Montana Waterfalls: A Guide for Sightseers, Hikers and Waterfall Enthusiasts” was written by Larry Johnson and his son, Nathan Johnson, who scoured the state for seven years for the 208-page book that features 52 waterfalls.

The authors expect this year’s record mountain snowpack will enhance some of the state’s best cascades.

“All waterfalls are going to be spectacular this year,” said Larry Johnson, a Helena resident. “Right now many of the waterfalls are going to be their most impressive in size, but when runoff settles down and the water clears up, the waterfalls will still be large and even more beautiful.”

But the high water will present hazards, he warns.

“It could get pretty scary in some places,” he said. “We also point out in the book that people should be careful near waterfalls because there can be some slippery places.”

According to Helena-based Riverbend Publishing, the Johnson book is the first and only guidebook on Montana’s waterfalls.

Johnson said the idea originated with Nathan, who works as a computer programmer in Missoula.

“At first we were maybe going to do postcards or calendars,” Johnson said. “But once we started going in and building a database on these waterfalls, we got to thinking about the history and the camping in some of these areas and it kind of evolved into doing a book.”

The book is separated into sections by geographic regions in Western and Central Montana, with photographs of each waterfall and detailed information and maps showing how to reach them. There also are summaries providing basic information on the falls, such as their height, length and their varied characteristics.

“There’s a lot of information in that book,” Johnson said. “We did a lot of research.”

Johnson said some of the falls are highly accessible, with roads or highways nearby, and some can be reached by trails with short or long hikes. But the Johnsons had to bushwhack to reach some of the waterfalls, a few of which weren’t even named.

The waterfall featured on the book’s cover, for instance, was dubbed Lodgepole Creek Falls after the Johnsons found it on the tributary to the Blackfoot River drainage in the Ovando area.

The triple-tiered falls are an impressive 75 feet high but they are not well known. “There isn’t even a trail leading to it,” Johnson said.

The Johnsons found some of the formerly unnamed falls in the book by studying topography maps and determining where a mountain stream likely would take a steep plunge.

Johnson said Nathan customized all of the topography maps featured in the book to show the best routes to often-remote locations.

“There was a lot of work in just doing the maps alone,” he said.

“Montana Waterfalls” will be available at bookstores and gift shops, and it is available through online book retailers such as Amazon.com, and through the publisher’s website, www.riverbendpublishing.com.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Board to consider commercial airfield near Whitefish

September 29, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake A request for a conditional-use permit for an airfield that would allow commercial use of an existing helicopter landing pad will be considered by the Flathead County Board of Adjustment during a pub...

Comments

Read More

New fund, partnerships help make projects possible

September 29, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Flathead Lake State Park Manager Amy Grout says for some mysterious reason, everything on Wild Horse Island happens a bit ahead of schedule. Baby bighorn sheep are usually born a few weeks earlier ...

Comments

Read More

Montana hunter charged after mistaking grizzly for black bear

AP

September 28, 2019 at 8:58 pm | A Montana hunter killed a grizzly bear in northern Idaho last week, after apparently mistaking the endangered bruin for a more common black bear. The man has been charged in state court for killing ...

Comments

Read More

Wind, heavy snow cause outages, road closures

September 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Daily Inter Lake Strong winds and heavy snow caused power outages and temporary road closures in northwestern Montana as a wintry storm threatened to drop several feet of snow in some areas of the northern Rocky Mo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X