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Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Family Hike to Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

Sometimes the best adventures are right around the corner and close to home. Our family went on a
really fun day hike to Kootenai Falls during one of our trips to Montana. We packed some snacks and
headed out to enjoy the sunshine!

My kids love exploring and going on easy family hikes. We live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with close
proximity to lots of beautiful destinations. It’s especially fun to walk across bridges like this walkway
over the train tracks. My kiddos thought it was super cool to go down the see-through metal staircase
at the end of the walkway bridge (and later go back up). The trail led to the falls and spectacular views.
Kootenai Falls on the Kootenai River is close to Libby, Montana.

Kootenai Falls train bridge walkway

Day trip to Kootenai Falls train bridge walkway

The trails near Kootenai Falls are very easy for families with kids to hike. The paths are somewhat
narrow in places and a bit uneven. The trails meander through the forest beneath stately pine trees,
over rocks and beside fallen logs. It’s easily walkable but not very flat. It would challenging to bring a
stroller on these trails.

Easy family walking trails at Kootenai Falls in Montana

Of course, scrambling over rocks to get to a swinging bridge makes for a great family adventure! We
took the trail to Kootenai Falls first, and then turned back and headed over to the swinging bridge.
Both destinations were worth checking out!

Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge Montana family adventure

Easy Hike to Kootenai Falls

Kootenai Falls is a beautiful area with rocky river edges and blue-green water. We took our 3 kids on
the short hiking path down to a viewpoint of Kootenai Falls. The hiking path was easy for kids to
navigate, with some rock scrambling sections and places to climb. We love simple yet adventurous
hikes like this. Young families (and everyone else) can enjoy the experience and see some views, and
the hike doesn’t require much endurance.

Kootenai Falls family hike Montana

Scenic Kootenai River

The Kootenai River flows down the falls and through tumultuous sections into Kootenai River gorge. The hike to the falls leads you past several picturesque river outlooks. Kootenai Falls is the largest undammed falls in Montana. Once you’ve viewed the falls, you can hike back and take a trail in the opposite direction to the swinging bridge.

Kootenai Falls easy hike in Montana family adventure

Family hike to Kootenai Falls in Montana

Adventure Across the Swinging Bridge

The swinging bridge is a suspended walking path built across the Kootenai River. It is also used by
firefighters to access the forest on the other side. The bridge offers a secure yet suspended experience
as you cross to other side. My kids enjoyed walking across the bridge and stopping in the middle for a
closer view of the river flowing downstream.

Hiking trail to Kootenai swinging bridge

Things to Know About Kootenai Falls

  • Kootenai Falls and the swinging bridge is definitely worth stopping to see on your next Montana
    family road trip.
  • The trails offer an easy family hike to the falls and the swinging bridge. Both are memorable
    destinations.
  • Wear good shoes to protect your feet while hiking and rock scrambling.
  • Bring a bottle of water or Gatorade to stay hydrated.
  • It’s easy to park and there’s a bathroom and a snack shop at the start of the trail.

Kootenai Falls is a great place to explore on an afternoon family adventure. We spent about 2 hours
walking to the falls, viewing the natural beauty, hiking to the swinging bridge and exploring along the
way. Back at the parking lot, we stopped by the snack shop to get ice cream cones. Overall, it was a
perfect family outing to get some exercise and make fun memories!

Family hike to Kootenai Falls and swinging bridge ice cream



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