Friday, September 16, 2016

Kootenai Falls, Swinging Bridge and Ross Creek Cedars!


Sadly it was time to say goodbye to Kalispell and we pulled out of our park driving a short distance west to the town of Libby Montana. We originally planned to stay at the Fireman’s Park in town which offers boondocking sites for $10 per night. After we walked around the park it was obvious to us that we would not fit into any of the sites without having several small branches kiss the outside of our motorhome.


We lingered to search the internet and found a somewhat unknown park north of Libby called Libby Dam RV Park. There was ONE good review but the park had no website so we had trouble finding a phone number to call.  We decided the best thing to do would be to unhook the car and drive over to check it out. What a neat little park it turned out to be as it is positioned along the Kootenai River and the friendly elderly owners mentioned we could have a site for just $20 per night with full hookups!  This park had some great views of the river and surrounding mountains so we were really happy to find it. Right after we set up our phones alerted us that the area was predicted to have near freezing temperatures that night so we were doubly happy to have this full hookup site!


It was a partly cloudy afternoon with no rain forecasted so we decided to drive over to the Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge about 15 minutes west of the park. We walked the 1/2 mile or so over to the swinging bridge first. It was a long swinging bridge suspended across the river, It was so cool to have a panoramic view of the cascading blue waters in the gorge below while navigating across the bridge.


We retraced our steps to make our way back to the spur trail to the falls. We did however stop several river access points to see the river and in one calm cove we actually saw salmon spawning.  Sharon had never seen wild salmon so she found this to be a real treat!  The falls were pretty amazing as well and we loved seeing the size of this waterfall. However we couldn’t linger too long because I also wanted to drive over to the Ross Creek Cedar Trail about 30 more minutes away. We made the short drive over and drove on a mostly one lane width road until we arrived at the trailhead.


The Ross Creek Cedar trail was only a one mile loop but the walk through these magnificent giants was well worth the drive. The blurb on the sign says it all “California has its redwoods and Montana has its famous Ross Creek Cedars” and these are some huge cedars!


Well we only spent one night in Libby and then we moved over to Bonners Ferry Idaho finally saying goodbye to Montana. We pulled into the Kootenai River Inn Casino for one night of boondocking. We kind of got a late start so we decided to check out the nearby Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. 


Here took a short but nice hike to Myrtle Falls, still flowing a nice rate even though the area was much dryer than any we have been in for some time. Although it is primarily a refuge for waterfowl other critters can be seen so we elected to take the loop drive in the park. Although we didn’t see much on the loop we still enjoyed our short afternoon at the refuge.


That evening we walked over to the casino to use up our $10 each in free play and after exhausting our free play money we won enough to walk over to the Kootenai River Brewing Company which had some very nice beers with a great view of the river. We enjoyed our beer and watched the geese flying down the river at sunset, a great way to end the day.

NOTE: We are currently in Couer d’Alene, Idaho and then will move over to Spokane to boondock at yet another casino.


  1. You certainly have found some beautiful trails and waterfalls as you moved on. We saw the salmon spawning last year for the first time. How cool and they are so pretty turning bright red.

  2. I would never, I repeat, never go across that bridge.
    Beautiful trail. I love waterfalls of any kind! Gorgeous photos.

  3. Sounds like you found another great place to check out. I love the bridge and the waterfalls.

  4. We have the same picture on the suspension bridge. During our visit there we met a local woman who told us that one of Meryl Streep's movies, The River Wild, had been filmed there.

  5. We're hopefully heading that way next week (depends on weather, of course) and I was wondering where you stayed. Thanks for the info on that RV park. You are blazing our way because these are all the places we want to visit.

  6. You captured some great pictures of the waterfalls on your hikes. We enjoy Couer d’Alene and will have to look for a few on our next trip there. But the swinging bridge ....

  7. Love the waterfall photos, and Casino parking is reasonable and sometimes profitable as well.