Ousel Falls, Montana
Ousel Falls, Montana | Photo Credit: Flickr - sf-dvs

Just outside the mountain town of Big Sky, Montana, lies the scenic hike to Ousel Falls. This moderate 1.6-mile roundtrip trail delivers stunning waterfall views, making it a popular short walk near Big Sky Resort.

The well-maintained trail meanders along the South and West Forks of the Gallatin River, crossing over three footbridges. Lush, dense forests surround the path, keeping conditions excellent during summer. The ambient sound of the river accompanies hikers throughout the hike.

Approaching the waterfall, the trail splits to provide options for viewing Ousel Falls. Take the rightmost fork to reach the South Fork Overlook, with panoramic vistas high above the falls. For an up-close perspective, descend to the waterfall’s base via the middle trail, which leads to a picnic area next to the cascading waters.

Ousel Falls, Montana
Ousel Falls, Montana | Photo Credit: Flickr – LibertyLakeAnne

The left and right forks offer additional dramatic views of the misty 60-foot falls. Ousel Falls remains stunning in any season, from roaring spring runoff to exquisite winter ice formations. Its family-friendly length and shady terrain make it an appealing hike for Big Sky visitors of all ages to enjoy the area’s natural splendor.

From downtown Big Sky, head south on Highway 191 for about 30 miles, then take Big Sky Spur Road to Ousel Falls Road. Ample parking awaits at the marked trailhead, the starting point for this rejuvenating forest waterfall escape.

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