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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Great Falls in Cascade County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

A “great” Set of Falls

 
 
A "great" Set of Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 12, 2010
1. A "great" Set of Falls Marker
Inscription. Hidasta informants described a fall of water on the Missouri River near the mountains, so the Captains expected a short portage. Instead of one waterfall, Lewis happened upon a succession of five, and their hope for a short portage faded. Look upriver and see “upper pitch,” now called Black Eagle Falls, the last in the series. The remaining four cascades are downriver - the “sublimely grand” Great Falls is 8 river miles and a 20-minute drive away.

A “great” Challenge
Standing atop a knoll, now called Smelter Hill, just upstream, Lewis determined the south shore offered the shortest, most level portage with the fewest ravine crossings. Following Clark’s survey, the Corps pulled canoes and gear over 18 miles of unforgiving plains.

A “great” But Tamed, Resource
The 360 foot drop in this section of river offered a ready power source for the young community of Great Falls. Five dams now lasso the river and regulate its water levels and current.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 47° 31.799′ N, 111° 14.127′ W. Marker is in Great Falls, Montana, in Cascade County. Marker can be reached from
Missouri River below the Black Eagle Dam image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 12, 2010
2. Missouri River below the Black Eagle Dam
View upriver (southwest) from
the Interpretive Center Overlook
Giant Springs Road 0.9 miles north of River Drive North. Click for map. Marker is located at the overlook of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center; the above directions are to the parking lot of the Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4201 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls MT 59405, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Where Does the Water Come From? (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Smallest River Runs Through It (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cascade County Courthouse (approx. 3.4 miles away); Formation of the Gorge and Falls (approx. 6 miles away).
 
Categories. ExplorationWaterways & Vessels
 
Black Eagle Dam and the Upper Pitch image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 12, 2010
3. Black Eagle Dam and the Upper Pitch
Ryan Dam and the Great Falls image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 12, 2010
4. Ryan Dam and the Great Falls
”8 river miles and a 20-minute drive away”
from the marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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