Camping, Hiking and Traveling in Montana
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Big Timber Creek Falls
Big Timber Creek Falls is easily accessed from the major access at the end of the Big Timber Creek road. To find the access travel north out of Big Timber on US 191 for about 11 miles to a well marked turn onto the Big Timber Canyon Road that runs west toward the Crazy Mountains. Follow this good gravel road for about 2 miles until a junction where you bear to the right, again toward the mountains. Follow this road until it ends at the Halfmoon Campground and Halfmoon Picnic Area as well as the Big Timber Canyon trailhead. The Halfmoon Campground is a typical USFS campground with picnic tables, fire rings, outhouses and drinking water. The adjacent picnic area is great for day trips and overflow parking.
You can access the Big Timber Creek Falls by either following a trail to the falls that begins in the campground or by following the main trail into Big Timber Canyon which offers a side trail (left side of trail) to the Falls soon after the trail begins. This is the trail that leads to a number of popular Crazy Mountain hikes, including the easy day hikes to Twin Lakes and Blue Lake.
The Big Timber Creek Falls are a series of falls that split a narrow rock canyon. The falls twist through the rock and there are no good places from which you can view the entire stretch. However, there are great views and this hike is recommended to all waterfall fans. The character if the Falls changes with water levels so be sure to visit more than once if you can.
Big Timber Creek offers some of the most famous whitewater kayaking in Montana. This is water for experts and it is not uncommon to find kayakers on the water when the creek flows are good. It is hard to imagine that anyone could ride a boat through the Falls but many kayakers have accepted the challenge. However, most boaters take off the creek upstream of the Falls. There is a mile or more of top quality creek paddling above the Falls that is sought by many. Rather than try to describe this more I will refer you to a couple of other sites. There are a number of videos of kayakers on Big Timber Creek Falls but I think the best is the found here Big Timber Creek Falls Kayaking video.
On the Montana Eddy Hop blog you will find a good description of the Big Timber Creek whitewater run, complete with good photos. There is an interesting string of comments about the run included and reference is made to the EGCreekin site which has this excellent account of running the Big Timber Creek Falls. A number of the great hikes in Montana are along great creeks for kayaking so don't be surprised if you see boats on some waters. For another story of extreme kayaking in Montana be sure to check out our page about Natural Bridge Falls.
In summary, Big Timber Canyon offers a lot for everyone. It has excellent camping and picnicking. The Falls are a natural wonder to sit and enjoy. Big Timber Creek offers excellent fishing opportunities and the trail head offers access to great Crazy Mountain trails. Th crazy Mountains are a great place to visit and the Big Timber canyon offers the best of the Crazies.