Hike location: Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge.

Our family recently went on a road trip from our home in Oregon to western Montana. We were visiting some friends in Northern Idaho and they suggested a particular hike at Kootenai Falls. It’s one of their favorite places to take friends so how could we pass it up?! The highlight, they told us, is a swinging bridge which takes you over the falls. That sounded great, except for the part about my being afraid of heights.

Even worse than that, I’m afraid of bridges.


Of course, we had to go!! From the way our friends described it, it sounded like the perfect blend of adventure and terror to me! I am so glad that we went! It was amazing.

All things considered the hike is very easy. Some parts of the pathway are a bit narrow so if you have kids who are a bit shaky on their feet, you’ll definitely want to hold their hand to keep them from stumbling.


I was happy to note that there is a sign on the bridge that indicates only five people should be on it at one time. I proposed we followed the instructions religiously which put me at ease when it was my turn to cross the bridge. We went on a Saturday so there were a fair number of other hikers on the path. I know I annoyed a few people who were backed up at the bridge waiting for our group to make its way across, but I do feel we moved at a reasonable pace in order not to block traffic. In the end, I found the experience exhilarating and lots and lots of fun.


I believe the pictures speak for themselves when it comes to the beauty which is Kootenai falls.




Note that there are bathrooms at the trail head, along with picnic benches where you can relax and enjoy lunch. There is also a concession stand which serves ice cream and some assortment of other foods. As we had packed a lunch, we didn’t visit it but should mention that it’s there in case you find yourself in want of a snack.

Instead of obtaining a treat the top of the trail, we rambled down the road and made a stop at the Kootenai Kupboard for a Huckleberry Milkshake. The staff is friendly enough, tho not extremely helpful or efficient when it comes to making a lot of milkshakes. (There are 7 in our family.) Still, we agreed that they were delicious and worth the wait.

If you’re in the area, don’t miss this stop! It’s incredibly stunning.