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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.