Glacier National Park's Winding Falls
These Winding Falls call Glacier National Park home. The native people refer to the area as the “Shining Mountains” or “Backbone of the World”. The park, known for its glaciers, features carved valleys of lush vegetation. Interesting waterfalls seem to form where there is unique geology, and the Beaver Chief falls are no exception.
The falls are 1291 feet, beginning at the top of the small mountain and ending in the lake below. The tiered waterfall features three single drops and cascades in between. The longest of the drops is 517 feet.
The Beaver Chief Falls could be referred to as a lazy Sunday waterfall. The volume of water is on the low side, at 50 cubic meters per second, compared to that of the Boyoma falls in the Congo, which boasts a magnanimous 600,000 cubic feet per second. The Beaver Chief Falls is one of over 200 waterfalls in the surrounding area. These waterfalls are all fed through creeks and rivers, which are fed through yearly snow fall and glacier melt.
The park’s claim to fame is that it is a conservator of the few glaciers that remain in North America. You can see the brilliant blue color that makes up many of the lakes in the area, which is due to glacial silt. A few of the creeks are a milky white, also a result of glacial runoff. There is conflicting evidence about which lake the Beaver Chief Falls runs into. Some websites state it runs off into Lake Ellen Wilson, while the National Park Service site shows the falls being on Lake Lincoln. It is more likely that they are on Lake Lincoln because they flow from Lincoln Creek, and until 1939 were called the Lincoln Falls.
These falls flow all year round. They flow at a much higher volume during the early spring when the snow is melting.
Sometimes the falls are referred to as the Diamond Falls, due to the distinct diamond shape outlined by the water. On the journey down the water diverges into to two streams about one third of the way down, fanning out creating the diamond shape angle, and then coming back together at the final waterfall. This is a breathtaking, but a very unusual occurrence.
If you want to visit these falls, it is about a nine mile hike. You will feel completely encompassed by wilderness and find the real beauty of nature!