Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Cascade County, MT

  • Published 2022/11/02

When you think of Montana, you’d immediately think of its vast and beautiful landscape, perfect for all outdoor activities.

Cascade County, Montana, is filled with majestic mountains, clear rivers, and lush forests.

This place is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure-seekers.

However, there’s more to this region than just its great outdoors.

It combines small-town charm and big-city sights, making it a truly unique place to visit.

Cascade County has many exciting sights and activities, from its county seat of Great Falls to other towns and cities within its scope.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed getaway, Cascade County is the perfect place!

To help you plan your trip, here are the best things to do in Cascade County, Montana:

Visit the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

View of First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Rivercole /

Native Americans once used the buffalo jump, or a cliff, to provoke a buffalo stampede, thus killing or severely injuring the animals.

This practice was common in the Great Plains region of North America.

Likewise, the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is great for learning about this tradition.

Located on Ulm Vaughn Road in Ulm, Montana, First Peoples Buffalo Jump is the largest buffalo jump site in the country.

Prairie dogs at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Frank Fichtmueller /

Check out the interpretive trails that depict the area’s history and the story of the buffalo culture.

The state park offers guided tours and a self-guided tour of the buffalo jump site.

You can also go hiking, picnicking, or birdwatching in the park.

The 6,000-square-foot visitor center pays homage to the buffalo and the Native Americans.

Wild purple colored flowers at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Nikki Yancey /

You can see various exhibits, artifacts, and artwork that tell the story of the Native American culture and the buffalo jump tradition.

If you want to learn more about the history and culture of the Native Americans in Cascade County, visit First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.

Splash and Play at Electric City Water Park

If you’re looking for a place to cool off and have some fun on the water, head to Electric City Water Park.

This water park in Great Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cascade County.

It’s not hard to see why.

The water park features several slides, a lazy river, a zero-depth entry pool, and more.

The Electric City Water Park has three main aquatic facilities: the Jaycee Pool, Water Tower Pool, and Splash Park.

Each facility offers a unique experience and caters to different age groups.

There’s also a designated area for small children to enjoy the water slides and play in the water without getting overwhelmed.

The Electric City Water Park also has a large grassy area surrounded by a shade of trees.

It’s the perfect spot to spread your towel and relax in the shade while chatting with friends and family.

If the heat makes you feel uneasy, head to Electric City Water Park and enjoy a day of Splashtastic fun!

Learn the History of Central Montana at the History Museum

Display at History Museum

Teresa Otto /

The history of Montana is as varied and colorful as its landscape.

From the arrival of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804 to the present day, the state has seen a lot of changes.

If you want to learn more about the history of Montana, then visit the History Museum in Great Falls.

This unique museum is in an old warehouse renovated to accommodate the entire museum.

It now contains two floors of exhibits that tell the story of Montana from its early days to the present.

The History Museum is run and managed by the Cascade County Historical Society.

Their goal is to promote and preserve the history and heritage of the Central Montana Region.

The museum interprets the area’s diverse cultural past to entertain and educate locals and visitors.

From exhibits to collections and unique events, there’s something for everyone to learn and see at the History Museum.

If you want to know more about the history of Montana, include a visit to the History Museum in your itinerary.

Take the Kids to the Children’s Museum of Montana

Known as the oldest and largest children’s museum in the Treasure State, the Children’s Museum of Montana is a great place to take the kids for a day of learning and fun.

The museum has three interactive exhibit floors focusing on art, science, and history.

In addition, several temporary exhibitions change regularly.

Kids can enjoy various programs such as workshops, interactive demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

There’s also a large play area where they can have fun and play with other kids.

The organization behind the Children’s Museum of Montana aims to nurture children’s curiosity, creativity, and imagination.

They also seek to provide families with a place to bond and have fun.

The Children’s Museum of Montana and its exhibits are designed for kids ages 0 to 12.

At the same time, adults can also enjoy the museum.

If you want to do a fun and educational activity with the kids, visiting the Children’s Museum of Montana is a must.

Spend the Day at Gibson Park

Stone statue at Gibson Park

Michael Gordon /

Of all the parks within Cascade County, Gibson Park is known as “the Jewel of the City Park System.”

When you visit this park in Great Falls, you will see why.

Gibson Park is a beautiful and well-maintained park that offers the widest variety of amenities and activities for everyone to enjoy.

Saying that Gibson Park has something for everyone is a massive understatement.

Landscape of Gibson Park

Michael Gordon /

This park features a beautiful flower garden, multiple walking paths around the park, a bandshell at the center, and much more.

It even has some historical landmarks like the Statue of Paris Gibson 1928 and the Statue of Liberty Replica 1951.

There are also some art pieces, such as the Gibson Glass, a stained glass display that local artists created.

There’s also a picnic area, basketball courts, a playground, and seasonal concessions.

These amenities are why Gibson Park hosts many events throughout the year.

Flowers at Gibson Park

T.Hall /

There’s always something going on, from concerts to festivals to marathons and more at Gibson Park.

This park is truly a gem in Cascade County.

Whether you’re looking for a place to participate in a local event or enjoy a day out, Gibson Park is the perfect spot.

Unwind with Great Beer and Grub at Mighty Mo Brew Pub

Even Lewis and Clark took some time to relax and enjoy a cold after a long day of exploring.

So, if they can do it, then so can you!

What better place to relax and enjoy a beer than at Mighty Mo Brew Pub in Great Falls?

This brewpub offers a great selection of beer and some delicious food to go along with it.

The Mighty Mo Brew Pub also offers an outdoor seating area perfect for any time of year.

The indoor seating is also spacious and great for get-togethers with friends or family.

Mighty Mo Brew Pub offers a wide selection of beers.

From American Wheat to Scotch Ale, there’s a beer for everyone.

If you want something to munch on while enjoying your brew, then you’re in luck!

The Mighty Mo Brew Pub has a full menu, everything from burgers to salads and appetizers.

However, the king of their menu has to go to their signature handcrafted pizzas.

Mighty Mo Brew Pub has a wide array of pizza flavors and toppings, like their beer.

Relax and enjoy some beer and food at Mighty Mo Brew Pub.

Feel the Vibe at Sip ‘n Dip Lounge (1962)

Interior view of Sip 'n Dip Lounge

V Smoothe, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1962, the Sip ‘n Dip Lounge is a long-standing Great Falls bar with a unique vibe.

The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge is a tiki bar complete with all the Polynesian trimmings.

This pub will transport you to the tropics, thanks to its thatched roofs, bamboo walls, and tiki torches.

The bar was also known for Piano Pat, a locally famous jazz musician.

She played the piano at the Spin ‘n Lounge from 1963 until her untimely death in 2021.

With its longevity and unique atmosphere, the Spin ‘n Lounge is now a well-known institution in Cascade County and a must-visit spot for any traveler.

It’s so popular that you often see celebrities dropping by when they’re in town.

The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge is one of the most unique bars in Cascade County.

Appreciate Art at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art

Exterior view of Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art

Montanabw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is the premier destination for art lovers in Cascade County.

Located in Gibson Falls, this art museum hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year.

The museum is named after Paris Gibson, a Great Falls businessman, philanthropist, and founder of Great Falls.

Built in 1896, the museum building was once the original building for the Great Falls Central High School.

It was later converted into the current museum in 1976.

The museum has since undergone a few expansions and updates, but it retains its original charm.

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is home to over 500 permanent pieces in its collection.

These pieces include paintings, sculptures, photographs, and prints from local and international artists.

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is dedicated to promoting the arts and providing educational opportunities for the community.

The museum also offers a variety of classes and workshops for all ages, as well as rotating exhibitions that showcase both local and national artists.

If you want to appreciate some art in Cascade County, add the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art to your list.

Appreciate the Cowboy Artists at C.M. Russell Museum

Exterior view of C.M. Russell Museum

Roger Wollstadt, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to understand cowboy culture, especially their art., visit the C. M. Russell Museum.

The C.M. Russell Museum is one of the best places to do that.

This museum is dedicated to Charles Marion Russell, a famous cowboy artist born in St. Louis, Missouri.

C.M. Russell is one of the greatest artists in the country.

He depicts his life in his art, which also serves as a historical record of Western Culture.

His work of art is on display in this museum.

The C.M. Russell Museum captures and showcases the art of the American West, giving you a taste of cowboy culture.

The museum has over 2,000 works of art from Charles Marion Russell and other artists.

This museum complex is also home to the original log cabin studio of Charles Marion Russell.

This is the place where he did a lot of his work.

The C.M. Russell Museum is excellent for learning about the artist, his work, and the American West.

Get a bird’s eye view of the American west culture through the works of the artists at the C.M. Russell Museum!

Witness the Majestic Black Eagle Falls

Water gushing at  Black Eagle Falls

Joseph Sohm /

Black Eagle Falls is one of five incredible waterfalls near the Missouri River near Great Falls, Montana.

It is the only waterfall you can see up close among the five.

This natural wonder is located on the west side of Great Falls near downtown.

It’s not a typical waterfall.

View of  Black Eagle Falls

vagabond54 /

Instead, it comprises multiple cascading waterfalls that flow over a series of limestone shelves.

The best time to see the falls is during the spring when the snow begins to melt.

Even during the summer, the falls are still an impressive sight.

Bring your camera to Black Eagle Falls if you’re looking for something different to do in Great Falls!

Top view of Black Eagle Falls

Acroterion, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch the Biggest Rainbow Trout at Cottonwood Grove Fishing Access

If you haven’t gone fishing, you have yet to experience the great outdoors.

Cascade County has no shortage of great places to go fishing.

Cottonwood Grove Fishing Access is one of the best places for this activity.

This fishing pier in Great Falls is the perfect place to catch some of the biggest rainbow trout in the area.

This fishing pier is located on the Missouri River and is open to the public year-round.

It’s an excellent place for both experienced anglers and beginners.

There’s also a designated picnic area at the Cottonwood Grove Fishing Access, so you can bring your food or cook the fish you catch.

Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Exhibits at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Michael Gordon /

Lewis and Clark are two of the most prominent figures in American history.

They journeyed across the country in an attempt to map the Western Territory and establish an American presence in the area.

Their route also led them along the Missouri River, which runs through Great Falls.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is dedicated to telling their story.

This facility is on the banks of the Missouri River and features interactive exhibits, a theater, and a gift shop.

Rifles kept for display at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Michael Gordon /

The interpretive center is a great place to learn about the history of the American West.

You will also feel the impact of Lewis and Clark on the country’s westward expansion.

To learn an essential piece of American history, visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

Exhibits at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Michael Gordon /

Get Active at River’s Edge Trail

Nothing gets you moving like going through a trail, and Cascade County has no shortage of them.

The River’s Edge Trail is a 55-mile trail that goes through some of Great Falls’ best attractions and scenic areas.

This trail connects Oddfellows Park, Warden Park, Electric City Water Park, Broadwater Park, Tourist Park, and many other places.

This trail is a great way to exercise while also taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

You can go biking, walking, jogging, running, or even skating.

The possibilities you can try on this trail are endless!

This trail features rough roads to paved sections along the Missouri River.

You’ll also see some of Great Falls’ best landmarks.

If you want to get active and explore the best of the best in Great Falls, check out the River’s Edge Trail!

Hike around the Giant Springs State Park

Landscape of Giant Springs State Park

Michael Gordon /

Giant Springs State Park is one of Montana’s most popular state parks.

It’s no wonder the park is home to Giant Springs, the largest freshwater spring in the United States.

However, the park isn’t just home to a giant spring.

Falls at Giant Springs State Park

Nikki Yancey /

There are also 16 kilometers of hiking trails that wind through the park.

A park is also an excellent place for birdwatching enthusiasts.

People have spotted more than 200 different species of birds in the park.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the great outdoors, Giant Springs State Park is the perfect place.

Rock formation at Giant Springs State Park

Michael Gordon /

Check Out the Malmstrom Museum and Air Park

End your Cascade County tour on a high note by visiting the Malmstrom Museum and Air Park.

The museum is dedicated to the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base, located just outside of Great Falls.

The museum features interactive exhibits, a gift shop, and an outdoor air park where you can see retired military aircraft.

You can take a guided tour, explore the entire museum, and park independently.

Either way, you should learn a lot about the history of the United States Air Force.

The best time to visit the Malstrom Museum and Air Park is in the summer when the airpark is open.

However, the museum is still worth a visit, no matter the season.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to catch some fish, learn about American history, or enjoy the great outdoors, Cascade County has everything you need.

Most of Cascade County’s attractions celebrate the tremendous Western culture and heritage.

What are you waiting for?

Check out the best things to do in Cascade County, Montana!

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