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Trail Information

Morrell Falls
Driving from Missoula: Take I-90 East to MT Highway 200 (the Bonner exit). Take 200 to MT Highway 83 at Clearwater Junction.  There you’ll see a big cow out in front of the Sinclair Station, take a left to Seeley Lake (about 15 miles).

Morrell Falls
National Recreation Trail #30
Morrell Falls National Recreation Trail #30 has been listed as a National Recreation Trail for many years. It is a popular family hiking trail about 2.5 miles in length with an easy to moderate grade to the falls area.  The gently rolling terrain will take you through a spaced-out lodgepole pine area, a thick evergreen forest filled with fir, larch and spruce, past lakes and streams.

Morrell Falls is a series of cascades and falls for a total 200 foot drop, the longest of which is about 90 feet.  One of the great things about this trail is that you can access it not only by foot but by horse or bicycle as well.  But beware, with tree roots, rocks and mosquitoes aplenty, you'll want a FULLY SUSPENDED mountain bike and maybe some non-toxic bug spray.

After about 1.8 miles, you’ll see a pond to your right and, just past the pond, you’ll see a lake through the trees, which is 26-acre Morrell Lake. Crescent Mountain rises sharply from the eastern shore. As you follow the trail past the lake, you’ll see some footpaths that head down to the water and a couple campsites complete with fire grates, an overnight option that would be great for a youngster’s first backpacking excursion.  Or just take a picnic lunch with you and eat once you get up to the falls.  Thimble berries and huckleberries can sometimes be found along the trail. 

Due to the large numbers of visitors in summer months, this trail is the wrong choice for solitude seekers but is a gateway to wilderness trails: Morrell Creek Trail 383 (3.5 miles) and Grizzly Basin Trail 409 (3.5 miles).

Elevation in ft:  Trailhead: 4, 730   Falls: 4,840   Highest Point: 4,880

Directions: Just north of town, take Morrell Creek Road 447 on the right of Hwy 83.  Drive 1.2 miles & bear left onto (road 4353).  Travel about 5.7 miles & turn right on road 4381 to Morrell Falls and Pyramid Pass. Shortly after, turn left on road 4364. Follow the sign to Morrell Falls trailhead.

At the trailhead you will find toilets, but no developed water source.
Overnight camping is permitted in the parking area.  The Seeley Lake Ranger District offers a free informational handout which includes a simple map to the Morrell Falls Trailhead.

Click images below to enlarge.

Forest Road 4353 on May 1st, 2017.  Lots of trees have been cut to clear the way to Morrell Falls Trailhead, however the road became impassable because of snow after driving about 4 miles.

on May 1st, 2017, Game Warden tells private logger that this road to Morrell Falls Trailhead becomes impassable up ahead because of snow.

on May 1st, 2017, Forest Road 4353 to Morrell Falls Trailhead became impassable on May 1st, 2017 because of snow up ahead.

Forest Road 4353 on May 1st, 2017. Lots of trees have been cut to clear the way to Morrell Falls Trailhead, however the road became impassable because of snow after driving about 4 miles.

on May 1st, 2017, Game Warden tells private logger that this road to Morrell Falls Trailhead becomes impassable up ahead because of snow.

on May 1st, 2017, Forest Road 4353 to Morrell Falls Trailhead became impassable (even to 4-wheel-drive) because of snow up ahead

Map of the general area around Morrell Falls and the Grizzly Basin

Approaching the bridge across Morrell Creek upon returning back from Morrell Falls.  Some snow remains on the ground May 18, 2017

May 4th, 2017 Snow still blocking access to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass Trailhead

Map of the area around Morrell Falls & the Grizzly Basin
(click to enlarge)

Approaching the bridge across Morrell Creek upon returning back from Morrell Falls.  Some snow remains on the ground May 18, 2017

May 4th, 2017 Snow still blocking access to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass Trailhead.

Graded access road, FR 4381, to the new bridge up ahead which crosses Morrell creek on the way to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass trailhead as it appeared 5/11/17.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.  No public pictures are available of this area since the fire is still active as of 8/6/17. Looking east across the new wooden bridge crossing Morrell Creek on FR 4381 on the way to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass trailhead as it appeared 5/11/17.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.  No public pictures are available of this area since the fire is still active as of 8/6/17. Looking south (downstream) from the new bridge crossing Morrell Creek as it appeared on May 11, 2017.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.  No public pictures are available of this area since the fire is still active as of 8/6/17.

Graded access road, FR 4381, to the new bridge up ahead which crosses Morrell creek on the way to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass trailhead as it appeared 5/11/17.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.

Looking east across the new wooden bridge crossing Morrell Creek on FR 4381 on the way to Morrell Falls trailhead and Pyramid Pass trailhead as it appeared 5/11/17.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.

Looking south (downstream) from the new bridge crossing Morrell Creek as it appeared on May 11, 2017.  The bridge and forest have sustained heavy damage in the Rice Ridge fire.  The bridge never opened and will already require rebuilding.

Morrell Creek immediately below Morrell Falls near Seeley Lake, Montana Small streamlet of Morrell Creek coming off the base of  Morrell Falls

Beautiful scene of Morrell Creek immediately after Morrell Falls

Morrell Creek immediately after Morrell Falls.

Small streamlet of Morrell Creek coming off the base of  Morrell Falls
 

Please do not climb around Morrell Falls sign Morrell Lake not far from Morrell Falls near Seeley Lake, MT Looking back on trails end at Morrell Falls near Seeley Lake, MT

Wood sign:  Please Do Not Climb Around Waterfall.

Morrell Lake not far from Morrell Falls

Looking back on trails end at Morrell Falls.
 

Grizzly basin trail (409) blocked by fallen trees about 100 feet up from its beginning near the end of Morrell Falls Trail (30). 5/20/17 Large tree recently fell across the start of the Grizzly Basin Trail making passage difficult.  This can be seen from the Morrell Falls Trail near Morrell Falls.  The trail is going up the left side of the picture.  This is also the trail to the top of Morrell Falls.  Photo taken on 6/11/17. Odd mushroom growing on a fallen tree near Morrell Falls

Grizzly basin trail #409 blocked by fallen trees about 100 feet up from its beginning near the end of Morrell Falls Trail #30.
Picture taken horizontally from eye level.  This trail is about as steep as you can get without using your hands!  Be prepared!

Large tree recently fell across the start of the Grizzly Basin Trail making passage difficult.  This can be seen from the Morrell Falls Trail near Morrell Falls.  The trail is going up the left side of the picture.  This is also the trail to the top of Morrell Falls.  Photo taken on 6/11/17.

Odd mushroom growing on a fallen tree near Morrell Falls.