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Historic Great Falls At Ryan Dam

August 6, 2022

The Great Falls (also known as 'Big Falls') just below the Ryan Dam near Great Falls, Montana created by the Missouri, River ... is part of the Great Falls Portage National Historic Landmark, commemorating Lewis and Clark's 18-mile overland portage around it and the four other falls of the Missouri River in the heat of the Montana summer of 1805 from June 13 to July 13. The men did so by building two crude wagons that carried the boats, equipment, and supplies around the Falls. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. National Park Service photo.)
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The Great Falls (also known as 'Big Falls') just below the Ryan Dam near Great Falls, Montana created by the Missouri, River ... is part of the Great Falls Portage National Historic Landmark, commemorating Lewis and Clark's 18-mile overland portage around it and the four other falls of the Missouri River in the heat of the Montana summer of 1805 from June 13 to July 13. The men did so by building two crude wagons that carried the boats, equipment, and supplies around the Falls.

Since the Lewis and Clark Expedition's land trek around these scenic, geographic wonders ... the Ryan Dam and other dams have significantly altered (reduced) the original size of each falls listed below.

  • Black Eagle Falls (26 feet 5 inches)

  • Colter Falls (6 feet 7 inches)

  • Rainbow Falls (44 feet 6 inches)

  • Crooked Falls, also known as Horseshoe Falls (19 feet)

  • Big Falls/Great Falls (87 feet)

The Missouri River drops a total of 612 feet from the first falls to the last one, which includes a combined 187 feet of vertical plunges and 425 feet of riverbed descent.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803 and 1806), as well as, the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois. The Trail connects 16 states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) and many tribal lands. It is administered by the National Park Service.

Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. National Park Service photo.

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