Giant Springs, located in Giant Springs State Park near Great Falls, Montana, on the east bank of the Missouri River is a destination not to be missed. Its water has a constant temperature of 54 degrees and originates from snowmelt in the Little Belt Mountains 60 miles away.
Giant Springs is formed by an opening in a part of the Madison aquifer which underlies 5 U.S. States and 3 Canadian Provinces. The water takes many years traveling underground to reach the springs where it surfaces in the park to pool and cascade down over the rocks. In winter the water vapor in the air coats the trees and forms ice crystals. The spring serves as the headwaters of the 61-mile-long Roe River, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the shortest river in the world.
Giant Springs was used by the Blackfeet people as a source for water in winter. Then in 1805, Lewis and Clark described the springs in a report of their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The early settlers mostly ignored the springs until the town of Great Falls was established in 1884. After that, the springs became a Sunday recreational location. The park was established as a Montana State Park in the mid-1970s.
Great Springs State Park is a day park, but camping is available nearby. It is open all year from 8 am to sunset. There are many activities available including fishing, picnicking, hiking, walking, and history programs. You can also see birds, visit the fish hatchery, take nature tours and view wildlife. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center operated by the U.S. Forest Service is nearby.