Frozen Ousel Falls

09 March 2020 by 1der Girl

Just as we thought would be the case, the weather was very stormy on our first day in Big Sky, so we decided to skip the slopes (translation: save one of our pass days) and do something fun in town. Keep in mind the town is quite small, but there's still lots to do, like hike / snowshoe the Ousel Falls Trail. Frozen waterfall? Sign me up!!!

We layered up and hiked the first part of the trail, which is technically very easy and paved, but because it was mostly covered in snow with some ice, it was a little dicey. I definitely felt more comfortable wearing my ice cleats, especially since I am still healing from my ACL reconstructive surgery and didn't want to take any chances. I was really glad I wore them as the trail was pretty slippery in several places.

The sun started to peak through the clouds.

It's a short distance to the main Falls, and we weren't disappointed to see other "impostors" along the way.

Don't be fooled! This is not the main waterfall. Luckily we had a short break in the weather.

It's a good thing there was the impostor, because for the "real deal," someone didn't put away the container of vanilla ice cream, and look what happened:

Ousel Falls, frozen over. This was taken from the upper viewing area.

I walked down to the lower viewing area, which is at the base of the Falls. This was only possible because of my ice cleats. It was very steep and SUPER slick; 1der stayed up top in case he needed to call 911 for me.

View from lower level of frozen Ousel FallsI could hear water running underneath the ice. It was loud and visible in the opening marked by the red arrow.
I ❤️ the pano feature on the iPhone. Hopefully you do to so you could see, in one frame, what we saw: the entire falls frozen over.

We then put on our snowshoes and continued along the trail. It was a beautiful "stroll," especially because the clouds parted again and we got some sun.

So much beauty. I don't know what it's like in summer, but it sure is purrrty with all the snow.

As we were heading back, the weather took a really bad turn for the worse. It started snowing like crazy; giant flakes, but luckily, the snow was dry.

This is such a great example how one needs to always be prepared. We were on the trail for less than two hours, and in the course of that time, it went from cloudy, to sunny, to puking snow, to sunny again.

Luckily we made it back to Beastie in one piece. By then it stopped snowing and, in typical unpredictable winter weather, it was sunny.

The forecast for tomorrow is clear, so we'll hit the slopes for sure.

I'm so happy we did this. Sure beats spending all day in a van. 😱  If you ever have a down day in Big Sky and want to have a fun adventure, definitely do this hike / snowshoe!

1der Girl
1der Girl


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