Eddy Narrows

sign with
Eddy Narrows


Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

Eddy Narrows is a 10-mile long canyon between Plains and Thompson Fall along the Clark Fork River. Here all of the waters from the northern and eastern arms of Glacial Lake Missoula converged and picked up speed as they were forced through this restricted area. The steep valley walls are bare of talus and soils up to the level estimated to be the highest level of the lake (1000 ft), and there are polished grooves in the bedrock on a bench 340-400 feet above the Clark Fork River that run parallel to it. Since there is no evidence of glaciation in this area, the only explanation is the rapid draining of Glacial Lake Missoula.

Using the dimensions of this flume-shaped area of the canyon, which controlled the rate of flow of water surging through it, in 1942 J.T. Pardee was able to calculate maximum speeds approaching 80 mph, emptying Glacial Lake Missoula in as little as three days. There are pullouts along MT-200 at either end of the narrowest part of this section marked for observing big horn sheep with Glacial Lake Missoula signage at the one between mileposts 59 and 60 at: 47.537940, -115.071654 

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

Last updated: May 30, 2023