Photo courtesy: Thompson Falls Chamber
Photo courtesy: MTOT
Koo-Koo-Sint Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area
Photo courtesy: Linda Elliot
Thompson Falls Dam
Thompson Falls is a county seat named for David Thompson, a Northwest Fur Company employee who traded in this area in 1809, and for the natural falls in the Clark Fork River here. The Northern Pacific Railroad came through in 1883, and Thompson Falls and Belknap were bitter rivals as train stops. At one time the Northern Pacific refused to stop the train at Thompson, so the local citizens put huge logs on the tracks; while the crew was removing the obstructions, people from Thompson boarded the trains and tried to persuade immigrants to settle there instead of going on to Belknap. In 1883, 10,000 people on their way to the Idaho gold fields wintered at Thompson; twenty saloons opened to accommodate them, and all operated at a profit. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)
Thompson Falls is a friendly town nestled in a quiet valley along the beautiful Clark Fork River and offers a multitude of attractions for visitors and residents alike. Visit the Historic Old Jail Museum in downtown Thompson Falls. Annual events include the Rose and Perennial Garden Show in June and the Sanders County Christmas Bazaar in December. Visit the Historic Old Jail Museum in downtown Thompson Falls. Wildlife enthusiasts can view bighorn sheep in their natural habitat just 6 miles east of town at the Koo-Koo Sint Bighorn Sheep Viewing Site.
The Thompson Falls PP&L Dam located in town on the Clark Fork River is a popular attraction for visitors. The Thompson Falls reservoir and the Noxon Reservoir, below the dam, offers a variety of recreational opportunities including boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing and floating. There are several public boat launches near Thompson Falls, allowing convenient access to our many miles of navigable water.
The Thompson Falls area has outstanding access to millions of acres of national forest lands. These lands offer a wide range of recreational possibilities including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and hunting. Winter provides backcountry skiing and snowmobiling. Sightseeing adventures include trails in beautiful old growth timber, wildflowers, waterfalls, mountain lakes, creeks, rivers, and wildlife such as deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bears, and many varieties of birds. Be sure to bring your camera.
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