There are no falls in Columbia Falls (pop. 3,827, elev. 2,960 feet). When it was time to name the town,Columbia was the initial choice. Since that name had already been taken, Falls was tacked on just because it sounded good.
When Columbia Falls was established in the 1890s, it was supposed to have become a division point for the Great Northern Railway. Kalispell, then Whitefish, became the actual division points, leaving Columbia Falls built to a rather grander scale than its activity would warrant.
For the traveler, Columbia Falls is a handy jumping-off point for both Hungry Horse Reservoir and Glacier National Park. There are several motels and enough stores to do some last-minute stocking up before heading into the mountains.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition