Saturday, July 29, 2017
Hungry Horse Dam, Montana July 15, 2017
This post is one of six related to a Montana trip in July of 2017.
While in Montana we took a trip to view the Hungry Horse Dam on the South Fork of Flathead River. Tara's grandfather worked on the dam in the late 1940s until it was completed in 1952. The dam was built for three reasons: to provide water storage that could be used to increase hydroelectric output at the Grand Coulee and Bonneville Dams on the Columbia and also provide electricity and flood control to the Flathead Valley. At 564 feet high Hungry Horse is one of the largest concrete arch dams in the United States. At 490 feet the morning-glory spillway is the largest in the world. In the past visitors used to take tours inside the dam but since 9/11 critical infrastructure has been closed. Today visitors can get information at a visitor center and walk across the top of the dam. The reservoir is popular with boaters and hikers/campers have access to the backside of the Swan Range as well as The Great Bear Wilderness.
An interesting story to share is how the dam and town of Hungry Horse got its name. In the winter of 1900-1901 two freight horses Tex and Jerry wandered into the wilderness. They were found a month later in deep snow and very skinny. After they were nursed back to health both horses worked for a mercantile company. (Information from www.nps.gov/articles/montana-hungry-horse-dam.htm)