- Quick Look -
Trail Head Location:
Fees: Just the entry fee into Glacier
Trail Length: 4.4 according to google maps
Great Hike with water features the entire way.
After researching a few trails in Glacier National Park, The St Mary Falls hike made it to the number 1 spot on my list of trails to do. I wanted to make sure I got a chance to do this hike, and it was well worth it. This trail has just about everything I look for in a hike. There are numerous water features, including multiple waterfalls, streams, lakes, and a few water crossings. The hike has open spaces and short treks through more dense forest. Snow capped mountains in the distance, and the chance to see wildlife and flowers all along the way.The first leg of the hike leading up to St Mary falls
The section of the trail I did took about 3 hours and 24 minutes and was roughly 4.4 miles. You can check out the GPS data and map for more details. Even in summer time, the temps never got warm. It was a perfect temperature for hiking with camera gear. If you only wish to see the st Mary waterfall, it is one of the first features you will encounter after a short stretch on this trail, about a mile. You can check it out in the pics below.What you will see when looking around St Mary Falls
If you have more time or energy, and would like to go farther, you can see another waterfall named the Virginia Falls. It only adds about a mile to the hike and is a very nice area to check out. You can see this section of the trail in the below images.This is what you will see if you go farther up to the Virgina falls area
I turned around at this point because I wasn't sure how much farther the trails went and if they would go back to the parking area or not. From the looks of the map, It would have probably been a very long hike to try looping back to the car, and was probably best to turn around and go back the way I came.
This trail never had any really hard terrain and was a pretty well maintained trail all together. It can be a bit busy, so earlier in the day might be better if you are here during a busy time of year. I would recommend hiking boots but a lot of people were on this trail in regular shoes. If you plan to get close to the water and have the potential to be on slick rocks, use real hiking shoes/boots. I usually wear them since I am almost always carrying a good deal of camera equipment and want as sure of footing as I can get. You could easily get up to the Virginia falls area and back quicker than I did. I stopped a lot to take pictures and sat around in some areas just taking in the scenery.Other random spots along the trail
Side note: Don't leave random gear on the roof of your car when you pull out from the trail head.! I forgot my GPS unit up there after removing some of my gear upon completing the hike, but luckily the speed limits are slow in the area and I follow them, so once I realized it was on the roof, I was able to pull over and grab it.! The GPS unit has a semi non slip grip on the exterior, so that with a little luck made it possible to actually retrieve the unit and the data in the unit to use for this write up!Thanks for Reading
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