Hike to St. Mary Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
The hike to St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park is one of the easiest hikes in the park, with a beautiful view at the end. (The end, that is, unless you continue on to Virginia Falls.)
We did this hike in July 2013, with my baby in the backpack, and my nephew on foot. We actually hiked all of the way to Virginia Falls, past St. Mary Falls. If my almost five-year-old nephew can make it, anyone can!!
You start out with a beautiful view.
Then you hike down a hill. It is, of course, easy going down to St. Mary Falls, because it all starts out downhill, and then it is what I would call pretty much flat the rest of the way to the falls.
You are surrounded by trees most of the way, starting out with views of St. Mary Lake.
The hike is only 0.8 miles one way. Even if you don’t like hiking uphill, the hike back up is not bad at all. It goes so quickly.
The path is a nice, wide dirt path the entire way.
Keep in mind, the waterfall is not marked by a sign when you reach it. You will know it because it is the first waterfall you will reach on this hike. There is no sign saying, “St. Mary Falls,” so you will have to continue on hiking if you want to reach Virginia Falls.
When you reach the falls, there is a bridge you can cross, and the best photo opportunity is from the other side of the bridge.
I personally do not think that this bridge is safe for small children. The bridge crosses the roaring river, and a small child could easily fall out between the rails. Please be careful here!! Also, when you cross the bridge, there is no railing on the other side to protect a child from falling in. So again, please watch your kids.
I would highly recommend continuing on past St. Mary Falls to Virginia Falls, since you have already come this far!!
The trail head is 10.5 miles west of the town of St. Mary inside Glacier National Park. I am not sure on how many miles it is from the top of Logan Pass, but it is not far. If you head down Logan Pass, you will come to a sign that says “Congested Area Ahead,” (that is how popular this hike is!) and you will want to get prepared to stop. Right after that, you will see parking on your right hand side, with a sign that says St. Mary Falls. Park here.
There is only a small pullout for vehicles, with room for (my guess) 15 cars. Let’s just say there is not enough space to park for this hike!! Again, as I always say, get there early! This will ensure not only a parking spot, but less people on the trail. The less people, the more you can enjoy nature. Also, the easier it is to get a photograph without other visitors in it!
I hope you enjoy your hike to St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park, Montana.
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog