St. Mary’s Falls is a beautiful waterfall in Glacier National Park. The trail can be extended to include either Baring Falls or Virginia Falls, or both if you have the stamina. This post will talk specifically about hiking to St. Mary’s Falls from the St. Mary’s Falls parking lot.
- Rating: Easy
- Distance: 1.7 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 260 feet down to the falls, and then back up
- Fees: Glacier National Park Fee
- Tips: Parking is limited by the trailhead. Arrive early, or consider riding the shuttle.
The trail starts downhill from the sign. The forest was burned in a fire in recent years, and the trees at the beginning of the trail are charred, but the undergrowth is already making a comeback. It was very green along the trail when we hiked in July. We also had lots of great animal sightings. We saw woodpeckers, deer, chipmunks, and a large bull moose along the way.
The route is well marked, so there isn’t any chance of getting lost. The trail goes down until it reaches the river in the bottom. Then it turns and follows along the river. Soon you will see the waterfall and the bridge that crosses for a better view of St. Mary’s Falls.
The beautiful thing about St. Mary’s is that the bridge crosses the river directly below it. This means that you can stand on the bridge for a perfect view of the water as it cascades in front of you and disappears below. There is a nice, wide curtain, and the water plummets around 25 feet. It is considerably more impressive than Baring Falls, but not anywhere close to Virginia Falls.
The trail continues on to Virginia Falls. The distance to St. Mary’s is 1.7 miles roundtrip, but adding Virginia Falls adds another 2.0 miles roundtrip for 3.7 miles total. It is worth it if your legs are up for it.
St. Mary’s Falls is a beautiful stop and a great family friendly trail. The only downside is that after climbing down to the waterfall, you have to climb back up to your car!
Be sure to check out all of our Glacier National Park Kid Hikes to help you plan your trip!
St. Mary’s Falls trailhead is located 10.6 miles west of the St. Mary’s entrance station along the Going-to-the-Sun road.