St. Mary Falls – Glacier National Park


Some of the most beautiful waterfalls you’ll ever see can be found on the eastern side of Glacier National Park, just a short walk from Going to the Sun Road.  As you drive east across the park, the first waterfall trail you reach leads to St. Mary Falls.

After enduring a day of grey, cloudy skies, I was pleased to finally find a place that was so brightly colorful.  The water really is that blue–a shade that results from silt in the water, coming from melting snow and glaciers.

The water is amazingly clear, the rocks strikingly red.

In the above picture, you can see that St. Mary Falls is a two-tiered waterfall, although the upper falls is tough to photograph.  You can also see that you’re not allowed to climb any closer.

Downstream just a bit, the colors are still amazingly bright.

Looking downstream: the St. Mary River flows from here into St. Mary Lake.  The western tip of the lake is only about a mile away.

If you want to hike further, there’s another waterfall not far away.  Virginia Falls is just about 7/10 of a mile from St. Mary Falls.

Note: This trip was first published in 2006.  Much of the same area was covered in the Big Sky trip in 2014.

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