East Glacier NP
August 5, 2012
|St. Mary Visitor Center|
The only "wildlife" we saw on our ride to the trailhead were Deere...traffic slowed down, moved over and even stopped to allow plenty of room for them to do their thing.
Parking for the hike is limited. We got lucky and pulled right into a spot. It's a 3.4 mile roundtrip trail to Virginia Falls. Just right for today!
Near the beginning of the trail, as we passed through an opening in the forest, we had a view of 8064 foot Dusty Star Mountain. It was towering right in front of us.
The trail enters a canopy of dense pine forest.
The ferns were thick and green...
...and the small streams we crossed over were clear and cool to the toes.
At about a half mile, we reached the St. Mary River. It wasn't long before we heard the thunder of crashing water.
In another quarter mile, we reached the St. Mary Falls.
The spectacular aqua-green color of the pools below the falls is incredibly beautiful.
The rush of water forces a cool breeze down the gorge. Another one of those "WOW!" moments for sure!
The falls drops about 35 feet. Certainly a photo opp.
It was hard to carry on. But we had a ways to go...one last look back as we climbed the ridge towards Virginia Falls.
I can't say enough how awesome this hike was...I enjoyed every step! The Mountain Harebell was growing out of the rock ledge along with other vines and moss.
We did meet a future botanist.
At 1.7 miles, we reached a fork in the trail...we went right towards the Virginia Falls Viewpoint and the base of the upper falls.
Stepping up to the base of the falls is like instant air conditioning.
This is also a multi-tiered waterfall with the main falls dropping about 50 feet.
Joe made a short video...there was no way I could capture Virginia Falls with a camera.
We sure had a great time...
My how our time here is flying by...tomorrow is Wednesday and there is a 60 percent chance of thunder storms.
Hope you are having a great week.
Thanks for stopping by...
...until next time.