Tuesday, August 6, 2013

We're Likin' this Hikin'

 St. Mary, MT
East Glacier NP
August 5, 2012

St. Mary Visitor Center
 Second hike...destination Virginia Falls. This hike begins about 10.5 miles west of the St. Mary Entrance Station on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.

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!

Even the falls had a hint of the aqua color.

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.

In between St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls are unnamed falls and cascades. Being located between two absolutely spectacular waterfalls they may be somewhat diminished. But so worth a stop.

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.




  1. Our friend Paul took this hike and loved it. It really is beautiful.

  2. What a wonderful hike. I think, maybe, I could do it, but right now it would probably take twice as long as your hike.

  3. I would love that hike, it's just the right length and the falls are gorgeous. Thanks for posting all the beautiful shots. :)

  4. Looks like another great hike! Beautiful scenery. Thanks for taking us along.

  5. What a gorgeous hike you had. I just don't know how you had time to take the hike, write the blog and then sort the pictures! Good job!

  6. A wonderful hiking day you had, thanks for taking us along

  7. Wow! St. Mary's Fall was beautiful! What an amazing color! I can't believe the aqua color in the falling water. No wonder it was so hard to continue on but it certainly was worth it. What a fantastic day!! Thanks for taking me along:)

  8. We did this hike last year and it was one of our favorites in the park. Love that aqua water!

  9. We will be there in a few weeks and hope to do this hike although I am worried about the prevalence of bears in the area. Do you bring a whistle? Your photos sure are lovely. I love the waterfalls and the video really brought it to life.

  10. We sure enjoyed our week at Glacier last year, and hope to go back in the future. Glad you are having a great time.

    Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

  11. I enjoyed your hike and this one is on the list...Ahh that will be years from now but thanks for your great pictures it sure keeps me anticipating for more.