St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls are among the most beautiful waterfalls of Glacier National Park, which are located close to each other and are easily accessible from the Going-To-The-Sun Road. This trail is one of the first to be cleared of snow so the best time to complete it is from February through early September.
St. Mary Falls
St. Mary Falls is about 35 feet (11 m) in height and consists of two tiers. The plunge, fed by the glacier, boasts a visibly blue color due to the minerals in the water. That unusual color makes the waterfall one of the most photographed spots in the park.
Multi-tiered Virginia Falls is larger, reaching about 50 ft (15 m). Its water is not colored, but the waterfall is still worthy of an Instagram post thanks to the picturesque trees and mossy rocks, surrounding the falls.
Both waterfalls can be reached by an easy 3-mi trail (4.7-km), which begins from the St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop on the Going-To-The-Sun Road. Hikers can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding peaks: Dusty Star Mountain, Almost-a-Dog Mountain, Little Chief Mountain, and Reynolds Mountain. After crossing the bridge over St. Mary River, you can hear the sounds of cascading water and soon encounter the beautiful St. Mary Falls. After St. Mary, the trail goes further up to Virginia Creek with several smaller falls along the way. Virginia Falls is your final destination on the trail. Make sure to explore both upper and lower sections of this waterfall.
When is the best time to visit St. Mary and Virginia Falls in Glacier National Park?
One should visit St. Mary and Virginia Falls from February till September to get a clear view of them. During this time, visitors can easily access and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. Show more
Where are St. Mary and Virginia Falls located in Glacier National Park?
St. Mary and Virginia Falls are located close to each other in Montana's Glacier National Park. The trail starts from the St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and enables visitors to see both falls at one hike. Show more
What is the distance of the trail to see both waterfalls?
St. Mary and Virginia Falls can be seen by walking a 3-mile-long (4.7 km) trail. The hike is quite easy, and besides two big falls, hikers can see other waterfalls in Virginia Creek and the beauty of several surrounding mountains. Show more
Are there other waterfalls along the trail to St. Mary and Virginia Falls?
In addition to the two famous waterfalls of St. Mary and Virginia, the trail includes several other waterfalls in Virginia Creek. Hikers can also have a picturesque view of almost-a-Dog Mountain, Little Chief Mountain, and Reynolds Mountain and enjoy their hiking even more. Show more
Can you swim or get close to St. Mary and Virginia Falls in Glacier National Park?
Due to the risk of fast-moving water and slippery rocks, visitors cannot swim or get too close to both falls. But people can explore the beauty of these breathtaking falls from a safe distance, and enjoy the mossy rocks and the trees surrounding them. Show more