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St. Mary / Virginia Falls

 4.5 (43)

Length


3.1 Miles 5.0 Kilometers


467' 142 m

Ascent

-467' -142 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

4,841' 1,476 m

High

4,555' 1,388 m

Low

Shared By Jake Bramante

Conditions


All Clear 27 days ago
Muddy - Muddy in some spots History

Getting forecast...

A highly-visited hike to a pair of powerful, rushing falls that make for a nice out-and-back route.

Jake Bramante

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Family Friendly While both falls are very popular with families, the trip to St. Mary Falls itself is wonderful and an easy outing.

Bring bear spray.

Overview

This is one of the more popular day hikes in the St. Mary Valley. The route starts with a descent before meandering on level ground to St. Mary Falls, then up Virginia Creek to the taller Virginia Falls. Both falls are great spots to take pictures and to let the mist cool you down on a hot day.

Need to Know

This trail is very popular during the summer, so plan on either coming early in the morning or in the evening or taking the park's shuttle.

Description

To access this hike, if driving, park at the signed parking lot just east of the shuttle stop. Follow the signs down the horse trail cutoff to the Piegan Pass Trail and head west until you meet up with the St. Mary Lake Trail. If using the park shuttle, take it to the St. Mary Falls Trailhead. Head southwest on the St. Mary Lake Trail, descending through the forest.

After strolling through the recent burn with new views for just under a mile from the St. Mary Falls trailhead, you'll join up alongside the St. Mary River and follow it up to St. Mary Falls with a bridge over the river. All of the falls and cascading pools make for a wonderful water feature that is intricate and fascinating.

From here, continue on the trail for another two-thirds of a mile up Virginia Creek to see more small falls that lead up to Virginia Falls. It is a fairly tall waterfall that plummets with great energy. Look for the viewing platform that can be accessed using a small spur trail that is worth the short stroll. An outhouse on the other side of Virginia Creek across the bridge is available as well.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Due to the recent burn, the forest has been replaced by wonderful forest flowers. Birding is great in this area and deer, bear, or moose may be seen.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2018
Garrett Jedlicki
Aug 30, 2018
Caroline Ulczycki
Aug 28, 2018
Rochelle Hartigan
So nice! A few inclines but overall easy hike to pretty falls.
Aug 19, 2018
Catherine Kirby
Aug 16, 2018
Dan Wurzel
This was a great hike. Well worth the effort.
Aug 12, 2018
JAMM FAM
Aug 11, 2018
Jeff Reeck
Definitely go all the way up to Virginia Falls, it’s worth the view
Aug 10, 2018
Jason Bailey

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 43 votes

#3

in St. Mary

#103

Overall
  4.5 from 43 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
35%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
2%
Rankings

#3

in St. Mary

#6

in Montana

#103

Overall
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1,389 Since Jun 14, 2016
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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