Glacier National Park: St. Mary Falls Hike


We hiked to two awesome waterfalls, saw a celebrity on the trail, and ate at a quirky restaurant right outside of Glacier National Park.

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Day 21 St Mary Falls

St. Mary Falls Hike to Virginia Falls

We loved this hike! The walk begins in a scorched forest, but the contrast of the colorful wildflowers against the burnt bark was outstanding.

You can pick up the trail about 10.6 miles from the St. Mary Entrance Station on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. At only 250 foot elevation gain and about 3-miles round trip, the hike is a fairly easy out and back.

It is a popular hike with limited parking so arrive early in the day for a quiet trail and a parking spot.

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St. Mary Falls

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After the short walk in the forest, we reached St. Mary Falls. The reddish-brown color of the trees alongside the fall make it look like an autumn day.


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Virginia Falls

Don’t stop here! If you hike St Mary Falls hike, continue on to Virginia Falls where you can stand right at the bottom of the pounding waterfall.

If you are visiting early in the season, make note this hike is one of the earliest trails to be clear of snow because of the elevation.

Virginia Falls 3

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Virginia Falls (Copy)

Virginia Falls 2

Celebrity Sighting – Who Did We See?

On the way back to the car, I exchanged pleasantries with a father and son duo as we passed by. As I was asking how they were doing, I realized the son was Derek Hough from Dancing with the Stars.

I’ve seen the show only a few times, but I recognized him right away. I told my husband and he had no idea who he was and thought I was a little crazy. I looked him up on Instagram later and it was him. He had a picture from the day before with him and his dad in Glacier.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stop him for a picture. I just thought it was funny that I recognized him hiking on a trail in Montana. His shiny hair must have tipped me off!

#fatherSonAdventure Snap Chat: Derekhough

A post shared by Derek Hough (@derekhough) on

Two Sisters Café

We stopped for a late lunch at Two Sisters Café just outside the east entrance of Glacier. We had huge delicious burgers, Going-to-the-Sun IPA (love the name) and huckleberry pie. It was a great meal and the staff was extremely warm and friendly.

Two Sisters Cafe

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Next: The Most Terrifying Hike I’ve Ever Been on

And so our epic 80 day summer road trip continues – 13 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces and 13 national parks. Follow our journey via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Miles Driven Today: 33, Total Miles Driven: 4,134, Average Gas Price per Gallon: $2.56, States: Montana

If you would like to see our full itinerary, start at the beginning here. And Start at Day One here.

Thanks for following along! Do you have any questions for us about our epic 80 day summer road trip? Or St Mary Falls Hike?

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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

2 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    Been to Glacier National Park twice. Several mountain landscapes have been etched in my mind forever as they are so majestic and unique! Glad you had opportunity to experience this amazing place yourselves. Thanks for sharing many of the special details you encounter!

  2. Kim B

    St Mary’s is such a beautiful place. Two Sisters looks great, I like the prayer flags & the flamingo, fun little touches always interest me.
    Kim B

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