Sunday, August 3, 2014

Second Day of Glacier NP Hiking

Posted from Coram, MT  (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

To view our Google+ Album on the St. Mary Trail Hike CLICK HERE

We intend to do several days of hiking in Glacier NP, so if you're not a fan of hiking and beautiful scenery, then I'm afraid you're out of luck for awhile.

We used the park's transportation system mentioned in our previous blog to get to today's trailhead for the St. Mary Falls hike.  We parked our car at the Apgar Visitor Center on the west side of the park then jumped on the larger bus to Avalanche. We then transferred to a smaller bus (12 passengers) to ride to the Logan Pass Visitor's Center.  This is the transfer point for folks either going east toward Saint Mary or back west to Apgar.  We transfered again to a small bus and headed east to our stop at the St. Mary Falls shuttle stop.  If this sounds like a hassle or a bit confusing, it's really not.  It's very nice to let someone else drive thru approximately 37 miles of heavily traveled roadway, plus there is construction going on east of Logan Pass for several miles currently.

We arrived at the trailhead and set off to see St. Mary Falls, Virginia Falls, Baring Falls, Sunrift Gorge, and a whole lot of beautiful scenery along the way.  The hike today is approximately 4.8 miles.

In a relatively easy 1.2 miles we come upon St. Mary Falls.  The water is just beautiful in color here and VERY chilly.  I let you know that it's chilly, because if you check out the video below you'll understand why you won't see an older, wiser person jumping into the water.

            Video Best Viewed In Full Screen and Set to 1080p

Here's a view below the falls where the waters actually split before combining again a bit downstream and head toward St. Mary Lake.

Heading further down the trail we come upon this pretty waterfall.  I think many folks thought they had arrived at Virginia Falls, but it is still a bit further ahead.

After 1.8 miles from the trailhead we reach Virginia Falls.  The waters cascading over these rocks also feed into St. Mary Lake.

The area is just so darn pretty (and cool, temperature wise) that we decide to take a break for lunch.

After a short backtrack down the trail we branch off and head east along the northern cliffs overlooking St. Mary Lake. This is one of the prettiest lakes we have seen thus far.

The scenery around the lake isn't too shabby either!

Our next destination is Baring Falls.  This falls is somewhat smaller than both St. Mary and Virginia falls, but still pretty to see.

After a pretty steep ascent back up toward the Going to the Sun Road we come upon this bridge over the waters leading toward Baring Falls.  I just put this picture in because I like the stonework on the bridge.

The last "feature" of today's hike takes us just a short distance from the bridge to Sunrift Gorge.  This gorge has been formed through the years by water rapidly descending down the mountains and heading into St. Mary Lake.  The picture really doesn't do justice to the speed and sound of the water in the narrow gorge.

Well, that's it for today's hike.  Don't forget to take a look at our associated Google+ album for additional pictures on today's blog.

Thanks for dropping by to take a look!


  1. Replies
    1. I can't help myself. I like waterfalls.

    2. What's not to like about waterfalls? Beautiful.

    3. Yeah, Erin, I'm with you! Paul's going to get more waterfalls in the coming blogs. LOL

  2. I'm not a hiker but am a big fan of the drop-dead gorgeous scenery and I'm glad you post shots that be enlarged for great viewing. I'm looking forward to the rest of your hikes.

    1. We did a really nice one today. Check the next blog for pics and description.

  3. These were beautiful, as usual. Thanks so much!

  4. Such great pictures! Yes, St. Mary's Lake is beautiful. We took the bus system in '08 when it first started. 4 out of 6 buses broke down. What a nightmare we had getting back to Apgar. Sounds like they figured it out. Be sure and hike to Hidden Lake behind the center at Logan's Pass. An Awesome view!

    1. Carol we've been wanting to do the hike to Hidden Lake for the past week, but the lower half (after the observation point) has been closed due to many bear encounters. Hoping we'll get to do the hike before we leave.

  5. I love waterfalls! Your photos make me want to be there.

    1. Thanks Nan. I love them too. I sometimes thing that I tend to focus too much on one element in a blog post, but then again, hey, I write my blog for myself to look back and enjoy.