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St. Mary Falls & Virginia Falls Hike Glacier National Park

If you are looking for a family friendly hike in Glacier National Park, look no further than Virginia Falls. This hike will surprise and delight around every corner.

If you prefer to watch a video of our hike click here.

Virginia Falls Hike - Glacier National Park

How We Got There

We took a car from Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) and arrived via the West entrance of Glacier National Park. At the park entrance, we drove Going to the Sun Road over Logan Pass and continued for 8 miles until reaching the St. Mary Falls parking stop. If you prefer to take a shuttle (and avoid parking woes in prime season), park at Apgar Visitor Center or St. Mary Visitor Center and catch the Going to the Sun Road shuttle to St. Mary Falls. If you begin at Apgar Visitor Center you may need to transfer shuttles at Logan Pass.

If you prefer to take a shuttle (and avoid parking woes in prime season), park at Apgar Visitor Center or St. Mary Visitor Center and catch the Going to the Sun Road shuttle to St. Mary Falls Trailhead.

You could also arrive by train into Whitefish, Montana and drive from there. St. Mary Falls - Glacier National Park

When We Went

Late June

Pros - The Going to the Sun Road opened completely on the day we visited Virginia Falls, we didn’t get hot during the hike, we were able to snag a parking spot, we saw a deer and black bear along the journey

Cons - Rain squalls and cooler weather meant we were constantly switching between puff coats and rain jackets while trekking through muddy terrainVirginia Falls Hike - Glacier National Park

What We Loved

The hike to St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls is absolutely breathtaking. Visitors will enjoy mountain vistas, waterfalls, rivers, beargrass, thimbleberry and huckleberry bushes, and prime opportunities for wildlife sightings. 

Visitors will enjoy mountain vistas, waterfalls, rivers, beargrass, thimbleberry and huckleberry bushes, and prime opportunities for wildlife sightings.

This hike is also relatively easy, allowing Glacier National Park visitors of all ages to enjoy the vistas and terrain. Hikers reach St. Mary Falls first with a rumbling of crystal clear water crashing down into a river that splits and divides before meandering into the mountain peaks. 

Bear Grass - St. Mary Falls Hike - Glacier National Park

As guests cross the bridge and continue along the path, they will encounter multiple smaller falls before reaching the picturesque Virginia Falls where photo opportunities abound. Access is provided to the base of the falls where the mist will cool and refresh the weariest of travelers. But, be sure to make your way to the bridge below the falls for those landscape photos and million dollar views while rehydrating with a beverage from your backpack and a snack before hiking back.

Be sure to make your way to the bridge below the falls for those landscape photos and million dollar views

Know Before You Go

Please keep your children close and be careful near the base of the falls as rocks are wet and very slippery. Remember to bring bear spray and have it open and ready for use if needed. If you need a bear spray tutorial click hereSt. Mary Falls Bridge - Glacier National Park

Remember to Bring

Rain Jackets

Bear Spray

Mosquito Repellant

Sunscreen

Sunglasses

Camera

Shoes with good tread

Hiking Poles (optional)

The entire family loved this hike. We have been frequenting Glacier National Park for 5 years and have our favorite hikes (Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake, Highline Trail), but the hike to Virginia Falls surprised and delighted us all, causing us to place this hike at the top of our family friendly hikes list. If you are able to add this one to your itinerary, we highly recommend doing so!

The hike to Virginia Falls surprised and delighted us all, causing us to place this hike at the top of our family friendly hikes list.

Virginia Falls - Glacier National Park

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