Glacier National Park – St Mary’s Area

Next we travelled along the Going-to-the-Sun Road to St. Mary’s. We spent four days in this area where we hiked to Hidden Lake (twice), St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls these small hikes were only a warm up for what was to come later in the trip. Probably a good thing I didn’t know how hard the long hikes would be…. Looking back these hikes were nothing compare to Grinnell Glacier Trail!

Hidden Lake Trail

My first introduction into a “hike” at Glacier. This trail is about 3 miles roundtrip. The first part is all boardwalk to keep visitors on the path and  avoid damage to the delicate echo-system. This boardwalk is uphill and with lots of steps at the beginning. The trail crosses over the Continental Divide and the views along the path are quite beautiful with a few waterfalls and tarns along the way.

Morning view of Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain in Glacier National Park, MT

22 August 2012: Morning view of Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain in Glacier National Park, MT

The first time we did this hike it was in the late morning with several stormy clouds overhead. The second time we hiked the trail was at sunset, hoping for dramatic light and color that didn’t happen. There were however nice reflections in the tarn.

Wild Goose Island.

This is a popular scenic overlook along the Going-to-the-Sun Road with a view of St. Mary’s Lake and Wild Goose Island in the center. The folklore about the island can be found here.

We got up a pre-dawn to capture this image.

Sunrise at Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park, MT

24 August 2012: Sunrise at Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park, MT

 St. Mary’s Falls

Another very popular hike in the Glacier is St. Mary falls and Virginia Falls. We meet a few hikers in the parking lot and asked if we could hike with them for safety. (There are a lot of grizzle bears in Glacier. I was happy to not see any on trails.) Turned out they were archeologist working in the park studying the history looking for artifacts. They found a spear head from an ice man over the summer!! Very neat and make the short hike interesting.

The water level in the fall was low compared to spring but exposed the rocks down below. Of course Perri and I “got down in there” although the rocks were very, very slippery they were brilliant in color and contrasted the glacial waters very nicely.

St. Mary's Falls in Glacier National Park, MT

25 August 2012: St. Mary’s Falls in Glacier National Park, MT

  • Aperture: ƒ/18
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/8s

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