Back to St. Mary and Glacier NP

St. Mary, MT

We left Banff bright and early on a clear day and headed east to Calgary.  As we approached the city we turned southeast and worked our way to Rte. 2 where we turned to the south.  We crossed the border just south of Cardston, AB with no problem.  After answering a few questions about purchases and fresh vegetables (we had neither) we were sent on our way.

We returned to the campground where we stayed a month ago on our way north, Johnson’s of St. Mary, and took a water/electric site near the entrance, as we only planned to stay one night.  As soon as we were set up the nimble hiker pushed us out the door and we headed into Glacier National Park.  We did some great hikes here last month but there was a short hike to a couple of waterfalls that we wanted to visit.  The ride into the park provided some great scenery.

Fall has arrived in Glacier NP

A bit of wildlife near the road

Tranquil St. Mary Lake

Another view of St. Mary Lake

We found the parking area for the St. Mary Falls trail and were fortunate there was a place for us to park.  During the high season we would have had difficulty finding a parking spot as this is a short, easy hike and is very popular.

The hike to St. Mary Falls was about a mile on a trail that led slightly down hill.

St. Mary Falls

We continued hiking past St. Mary Falls as the trail headed up along a creek.  All along the way there were small water falls with water channeling through the rocks.

Water tumbles down through a rocky channel

Our destination was Virginia Falls, and at a number of points we thought we might be looking at it.  But we kept going and were glad we did, as soon we came to the falls we were looking for.

Approaching Virginia Falls

The area in front of the falls is quite cool and wet from the spray as the water comes crashing down from above.

Virginia Falls

As we drove back to the motorhome after our visit to the two waterfalls, the nimble hiker commented about the great weather forecast for the next day and described a long hike we missed in nearby Many Glaciers.  At that point the rest of the team knew we were not leaving St. Mary in the morning.  Sure enough, she called our next destination in Polson, MT and moved our reservation back one day.

So next up is a hike to Icerberg Lake.  More on that later . . .

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19 Responses to Back to St. Mary and Glacier NP

  1. Ingrid says:

    With scenery like that, you can’t just stay one night 🙂

  2. In our household I would be the one pushing for extending another day to enjoy the scenery. And in your case I would like to see another hike and see more captures of your hike. Go for it!

  3. Nice wildlife sighting! AND fabulous fall colors showing up!

    • placestheygo says:

      Lisa, we couldn’t have picked a better time for this trip. The fall colors were peaking as we drove drove down from Banff and spent our last two days in Glacier. I don’t ever remember seeing such gorgeous color.

  4. Laurel says:

    Yep, I’d be pushing for another day, or two…’s impossible to resist such gorgeousness and great hiking! You guys have seen such amazing scenery and wildlife. We can’t wait to follow your lead!

    • placestheygo says:

      This lifestyle just lends itself to being flexible. So glad we only had one reservation to move when we decided to stay an extra day.

      Yes, Laurel, we did see some awesome wildlife and the scenery was gorgeous beyond words.

  5. pmbweaver says:

    I would up for a couple of more nights. I could just sit there and look at the scenery for hours!

  6. Erin says:

    Great falls … perfect “the end” shot you got of the bear 😉

  7. Suzanne says:

    Oh, you were so fortunate to get to return to such a magical place as Many Glacier! I was all set to do the hike to Iceberg Lake when I had “toad troubles” and had to leave early. I fell in love with this area, and will definitely be back one day. I really look forward to your Iceberg Lake post since I didn’t get to complete my plans for this hike…

    • placestheygo says:

      Sorry you missed this hike, Suzanne. We missed it during our first visit earlier because of the rainy weather. We were glad that we had the opportunity to make the hike during our second stop. Now you have a reason to return:)

  8. Rick Doyle says:

    Your photos are simply amazing. I love the ones of St. Mary Lake and the waterfall pics are spectacular. What a great place to hike.

  9. Jodee Gravel says:

    Ditto on the fall colors and beautiful lake photos! I love the flexibility available in this lifestyle – especially this time of year 🙂 Looking forward to that last hike!

  10. LuAnn says:

    We would be right there with you, pushing to stay an extra day. Look forward to hearing about your next hike. 🙂

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