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St. Mary and Virginia Falls 2.4 miles Easy

This trail descends into a burned area of trees which offers outstanding wildflower viewing during earlier summer. The trail soon enters a thick canopy of forest and intersects several other trails in this area; make sure to follow signs toward Virginia Falls. After .75 miles, hikers will reach the first falls which is St. Mary’s Falls. One of the Park’s most impressive falls, the river drops twice into a narrow canyon. The incredible vibrant blue of the water in this area adds to the appeal of the falls. On a hot day, the creek below the falls offers a refreshing place to wade and swim. Within a quarter mile of St Mary’s Falls, hikers will start encountering three smaller but impressive falls. All are picturesque with the backdrop of the tall rocky peaks behind them. These falls are another great place to cool your toes before continuing on. At 1.7 miles, hikers will reach another fork – stay left to visit the bottom of Virginia Falls. After a steep tenth of a mile, hikers will reach the bottom of the thundering falls as it drops 50 feet over the rock cliffs. Hold onto your hat as the spray created by the falls is surprisingly powerful.

Take the Going-to-the-Sun Road (St. Mary’s Entrance) about 20 miles to the end of St. Mary Lake. Look for the St. Mary’s Falls parking lot on the left.

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Virginia Falls