Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Trail Run Project Logo

St. Mary Lake Trail

 4.0 (1)

10.5 Miles 16.9 Kilometers


91%

Runnable

1,410' 430 m

Ascent

-1,521' -464 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

4,854' 1,480 m

High

4,495' 1,370 m

Low

Shared By Jake Bramante

Conditions


All Clear 80 days ago
Mostly Dry - Very few spots of mud. All can be jumped over with a large step. History

Getting forecast...

A varied trail featuring waterfalls, big mountains, a gorgeous lake and a mix of old and burn forest

Jake Bramante

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Description

This trail starts at the St. Mary Falls Trailhead. Parking here is limited, so it's better to park at the St. Mary Visitor Center and take the shuttle to the trailhead.

The mostly level trail starts out in the recent burn from the Reynolds Fire with broader views of fantastic peaks due to reduced trees. The trail then drops, intersecting the Piegan Pass trail and continuing on down to the St. Mary River. You follow the river up and get a great view of Virginia Falls with the bridge that goes over the river. Crossing the river, you stand right in front of the multi-pooled waterfall.

Continuing on, the trail meets up with Virginia Creek and follows it upstream in a series of wonderful cascades. After a couple of switchbacks, it passes by the Virginia Falls Viewpoint Trail. After taking that trail to get a close up of the falls, the trail continues with a distant view of the falls as a bridge takes you over the creek.

From here, the trail follows along the base of the mountains occasionally going over seasonal feeder streams racing down to St. Mary Lake. Intermittent, but plentiful views looking down on the lake are fantastic. The trail continues along bouncing back and forth gaining and losing a little bit of elevation.

About two-thirds of the way down the shoreline, a wonderful feature called Silver Dollar Beach comes into view jutting out to a narrowing of the lake. From there, the trail wraps around the northeast flank of Red Eagle Mountain. It climbs up through a burn area as it goes over a lower section of the ridge and drops to the Red Eagle Creek drainage, eventually joining up with the Red Eagle Trail.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.

Flora & Fauna

Forest flowers such as fleabane and yellow columbine lead to geranium and asters in the burned meadows. Whitetail deer and bears may be seen along the trail in addition to squirrels and chipmunks.

Contacts

You & This Trail


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#12

in St. Mary

#7958

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#12

in St. Mary

#188

in Montana

#7,958

Overall
56 Views Last Month
663 Since Sep 3, 2015
Easy Easy

100%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running