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St. Mary's Regional Profile
Glacier national park is divided into five areas. Lake McDonald,Many Glacier, North Fork and Goat Haunt,St. Mary,Two MedicineThe St. Mary area refers to the area around St. Mary Lake, the large lake on the eastern half of the park, which begins at the park's east entrance and runs along Going-to-the-sun Road through the center of the park toLogan PassBefore.
I actually like the natural scenery of St. Mary, and compared to the western Lake McDonald area, there are less tourists in the St. Mary area, and I didn't encounter the problem of hard to find a parking space, which is probably due to the fact that most of the people come in from the west entrance, and the eastern half of the area is relatively less commercialized. RemoveLogan PassNot really, there is only a visitor center, a store, a small hotel, a campground, and 12 hiking trails. In terms of itinerary, if you don't take the long trails, half a day to one day should be enough, and if you have time, you can arrange a boat trip to St. Mary Lake.
St. Mary Visitor Center and Transportation
At the east entrance of the park is the St. Mary visitor center, which used to have some static exhibits about the history of the Aboriginal people in the park, but due to the epidemic, only the souvenir store is open and you have to queue up to get in, and the Ranger has put an information desk outside, so you need to make a reservation before you come to the visitor center to get a ticket if you want to take a shuttle.
In 2021, there will be shuttle buses to St Mary's Visitor Center, Rising Sun, Sun Point, and Jackson Glacier Overlook, but after Sun Point, you will need to transfer to a minibus, so you will need to change buses if you want to go to Logan Pass or Jackson Glacier Overlook. However, because you have to transfer to a minibus after Sun Point, if you want to go to Logan Pass or Jackson Glacier Overlook, you need to transfer.
Another place with stores is Rising Sun, the pier for the lake boat ride is at Rising Sun, apart from the boat ride there is a campground, a Rising sun motor inn and stores, but there is no restaurant, so you can only go to the kiosk to buy dry food.
St. Mary's Lake Tour
St. Mary's Lake CruiseThe itinerary is from Rising Sun boat deck, the trip is divided into two kinds, both will stop at the west pier, if you choose Guided hike then the guide will take hiking to Baring falls and St Mary falls, the other is also the majority of the trip, there will be about fifteen minutes of free time, you can walk from the pier to the Baring falls. If you want to hike to St Mary falls by yourself, you can do so, but please note that for the return trip, you need to wait for the next boat class to get on the boat.
On the way to the west, you can see a 360 degree view of the lake, and the tour guide will give you a guided tour on the way there, explaining the ecology and history of the park. Looking at the surrounding mountains, there are different colors of rocks, mainly Red rock and Green rock, Red rock contains iron deposited from the shallow sea in ancient times, so it is red, Greem rock should be in the deep sea, unlike Red rock, there is no oxidized iron, but instead, it has chemical interaction with other substances, so it is green.
In the middle of the boat trip, we will go to Wild Goose island in the lake to make a round trip, and on the way back, we can also see the Sexton glacier which is only a little bit left now.
View of St Mary
We chose the normal lake tour, so we had 15 minutes to see Baring falls when we arrived at the west pier, a small but beautiful waterfall that is only a 3 minute walk away.
Two dog flat
Two dog flat is actually just a grassland, if you come closer to dusk, you will have the chance to see a lot of wild animals. We actually passed by St Mary's twice. Once we drove from west to east to Many Glacier, and the other time we went back from east to west. The first time we passed by, we could hardly see the other side of the lake because of the wildfire smoke blowing across the lake from the wind direction. The second time we came back, we realized that the view of the lake is quite beautiful.
Wildgoose lookout is right by the roadside, and it is highly recommended to stop and have a look. We came here twice in one trip. The first time we came here, the weather was not good, we could only barely see the lake, and even the mountains behind us could not be seen, just a few days later, and the second time we came here, there were no clouds, and it seemed like we had never been to this place before.
Sun Point trailhead has a big parking lot, labeled as a 0.8 mile trail, but in reality, it's a short, flat walk to Sun Point, a high point with the best panoramic view of St. Mary lake.
Sunrift gorge is a small canyon on the side of the road, you can stop and walk a little down, after a small waterfall to see the back of a narrow slit, is the Sunrift gorge. we came at the wrong time, when there is a light should be more beautiful. We didn't go all the way down here, but there are actually two routes, you can take the Siyeh pass trail and go directly to siyeh pass for 5.6 miles, or cross the bridge and go to Baring falls and then connect to St. Mary falls.
St Mary Falls
We started hiking from St Mary Falls trailhead to St Mary Falls. This trail is 1.2 miles from trailhead to St Mary Falls, and after St Mary Falls, you can walk another 0.7 miles to Virginia falls. if you don't have a boat, you can walk 1 mile from St Mary Falls to Baring falls, so you can see all the three waterfalls in St Mary area in one go. So this route can be a great way to see the three major waterfalls in St Mary area in one go. We only went to St Mary Falls and Virginia falls because we have a lake trip to Baring falls, the air was very bad when we came to this trail, we even wore N95 to climb the mountain, so the view was also a bit hazy. What is the feeling of climbing with N95? It was...hotter.
The first half of the trail passes through a grove of trees, but this grove experienced the Reynolds Fire in 2015 and is not yet under much cover.St. Mary Falls is a short, quick walk. The waterfall is a greenish-blue color from the snowmelt.
After crossing the bridge at St. Mary falls, the road starts to go uphill shortly afterward, which is a bit steeper than the previous road to St. Mary falls, and goes up along the lower reaches of Virginia falls. Finally, we reached the Virginia falls, which is the largest of the three waterfalls.
Jackson Glacier Overlook
Jackson Glacier is the easiest glacier to see in the park. Parked on the side of the road is the Jackson Glacier Overlook, which like the other glaciers has been receding and is now almost out of sight. It's hard to believe that there were 100 glaciers in Glacier National Park before 1910, but by 1966 there were 35, and by 2015 there were only 26, and now there seems to be another one missing.
- Exploring Glacier National Park in 6 Days | Top Attractions and Tips
- Half-Day Exploration of Two Medicine Area in Glacier National Park
- Many Glacier | Glacier National Park's Most Scenic Hiking Trails
- What to Do in Glacier National Park's St. Mary Area? Top Eight Must-See Attractions
- Logan Pass | Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTTS) | America's Premier Scenic Drive in Glacier National Park
- What to Explore in Glacier National Park's Lake McDonald Area?
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