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St Mary's Area Glacier National Park

St Marys Visitors Center

This is one of the largest National Parks in the lower 48 states.

The St. Mary Visitor Center opened today! The Going-to-the-Sun Road will remain closed at the visitor center entrance due to continuing Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation work until June 5th, when it opens to the St. Mary Campground. It is anticipated that the road will open to Rising Sun on June 19th, which is the earliest day that the road could open to Logan Pass. However, there is hiker / biker access during the long holiday weekend!

St Mary's and Goose Island

St Mary's Lake named by a Catholic missionary/priest, it is a long, narrow lake lying in a valley which cuts into the mountains on the east edge of the park. Views across the lake, such as the one looking west below, provide views of some of Glacier's highest peaks reminiscent of the Tetons.

  1. Sun Point - 7.7 miles east of Logan Pass on the Going To The Sun Road.

  2. Squaw Mountain (Dancing Lady Mountain)

  3. Gunsight Pass - A backpack from Jackson Glacier Overlook to Lake Ellen Wilson, 10.9 miles; from Jackson Glacier Overlook to Sperry Chalet, 13.6 miles; or from Jackson Glacier Overlook to Lake McDonald

  4. Otokomi Lake - 5.5 miles - A day hike or short backpack from Rising Sun Motor Lodge to Otokomi Lake. This trail passes up Rose Creek along the Lewis thrust fault to a low-elevation cirque lake among blocky, reddish mountains.

  5. Piegan Pass - 12.8 miles - A day hike from Siyeh Bend to Piegan Pass, 4.5 miles (7 km); or from Siyeh Bend to Many Glacier Hotel, 12.8 miles (20.5 km). Piegan Pass links the St. Mary drainage with the popular Many Glacier area.

  6. Red Eagle Lake - 7.5 miles  - A day hike or backpack from St. Mary Trailhead to Red Eagle Lake foot. Red Eagle Lake lies in a gentle, low-elevation valley that provides surprisingly scenic hiking to the few travelers that venture here.

  7. Siyeh Pass - 10.3 miles - A day hike from Siyeh Bend to Siyeh Pass, 4.7 miles (7.5 km); or from Siyeh Bend to Sunrift Gorge exit, 10.3 miles (16.5 km). Siyeh Pass is a high elevation route that traverses two passes on its way ...

  8. St. Mary and Virginia Falls - 2 miles - A half-day hike from Going-to-the-Sun Road to St. Mary Falls, 1.2 miles (2 km); or from Going-to-the-Sun Road to Virginia Falls, 1.8 miles (3 km). This trail is a short and pleasant stroll through sunny meadows, and forested trails. Following the creek from St Mary Falls to Virginia Falls.

  9. Baring Falls - 1.4 mile loop - The Trailhead is 7.7 miles east of Logan Pass along the Going-to-the-Sun Road at the southeast corner of Sun Point parking area. Follow the Sun Point Nature Trail.

Glacier National Park is located in the northwest corner of Montana, just north of Columbia Falls. The park encompasses more than one million acres and is home to grizzly bear, moose, elk, along with 63 varieties of wild mammals. While most of the roads in Glacier National Park are closed off during the winter, this provides miles and miles of tracks for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Visitors are seldom around in the dead of winter, so the muffled hush of the snow covered woods is especially enticing and serene.

A ski or snowshoe trip along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is one of the most scenic roads in North America, is a great option, according to park rangers. The road is closed to cars from September or October until snowmelt, usually in June. Several short hiking trails branch off from the road, which would be excellent for snowshoeing or skiing in the winter season.

 Once you have your gear, head up to Glacier National Park for an exciting adventure. Guided snowshoe trips are available, led by a park naturalist, and are highly recommended. If you are looking for an informative tour, snowshoeing is an easy way to explore the winter wonderland of this unique park. Snowshoeing will provide even the novice an effortless activity so your senses are more in tune with your environment and your guide's knowledge on the history, wildlife, geology, and biology of this precious ecosystem.

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