Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
798.00 ft (243.23 m)
Trail type
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This hike features stunning and less crowded views of the Saint Mary Lake, the Red Eagle, Mahtotopa, Little Chief, and Dusty Star mountains, while taking hikers on a beautiful journey on a fun single-track trail.

Start at Sun Point, during summer months, especially if planning to start later in the day, taking a shuttle is a viable option to avoid parking struggles and help minimize traffic. There’s a bathroom and a few information signs at the trailhead. Note that this is a grizzly country—a bear spray might prove to be a good idea. You might also want to exercise your voice by calling out “hey bear!” or any other phrase at regular intervals so you don’t surprise each other on the trail.

If you’re visiting in late spring or early summer, you’ll get to see many wildflowers of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, while all along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the view of the majestic Red Eagle, Mahtotopa, and Little Chief mountains.

The steep walls of the mountains reveal layered sedimentary rock. Most of the rocks in Glacier are from sediments more than 500 million years old. That's one-eighth the age of Earth! The rocks that are now the beautiful peaks originally deposited as sediments at the bottom of a basin that was regularly and for extended periods of time submerged with shallow seas when Earth was roughly 4 billion years old.

From Sun Point, head out on Piegan Pass which will take you almost all the way to the falls. After half a mile, the trail will fork; stay on the left to keep hiking on Piegan Pass. Only 0.1 mile later, you’ll reach Baring Falls, a small waterfall. The hike here is easy enough to be done with children and offers the excitement of a waterfall without having to hike too far.

Shortly after Baring Falls, you’ll see a small wooden pier. During the summer months, a ferry regularly brings visitors here from Rising Sun. This is also a possible variation of this hike; starting at Rising Sun, taking the ferry, and getting on the trail at this pier, near Baring Falls.

A trail junction comes 0.7 mile after Baring Falls. Keep going straight to stay on Piegan Pass. At the next fork/junction half a mile later, stay on the left to join the St Mary Lake trail. This trail has some fallen trees and a few wood-walks. It can also get slightly overgrown in spring when the greenery takes over.

Follow the St Mary Lake trail for another half a mile until you reach a wooden bridge and the waterfall. Saint Marys Falls is a series of cascades that take a sharp and unexpected turn about halfway down. Cross the bridge and walk on the other side to view the waterfall in its entirety.

When you’ve enjoyed Saint Mary Falls, simply retrace your steps to return. Don’t forget to keep right on the first trail junction you encounter on your return to get back on Piegan Pass, then follow the trail all the way back to Sun Point.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Relatively smooth and easy trail. Several access points along the trail. Good for families. Lots of wildflowers.


It can get crowded closer to the falls.

Trailhead Elevation

4,574.00 ft (1,394.16 m)

Highest point

4,701.00 ft (1,432.86 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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