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Three Waterfalls Loop

Glacier National Park (USA)

Three gorgeous waterfalls within a 5-mile loop.

Hiking Easy

8.1 km
250 m
250 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
1.5 km
Three Waterfalls Loop Map

Access to the three waterfalls loop hike is very easy by parking at either the St. Mary Falls or Sunrift Gorge trailhead on the Going-to-the-Sun road. Even better, is to use the free park shuttle that drops hikers off and picks them up again!


Much is written about the beauty of Glacier National Park in the summer when the wildflowers are prolific. The waterfalls are also said to be spectacular in the early season when the snowmelt is sending water down in torrents, increasing the volume of the waterfalls. Often overlooked, however, is the quiet brilliance of the park's features in the Fall. This is when the vehicular and hiker traffic diminishes and the leaves begin to glow.

Even in the frequent autumn drizzle and fog, this 5.6-mile hike to view three beautiful waterfalls is truly amazing. The waterfalls are best viewed close-up, so the distant vistas are put on the back-burner while one enjoys the quiet surroundings. Only the sound of water accompanies this lovely trek.

To link all of the falls together in one loop, it works best to park at the Sunrift Gorge trailhead and walk the ½-mile to start the hike from the St Mary Falls trailhead. (If using the shuttle, get off at the St Mary Falls stop.) The trail begins with an easy stroll that allows views of the St Mary River, where fishers frequently cast their lines mid-river.

The first falls appear rather dramatically as one approaches the bridge. The bridge is a perfect viewing platform to spend ample time gazing at the powerful falls.

From the bridge, continue on the trail toward Virginia Falls. There are numerous views all along the way, so allow plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery and take photos! The upper portion of Virginia Falls is riveting, and it is hard to imagine that there is yet more to it until you descend just a short bit to view the lower portion.

To continue on, follow the well-signed trail toward Baring Falls. This segment of trail provides regular views of St Mary Lake and even has a pier that allows hikers to enjoy the lake from a closer vantage point. From the pier, it is just a short hike to the small, but lovely, Baring Falls. The return to Sunrift Gorge trailhead is a short but somewhat steep trek back to your vehicle (or shuttle stop).



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between June and September


  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area