Baring Falls

Glacier National Park / St Mary Lake, Montana, USA

About Baring Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.8 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-24
Date last visited: 2010-09-24

Waterfall Latitude: 48.67699
Waterfall Longitude: -113.59418

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Baring Falls was a short but stocky waterfall falling maybe around 30ft or so. We thought of it as a pleasant and short day hike allowing us to do a little walking while driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Admittedly, Julie and I kind of did this waterfall with a little haste because the grizzly bears were out and about munching on berries that were in season so they could fatten up for the Winter. Plus, the bad weather didn’t help matters either.

Thus, we were content just to take photos, but we didn’t do anything more with the falls. I only learned after the fact that it was possible to get to the top of the falls as well as to go behind it. Since we’re hoping for a return trip to the park when the Going-to-the-Sun Road is fully open, we figure that would be the time to come back here and see what else this waterfall had to offer.

There seemed to be more than one way to hike to the falls, but the way we did it was to start from the pullout for Sunrift Gorge (see directions below). From here, we descended on a well-used trail passing by some smaller rapids and cascades before turning right at a junction. We then followed the trail past a one-sided footbridge where the falls could be seen and we could get closer once we traversed the bridge. There was signage just underneath the road bridge near the Sunrift Gorge saying that the hike was 0.5km each way, but I swore it felt a bit longer than that.

When we visited Sun Point, it also seemed like it was possible to reach Baring Falls in a slightly longer hike from here. Moreover, we noticed it was also possible to reach the falls from the trailhead for St Mary Falls further up the road in the direction of Logan Pass.

Glacier_NP_114_09242010 - Looking across the valley from the trailhead towards a peak partially covered in clouds
Glacier_NP_115_09242010 - Descending beneath the road bridge by Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_118_09242010 - At a trail junction immediately beneath the road bridge by Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_119_09242010 - Trail following alongside the creek coming from Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_123_09242010 - Looking at some cascade near the Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_124_09242010 - Making a right after seeing this sign
Glacier_NP_125_09242010 - Berries along the trail
Glacier_NP_126_09242010 - Julie crossing the one-sided bridge just downstream of Baring Falls
Glacier_NP_132_09242010 - Julie checking out the falls
Glacier_NP_144_09242010 - Julie heading back up to the car park


From the St Mary Visitor Center, drive a little over 10 miles west on the Going-to-the-Sun Road looking for the pullout for Sunrift Gorge just before its bridge. Beyond the bridge, there’s a shuttle stop, but I don’t think parking is allowed there.

If you’re up for extending the walk from Sun Point, then drive west on the Going-to-the-Sun Road from St Mary Visitor Center to the Sun Point turnoff to the left at a little under 10 miles. Follow the short turnoff to its end where there’s a large car park.

For starting the hike at the trailhead for St Mary Falls, see the St Mary Falls page.

To give you some context, St Mary was under 9 miles south of Babb and 203 miles (3.5 hours drive) north of Helena. Across the US-Canada border, St Mary was 47 miles (an hour drive) southeast of Waterton and 180 miles (3 hours drive) south of Calgary.

Following the flow of the water from the falls to the one-sided footbridge

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Tagged with: glacier, national park, st mary, lake, wild goose island, montana, rocky mountains, waterfall, going-to-the-sun, sunrift gorge

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