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: -113.59355

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 to take a break from driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Glacier_NP_128_09242010 - Baring Falls
Baring Falls

Admittedly, Julie and I kind of did this waterfall with a little haste during our late September 2010 hike.

That was because the grizzly bears were out and about munching on berries that were in season at the time so they could fatten up for the Winter.

Moreover, the bad weather during our visit didn’t help matters either.

Thus, we were content just to take photos, but we didn’t do anything more with the Baring Falls.

Hiking to Baring Falls

Glacier_NP_116_09242010 - Looking along the railing towards the Sunrift Gorge before we hiked downstream towards the Baring Falls
Looking along the railing towards the Sunrift Gorge before we hiked downstream towards the Baring Falls

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 Baring 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 0.5-mile each way, but I swore it felt a bit longer than that.

Glacier_NP_125_09242010 - Julie walking by some berries growing off of trees along the way to Baring Falls. Those berries were the main reason why grizzly bears were active at the time
Julie walking by some berries growing off of trees along the way to Baring Falls. Those berries were the main reason why grizzly bears were active at the time

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.

Finally, 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.

Authorities

Baring Falls resides in Glacier National Park near St Mary in Glacier County, Montana. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Glacier_NP_114_09242010 - Looking across the valley from the Sunrift Gorge trailhead towards a peak partially covered in clouds
Glacier_NP_115_09242010 - Descending beneath the Going-to-the-Sun Road bridge by Sunrift Gorge en route to Baring Falls
Glacier_NP_118_09242010 - At a trail junction immediately beneath the Going-to-the-Sun Road bridge by Sunrift Gorge en route to Baring Falls which was further downstream
Glacier_NP_119_09242010 - The trail towards Baring Falls following alongside the creek coming from Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_123_09242010 - Looking at some cascade near the Sunrift Gorge as we descended towards Baring Falls
Glacier_NP_124_09242010 - Making a right after seeing this sign to go to Baring Falls
Glacier_NP_126_09242010 - Julie crossing a one-sided bridge over a creek downstream from Baring Falls
Glacier_NP_132_09242010 - Julie checking out the Baring Falls seemingly with pretty good flow as a result of the fairly bad weather on the day of our hike
Glacier_NP_144_09242010 - Julie heading back up to the car, which was parked near the Sunrift Gorge
Glacier_NP_148_09242010 - Looking way in the distance towards some random waterfall from across Swiftcurrent Lake at the Many Glacier Hotel

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Since there were three possible trailheads that I know of to reach Baring Falls, we’ll go into how to drive to each one.

Driving from St Mary to the Sunrift Gorge

From from the St Mary Visitor Center, we drove a little over 10 miles due west on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Glacier_NP_002_jx_09242010 - Driving on the Going-to-the-Sun Road en route to the Baring Falls
Driving on the Going-to-the-Sun Road en route to the Baring Falls

We ultimately looked for the pullout for Sunrift Gorge just before its bridge.

Beyond the bridge, there’s a shuttle stop, but I don’t think parking was allowed there.

Driving from St Mary to Sun Point or St Mary Falls

If you’re up for extending the walk from Sun Point, then you can 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.

Glacier_NP_154_09242010 - This was the scenery we got from the trailhead when we did the St Mary Falls hike, which was one of the ways you can do a longer hike to experience Baring Falls
This was the scenery we got from the trailhead when we did the St Mary Falls hike, which was one of the ways you can do a longer hike to experience Baring Falls

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.

Fixated on the falls


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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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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