The Three Falls Trail in Glacier National Park is referred to as several different things, but Three Falls makes the most sense since you’re seeing ummm Three Falls.
Starting at the Sun Point Nature Trail, you pass Baring Falls and Saint Mary Falls on your way up to the multi-layer Virginia Falls.
Many people consider this to be the best waterfall hike in Glacier National Park due to the relatively short distance (~6.5 miles), low elevation gain, seeing three falls in one hike, and picturesque views all along Saint Mary Lake.
Hike With A View
We definitely agree that this is a great hike, we can’t comment on whether it’s the best waterfall hike or not since we just arrived and this was our first leg-stretch hike to get the mountain legs working again.
There is zero chance for solitude on this hike unless you’re doing it crazy-early or crazy-late, it’s just too accessible to multiple vehicle stops to have any peace and quiet. Jumping from the bridge at Saint Mary Falls is a popular thing to do, we watched several people plunge into the icy cold glacial water – if only we had brought our swimsuits!
Virginia Falls is indeed spectacular, with separate upper and lower viewpoints and different perspectives of the multi-layer waterfall from each location. If it weren’t for other hikers we could have hung out here all day just enjoying the sound and the water mist spray.
Most of the hike is open sun due to dead trees from past forest fires, with only the last quarter of the hike in wooded terrain. Speaking of the dead trees, if you do this hike in high winds the trees sing in the wind, sounding like a bunch of people screaming going down a roller coaster ride.
The open disturbed landscape also lends itself to large masses of thimbleberry bushes – like tart squishy raspberries, I spent plenty of time wandering off-trail and stuffing my face full with them.
All in all, I would consider this a must-do hike in Glacier if you’re here for a couple days and have a few hours to spare.