Photo courtesy: MTOT
Photo courtesy: John Ansotegui
St. Mary is near Glacier National Park. Lower St. Mary Lake is in Glacier County, Upper St. Mary Lake is in the park, and the town of St. Mary is between them. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)
Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, links St. Mary on the eastern side of Glacier with the park's western entrance at West Glacier.
St. Mary Lake is on the east side of Glacier National Park along The Going-to-the-Sun Road. This lake is 10 miles long but not as wide as Lake McDonald. You'll want to stop at the turnouts at the end of the lake for a view of 100-foot Virginia Falls across the valley. From the Virginia Falls Turnout or Sun Point you can take some short hikes.
The area north of the lake along the road is rich in wildlife. Here you may see mule deer, skunks, ground squirrels and badgers. It is also an excellent place to find elk. In autumn near dusk you may find bull elk engaged in battles. This is an important winter range for elk and you can easily cross country ski here in winter. In spring, it is the calving area for the St. Mary elk herd. This is also a good destination in spring and early summer for wildflowers including Indian paintbrush, blanketflowers, and lupine.
The St. Mary Lodge and Resort offers first-class accommodations complemented by a famous restaurant and other eating establishments, gift shops, a supermarket and a full array of guest services. Dedicated to providing lodging, goods and services with comfort and style for over 70 years, this resort is the ultimate headquarters for your visit to Glacier.
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