Virginia Falls and St. Mary Falls

About a month ago, I was having a not super fun time and just needed to get out and hike. My days off had consisted of thunderstorms and homesickness, so I finally decided to just do a short trail after work. I drove across the park to hike to St. Mary Falls and, just past that, Virginia Falls.

St. Mary falls. No, St. Mary Falls. A location, not a sentence. #ThingsEditorsThinkAreFunny

Honestly, I’m not usually one for walking to waterfalls to begin with, so I chose this one more out of desperation to be outside than anything else. My expectations were low. This was a good thing. It’s a pretty enough hike, but definitely not one I would recommend to someone who only has a few days in the park, especially not if you’re physically capable of doing a more difficult hike. This hike was really easy, at just around 4 miles, but the burned forest blocks most of your view and I think the fact that the trees are all dead would make it pretty miserable on a hot day. Luckily, I went on a cool evening so at least I had that advantage.

The trail follows a cool river most of the way. 

Virginia Falls was actually pretty impressive. The water brought out the vibrant colors of the rocks. I think my favorite thing was getting to see a bird’s nest that was tucked into a hollow just below the falls. No predator could get to it. I wouldn’t have even noticed it if the mama bird hadn’t been flying back and forth to it so frequently, tiny orange breaks visible for a moment every time she returned to the nest. Getting to see that made me feel like the hike was totally worth it.


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There is a green patch with a black hole in it on the right side of this picture, on the cliff in the foreground. That’s where the birds were 🙂
Blocking the view with my arms. So sorry 🙂

Published by Andrea Umfleet

Writer, Backpacker, Freelance Technical Editor. Owner of Trask Mountain Editing. I like the Oxford comma.

4 thoughts on “Virginia Falls and St. Mary Falls

  1. Glad you had a wonderful hike, Andrea. Grandpa just spoke to your folks this evening, they are on their way home from Joseph. Ranger seems much better with his daily meds and cooler weather,
    Grandpa wants to know if the birds you seen were”Waterbirds”, when you did your hike. It definitely has felt like Fall again today..but is supposed to warm up again this coming will soon be pumpkin pie time!! Well must close for now, it is so nice to hear from you, you have a great week and we look forward to seeing you in September! Love!! Grandma and Grandpa M!!


    1. Thanks grandma! My dad called me today; they had a good trip home and even got to see aunt Lois for a bit! I’m glad ranger is getting better.
      They seemed like normal birds and not ducks or any other sort of swimming bird, but I wasn’t able to get very close to then to inspect 🙂
      I’m excited for a pumpkin pie!! I love you! Have a wonderful week 🙂


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