Saint Mary Lake Montana, Glacier National Park

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St Mary Lake

Spend a fun-filled day on the waters of St. Mary Lake, located just inside the east entrance, this popular Glacier Park feature is a fabulous boating destination, with nearby trails and amenities.

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  • St. Mary Lake is located just inside Glacier National Park’s east entrance, along the Going To The Sun Road.
  • Treat yourself to a day of boating, water-skiing, sight-seeing, or hiking on or along this gorgous lake.
  • Featuring campgrounds, amenities, visitor center, bus tours and much more in the near vicinity.


With its eastern tip just inside Glacier’s east entrance, and Going To The Sun Road following its northern shore, it’s hard to miss this 10-mile long lake. Known for its boating and water-skiing opportunity, with surrounding mountain peaks spilling waterfalls and numerous hiking trails along its shores, book a boat cruise, troll for mackinaw, picnic, trek or camp at this exquisite location.


Situated just inside Glacier Park's east entrance, with Going To The Sun Road tracing its northern shoreline.


Open year-round, however Going To The Sun Road access will dictate approachability.


Rent a canoe, kayak or motorboat, or simply unwind aboard a guided cruise.  Why not try:

  • St. Mary Boat Tour
    Departure: Rising Sun Boat Dock (6 miles from east entrance on Going To The Sun Road)
    Length: 1.5 hrs
    Cost: $22/adult, $11/child (children under 4 free)
    Highlights: Waterfalls, rugged peaks, Sexton Glacier and more. Certain departures include guided hike.

Additional Boating Information

  • Boat ramp access
  • Water-skiing during daylight hours only. 
  • Be sure to review Rules of the Waterways.
  • Swimmer beware - cold water!

St. Mary Lake is open for mackinaw (lake trout) fishing only. Lower St. Mary Lake is also great for fishing. It lies entirely within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and requires a special use permit.

  • Season: April 1 – December 31
  • Regulations and permits available at ranger stations.

With several trails in the vicinity, including backcountry access, try this short yet rewarding hike:

  • St. Mary Falls/Virginia Falls
    Distance: 2.4 miles (round trip)
    Trailhead: Pullout 10.5 miles west along Going To The Sun Road
    Difficulty: Easy

Additional Information

  • Several Red Jammer Bus tours depart from this area.
  • St. Mary Campground and Rising Sun Campground located near the north shore.
  • View abundant wildlife and wildflowers!