Glacier National Park: Sunrift Gorge

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Sunrift Gorge

A narrow channel carved by glacial run-off, Sunrift Gorge is a gorgeous natural feature and ideal stopping point for the entire family, located just off the Going To The Sun Road.

  • Sunrift Gorge is located just off Going To The Sun Road, 10 miles west of St. Mary.
  • Photograph this beautiful feature before walking down the trail to a further series of waterfalls.
  • A perfect family destination, picnic here then venture east for a day of water-related activities at St. Mary Lake.

Overview

Sunrift Gorge owes its formation to Baring Creek, fed by melt-off from Sexton Glacier. Over time, the creek's continual flows carved a narrow channel in the fractured bedrock, creating Sunrift Gorge and sustaining its unique channels and pools. Pristine water rushes past vibrant moss-covered banks, dazzling visitors and providing ample photo opportunity. Due to its situation just off Going To The Sun Road, Sunrift Gorge is an easily accessible feature with a trail leading to a further series of falls.

Location/Directions

Located 10.7 miles west of St. Mary and 7.7 miles east of Logan Pass, Sunrift Gorge is just a few hundred feet off Going To The Sun Road. Park in Sunrift Gorge parking area near Mile 39, or disembark one of Glacier National’s Parks free shuttles at the Sunrift Gorge stop. The short trail leading to the gorge is found on the north side of the road.

Season

Sightings of Sunrift Gorge are contingent upon Going To The Sun Road accessibility. Generally reachable from late spring through late autumn.

Activities

Hiking: Rest a few moments at the gorge before heading down the trail for a short series of waterfalls, careful not to miss the rock archway of the Sunrift Gorge Bridge.

  • Baring Falls (.2 miles)
  • St Mary Falls  (1.9 miles)
  • Virginia Falls (2.6 miles)

Wildlife: Be ready for Water Ouzel or “Dippers” sightings, as these grey-colored birds feed on water-born insects found in and around the gorge. In August, huckleberry bushes offer their plump, delicious fruits.

Additional Information

No drinking water/restroom facilities available at Sunrift Gorge.

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