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Sunrift Gorge to Baring Falls, MT

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MT > North Central
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,750 feet
Elevation Gain 275 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.32
Interest Perennial Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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11  2010-07-24 tibber
59  2010-07-24
Saint Mary Falls and Virginia Falls TR
tibber
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, May, Jul
Sun  8:17am - 4:38pm
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Water
Nearby Area Water
St Mary Falls - GNP
0.5 mi away
2.2 mi
264 ft
Sun Point Nature Trail
0.6 mi away
1.3 mi
St Mary Lake
0.7 mi away
10.1 mi
1,068 ft
Saint Mary Falls and Virginia Falls TR
Saint Mary Falls and Virginia Falls TR
0.7 mi away
3.2 mi
350 ft
Gunsight Pass
Gunsight Pass
2.7 mi away
13.5 mi
3,575 ft
Rose Creek Trail to Otokomi Lake
3.6 mi away
10.4 mi
2,200 ft
Siyeh Pass
3.6 mi away
7.5 mi
1,070 ft
Otokomi Lake
3.6 mi away
10.0 mi
1,882 ft
The Garden Wall
5.6 mi away
11.6 mi
830 ft
Granite Park
5.7 mi away
15.2 mi
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Named place Nearby

The Gorge area is about 200 feet from the parking lot. The elevation gain is a guess, say 25-30 feet or so. Be sure to get completely to the top and to the trail's end.

I found two stories about Sunrift Gorge's formation:
1) It was formed when a small stream cut through a natural break in the rock. The gorge is fed by runoff from Sexton Glacier on GTTS Mtn. Sunrift Gorge is a straight steep canyon cut through the bedrock just 200 feet off the main road. Baring Creek comes down an extremely narrow gorge. Be sure to walk to the far side of the viewing area for full appreciation of the gorge. It is quite long and deepm the Gorge that is -- not much sun gets in there.
2) Apparently after a section of ice melted, the massive block of rock that sat beneath the hillside to the south, broke away and moved a few feet downhill. The creek then re-routed and found its new course through the new, narrow, straight slot.
(The steep approach to the Siyeh Pass Area starts here as well.)


Also at this location one of the most beautiful bridges along the entire Going to the Sun Road is found. Baring Creek Bridge is an excellent example of how native stone materials were used to blend the road into the landscape. As the creek leaves the gorge, it turns and cascades under the road.

Follow the trail along Baring Creek's edge viewing a few little waterfalls/cascades as you make your way to Baring Falls. A 0.3 mile (one way) trail leads to Baring Falls Lat/Long:48.67773, -113.59692. A 150 foot elevation drop. It is an easy stroll through fir and pine forest with lots of wildflowers in the sunny areas. Cross a foot log bridge to reach the base of the falls at 4630 feet. Baring Falls is an impressive cascade that drops about 30-40 feet over a cliff onto a smooth, red wall of Precambrian mudstone then rushes for about fifty yards where it empties into St Mary's lake. Hikers may continue from here about 1.7 miles to St Mary's Falls and another .8 miles to Virginia Falls.

tibber
  • goat haunt map st mary map mcdonald map
    area related

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
NPS

Glacier National Park
$30 per car(week), $12 bike/foot(week), $50 annual View Current Entrance Fees


Directions
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To hike
The three most popular places to access Glacier are from St. Mary, East Glacier and West Glacier, Montana. St. Mary is located on Highway 89, one mile east of the Going to the Sun Highway. East Glacier is just east of the park at the junction of Highways 2 and 49. West Glacier is the western entrance to the park and is on US Highway 2, north of Kalispell

Within Glacier National Park, there is a free shuttle service that takes you along "Going to the Sun Highway".

From the town of St. Mary, travel west on the Going-to-the-Sun road for 10.7 miles. Pull out and park at Sunrift Gorge or the alternate pull-out a little further up the road and walk back down to Sunrift gorge. The Sunrift Gorge is well marked at milepost 39.
page created by tibber on Aug 17 2010 8:30 pm
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