Glacier National Park 8: Lower St. Mary Lake

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There are actually not one but two large “St. Mary Lakes” on near the little vacation town of St. Mary. The bigger of the two lakes, the one that resides in Glacier National Park and is surrounded by massive peaks, including towering Red Eagle Mountain, and reaches toward the Logan’s Pass and the Continental Divide. The second St. Mary Lake, known as “Lower” St. Mary Lake, resides outside the park, where the massive Rocky Mountain front gives way to rolling hills of the Great Plains. Like it’s larger sibling, St. Mary Lake is long and narrow: close to nine miles long, and a mile or so wide:

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Although Lower St. Mary Lake is not anywhere as scenic as it’s larger namesake, it still a fairly nice lake. The St. Mary KOA rests near the southwest corner of the lake, under the watchful eye of 8,356’ East Flattop Mountain:

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From the KOA, you can very easily drive toward St. Mary Lake proper:

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Or you can take a short trail to Lower St. Mary Lake:

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At the shoreline I found several kayaks/canoes:

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And then the lake itself:

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Lower St. Mary Lake is fed by the St. Mary River, which flows from St. Mary Lake proper:

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There was a bit of fall color coming out on some of the shrubbery along the edge of the lake:

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The two St. Mary Lakes, and the river that flows out of them, flourish within the Hudson Bay drainage, as St. Mary river very quickly flows into Canada and then, joining other tributaries up north, eventually spills into the icy waters of Hudson Bay.