Postcards From the Park

Reminiscing about summer at Montana's Virginia Falls

Tim Rains

Subject: Virginia Falls, Glacier National Park

It feels as though summer comes and goes quickly in Montana. During the course of my busy summer, I somehow never got around to editing the majority of my photos from this last season. While outside today we are having a first, long cold snap (8 degrees Fahrenheit). I am revisiting and editing those summer images. I feel like I am reading postcards. Every image is so vibrant and full of that magical golden summer warmth. It seems to say, Wish you were here, or maybe that’s me wishing I was there. Either way, I can’t wait for next season.

Virginia Falls is an easy, accessible hike off of the eastern portion of the Going-To-The-Sun Road accessed from the St. Mary’s Trailhead. The first waterfall along the trail is usually a stopping point for many visitors, as St. Mary’s Falls boasts a spectacular double fall through a red-rocked canyon. However, you must continue on. Virginia Falls is quieter. The crowds don’t make it back this far. I’ll be honest, though; it’s a bit of a muddy mess towards the end. When you reach the end of the trail, you’ll find a long, thin fall cascading down into a small basin. If you are mindful of the slippery rock, then you can walk out onto a fairly flat sheet close to the base of the falls. However, on a late spring or early summer day, you will get soaked. By the time I left this hike, I was drenched. But it felt clean, and I enjoyed the hike back in the sunshine drying off. 

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About This Blog

An explorer, wanderer, photographer-artist, Tim Rains is a national park ranger seeking out connection and community to Montana’s wild places.  Come, explore with him as he discovers why Montana's glacier country is considered "the last best place." Follow Tim on Instagram @rangerrains or view more of his work at

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