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Visiting St. Mary, Montana: An Extremely Quiet Downtown Overlooked by Divide Mountain, 2641 m / 8665 ft

Updated on April 17, 2019
State flag of Montana
State flag of Montana | Source
Looking south at the sign for St. Mary, Montana on U.S. Route 89.
Looking south at the sign for St. Mary, Montana on U.S. Route 89. | Source

The amazingly quiet 'Roof of North America' which drains into three Oceans, uniquely in the world!

Some words are admittedly overdone.

But as regards St. Mary, Montana, the sometimes overdone qualifier 'amazing' is very applicable.

St. Mary — even at its Downtown — is amazingly quiet. (I was there in May.)

And its wider area is amazing also: scenically and geographically (I shall explain soon.)

For the visitor, St. Mary Montana, which lies on Interstate 89, has not a few amenities and attractions for visitors; I found its sheer quietness and slow pace of life among its most striking aspects.

While St.Mary, Montana, is known for its eponymous Lakes, and for its Visitor Center for Glacier National Park, it also has various visitor amenities; I have linked, below, a Wikivoyage resource for some of these (1).

St. Mary is overlooked by Divide Mountain, which, at 2641 m / 8665 ft, thus seems to tower in the skies, even while St.Mary itself lies at an altitude of 1386.8 m / 4550 ft (2). The summit of Divide Mountain lies, as the crow flies, 5.6 miles / 9 kilometres from St. Mary.

The name 'Divide Mountain' is derived from its location on the Continental Divide. But fascinatingly, from a nearby peak — Triple Divide Peak, at 2, 446 m / 8,025 ft — drainage occurs into three Oceans!

These oceans are: the Pacific — via the Columbia River and tributaries —, the Atlantic — at the Gulf of Mexico via the Missouri-Mississippi and tributaries, and the Arctic — at Hudson Bay via the St. Mary, Oldman, Saskatchewan and Nelson Rivers.

The word 'amazing' here is entirely appropriate!

Truly the amazing St. Mary, Montana area is on the Roof of North America, so to speak.

Truly, the St. Mary, Montana area is geographically unique in the world!

And so for its slow and peaceful pace of life, and for its geography, St. Mary Montana is truly amazing!

So why not go there, as I did?

And here are link to the State of Montana's visitor information sites (3).

So go and be amazed!

April 17, 2019


(1) See also:

(2) For topographical details re. St. Mary, Montana, see also:

(3) State of Montana visitor information sites: ;

Looking north at the sign for w:St. Mary, Montana on U.S. Route 89.
Looking north at the sign for w:St. Mary, Montana on U.S. Route 89. | Source

Also worth seeing

Many Glacier Hotel, Swiftcurrent Lake, Montana (distance: 20.3 miles / 32.7 kilometres) is the creation of Louis W. Hill (1872-1948), situated at a spectacular location.

Waterton, Alberta, Canada (distance: 38.6 miles / 62.2 kilometres; the lakeside village at the Canadian end of the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park has a spectacular setting, overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel.

Great Falls,
Montana (distance: 154.6 miles / 248.8 kilometres); visitor attractions include: the Great Falls of the Missouri River, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the C M Russell Museum; Gibson Park; Native Montana Art Gallery and Gift; the Great Falls Symphony Association holds regular concerts at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts; the Great Falls Historic Trolley gives local tours from the Visitor Information Center; the Malmstrom Air Force Base Museum and Air Park; the Montana Museum of Railroad History; and many others.

Ulm, Montana (distance: 163 miles / 262.4 kilometres); the First Peoples' Buffalo Jump State Park contains an historic, mile-long cliff used for 600 years.


How to get there: Delta Airlines flies to Great Falls International Airport, Montana (distance from St. Mary: 154.6 miles / 248.8 kilometres) with wide North American connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map of Glacier National Park
Map of Glacier National Park | Source

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