Glacier National Park
St Mary Campground
Loop A. Site 08
Stayed: September 5, 2016
This was an unplanned site, but a wonderful one. After driving Going-to-the-Sun Road West to East, I found myself on the other side of the mountains with no plans for where to stay that night. Part of me really wanted a hotel bed after so many hours in the car. After asking around in St Mary, however, it seemed like a delightful idea to stay a night in Glacier National Park itself.
St Mary Campground is about a mile from the St Mary Visitor Center (highly recommend stopping there!) and only about 3 miles from the town of St Mary. It is a large campground, but rarely full. Loop A is recommended for tent campers, and no generators are allowed in that loop. It's much quieter without all of the RVs, and I had a restful night's sleep there. This campground is where the mountains meet the prairie, and there's something quietly serene about it. You can listen to the wind whisper through the tall grass and white birch trees. The entire site was bathed in sunlight as we arrived and set up camp.
I'd recommend nearly any site in Loop A other than the one on the end of the loop (26). You have the option between open sites surrounded by prairie grass and more intimate sites encircled by birch trees and a healthy amount of underbrush. The open sites are usually last to be taken, but they do offer the best views of the surrounding mountains. There are many secluded campsites, and several have parking in front of the site so that you're almost surrounded on all sides. Lots of privacy!
I've included a map below. There are showers in one of the upper loops. It's a bit of a walk, but completely worth it if you've been roughing it for several days!! The water was lukewarm, but I really wan't picky. The good thing is that I did not have to wait!! Restrooms are nearby no matter which site you choose, but they are spartan. At $20/night, it really wasn't bad. I quite enjoy the bare essentials, and the views and secluded sites were perfect. The hosts were very nice, and the pay drop box very easy to use. Firewood is NOT on site, but it is available a 5 minute drive away in the town of St Mary.
Site 8 was nearby one of the garbage dumpsters (bear proof) and a set of restrooms. Water is plentiful throughout the grounds. The restrooms contain toilets and sinks, but the one near my site did not have a functioning hand dryer. Brrrr. Quiet night and beautiful morning. I would definitely recommend it to others and would certainly go back myself!