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Saint Mary Lake
St Mary Lake.jpg
Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island
Location Glacier National Park (U.S.), Glacier County, Montana
Coordinates 48°40′58″N 113°32′44″W / 48.68278°N 113.54556°W / 48.68278; -113.54556Coordinates: 48°40′58″N 113°32′44″W / 48.68278°N 113.54556°W / 48.68278; -113.54556
Type Natural
Primary outflows St. Mary River (Alberta–Montana)
Basin countries United States
Max. length 9.9 mi (15.9 km)
Surface area 3,923 acres (15.88 km2)
Max. depth 300 ft (91 m)
Surface elevation 4,484 ft (1,367 m)

Saint Mary Lake is the second-largest lake in Glacier National Park, in the U.S. state of Montana.

Located on the east side of the park, Going-to-the-Sun Road parallels the lake along its north shore. At an altitude of 4,484 feet (1,367 m), Saint Mary Lake's waters are colder and lie almost 1,500 feet (460 m) higher in altitude than Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park, which is located on the west side of the Continental Divide. Here, the great plains end and the Rocky Mountains begin in an abrupt 5,000-foot (1,500 m) altitude change, with Little Chief Mountain posing a formidable southern flank above the west end of the lake.

The lake is 9.9 miles (15.9 km) long and 300 feet (91 m) deep with a surface area of 3,923 acres (15.88 km2). The waters of the lake rarely rise above 50 °F (10 °C) and are home to various species of trout. During the winter, the lake is often completely frozen over with ice up to 4 feet (1.2 m) thick.

The opening scene in the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film The Shining was shot at Saint Mary Lake.

Wild Goose Island rises a mere 14 ft (4.3 m) above the lake. The island is dwarfed by the lake and surrounding mountains, yet it is of one of the most frequently photographed locations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.


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