The hike as much as St. Mary’s Glacier ascends by way of a wonderful forest and ends with beautiful panoramic views–the sort you count on from an ideal brief hike in Colorado. For those who stroll round St. Mary’s lake then hike up the glacier, you'll acquire unimaginable views of the Rocky Mountains to the west. It's a fast hike–1.5 miles round-trip when you climb to the highest, however solely about 1 mile spherical journey when you solely hike the lake and again. The St. Mary’s Glacier trailhead is about an hour from Denver and an effective way to beat the summer season warmth, as there’s snow above the lake year-round.
ST. MARY’S GLACIER TRAIL SNAPSHOT
|Hike Distance||Approx. 1.5 mile Spherical Journey|
|Problem||Simple to Average|
|Length||Approx 2 hr Spherical Journey|
|Path Sort||Out and Again|
|Elevation Achieve||Approx. +1200′ to base of the Glacier|
|Seasons||Late Spring to Early Fall|
|Canine||Allowed On Leash|
|Hike Path Map||Click on for a Map of St. Mary’s Glacier close to Idaho Springs, Colorado|
|Denver Drive Time||55 min|
|Driving Instructions to St. Mary’s Glacier close to Idaho Springs, Colorado||Click on for Google Map|
|City Nearest Hike||Idaho Springs, Colorado|
|Magnificence||Forest hike, year-round snow, glacier, lake, bristlecone pine, mountain vary views|
|Actions||Mountaineering, picnics, mountain biking, snowboarding and snowboarding on glacier, snowshoeing within the winter|
|Video||Click on For a Video of St. Mary’s Glacier hike|
|Charge||$5 Parking Charge|
It was the primary day of June, and after I arrived on the base of St. Mary’s Glacier, I may see snowboarders and skiers zig-zagging their means down its slopes! Even the path as much as St. Mary’s lake was nonetheless embellished with snow. We solely made it about midway up the glacier because it was very slick and I didn’t have my Yaktrax, however the views we bought from (virtually to) the saddle at high of the glacier had been unimaginable.
Simply St. Mary’s Lake alone is breathtaking – particularly within the morning calm, because it displays the glacier in its mirror floor. It’s an exquisite place to have a picnic earlier than starting the rocky descent again down the mountain. For those who stroll round the fitting aspect of St. Mary’s Lake, you’ll come to a bridge that takes you over a small stream – that is the way you decide up the path to hike up the glacier.
Find out how to Get the Greatest Expertise when Mountaineering to St. Mary’s Glacier
First is parking on the St. Mary’s Glacier Trailhead (that is essential): There are two parking heaps for the trailhead (one south of the trailhead which is pretty massive and one north of it that’s smaller) and each require you to pay a $5 price and show a allow in your windshield. Permits are simply obtained from marked posts in each parking heaps, however you’ll must deliver your individual pen to jot down down your license plate quantity on the price envelope. Restrooms within the parking heaps are a large bonus and appeared (in the present day, at the very least) to be very well-maintained. Don't park alongside the street because it interferes with entry to houses and heavy fines are assessed.
The path as much as St. Mary’s Glacier is surprisingly brief – nearly three-quarters of a mile to the highest of the glacier – however the route is extraordinarily rocky, and at occasions, it could possibly be tough for smaller kids to scramble over bigger rocks. The decrease portion of the path is kind of dry, however as you ascend to the glacier there's plenty of moist and deep snow to traverse by way of. I’d suggest sporting mountain climbing boots, or on the very least sporting waterproof/handled sneakers with good traction. The winter season at St. Mary’s would absolutely demand snowshoes. In case you are mountain climbing within the winter, train actual warning. As a result of this hike feels brief and is accessible from the interstate, it’s straightforward to overlook that you're in an alpine setting. Be sure you keep the path as a result of that is an space the place avalanches are attainable on the neighboring slopes.
The trailhead to the St. Mary’s Glacier is well-marked, however after that there are not any extra indicators for the path itself. I’ve heard people on the path say that so long as you’re climbing upwards you’ll finally attain the glacier, however any such unmarked path could also be a bit intimidating for much less skilled hikers. Personally, within the winter I simply comply with footsteps within the snow and in the summertime I comply with the small stream upwards (reduces to a light-weight trickle of water within the late Summer time) and I've all the time made it to the glacier simply high quality.
Canine are allowed on the path on leashes. They need to actually be saved leashed on the ascent and descent because the land the path runs by way of is on non-public property. Be sure you deliver some doggie baggage to select up after your finest pal.
Ideas & Sources for Mountaineering St. Mary’s Glacier close to Idaho Springs, Colorado:
- Picnic Space: Pack a picnic! The St. Mary’s lake is actually a surprising setting for a fast chunk.
- Snowboarding Space: Herald skis/snowboards/sleds and have a blast on the glacier.
- Ask for course: The path can fairly complicated of you’ve not hiked it earlier than, so don’t be afraid to ask hikers coming down when you’re headed in the fitting course.
- Path Map for St. Mary’s Glacier close to Idaho Springs, Colorado: Path Map Hyperlink
- Colorado Highway Circumstances: Colorado Highway Circumstances
- After the Hike: Beau Jo’s Pizza Idaho Springs
- Hike Profile Credit score: We wish to specific our gratitude to Leslie W., a member of the Dayhikes Close to Denver Pathfinder Crew, who did this hike, wrote the journey report, and took the photographs you see above. Thanks, Leslie!
Map & Driving Instructions
Click on for Driving Instructions