librarian + adventurer

HIKES

St. Mary's Glacier

July 2


St. Mary's Glacier
Trailhead: St. Mary's Glacier / Glacier Trailhead
Distance: 2.0 (easy)


St. Mary's Glacier has been on my list for a long time - like, since we moved here long time. The Sunday before fourth of July, we abandoned our original hiking plans, slept until 11:00, ate breakfast sandwiches, and then headed to Idaho Springs to do this hike. It's only supposed to take an hour and fifteen minutes from our new apartment (we're a little further out than Denver, now), but there was some CRAZY traffic and it ended up taking us almost two hours! 

The parking is a little strange, there's two dirt lots where you have to pay to park ($5) and then the trailhead itself is actually just off the side of the road. Regardless of how weird it felt, we paid our money and got on our way. 

 
 

I'm gonna be totally honest. I didn't like this trail. It was wide and rocky and (dare I say it?) not even that pretty. It felt like there had been a mud slide years ago and then people were like, "hm. this could work." and just made the trail go up this terrible terrain. It was just super underwhelming considering all of the good things I had heard about this hike. It's also a super short trail, only 3/4 of a mile before reaching St. Mary's Lake. Right towards the top, it started narrowing out and becoming more of what I love in my Colorado trails. 

 
 

When we made it to the top, I totally forgot about how much I hated the  trail itself. This whole area was beyond gorgeous - like, left me speechless, gorgeous. I think it helped that we didn't even get to the trailhead until around 3:00, so most people had already gone home for the day. 

 
 

We made our way around the edge of the lake to get to the "glacier." I should be honest, this isn't actually a glacier, it's a perennial snowfield that just got nicknamed glacier somewhere down the line. Regardless, the fact that I can watch people skiing in JULY will never get old - Colorado is too good to me. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Colorado, you are my happy place. 

 

After hanging out, throwing snowballs, watching skiers, and just generally enjoying this beautiful place we decided we were hungry and that we were ready to go home. As we were walking we made plans to come back here in the future, but with our hammocks so we could spend more time in such an incredible place.