• J

Saint Mary’s Glacier - Idaho Springs, Colorado

Updated: Jul 14

My wife and I woke up one Saturday morning and decided to have an adventure hiking Saint Mary’s Glacier Trail. We thoroughly enjoyed this two and a half mile out-and-back hike even though it was unseasonably cold for mid-June. The large, gravel laden parking lot required a parking permit, attainable upon arrival, that set us back $5 dollars. There are four or more port-o-potties in the parking lot as well. The day we went was a little cool, temperature wise, and we were glad that we had left jackets, gloves, scarves, and hats in our car from previous hiking trips.



The walk from the parking lot to the trailhead is about 100 yards and is on the same side of the street as parking. When we went, the signs guiding us to the trailhead seemed a bit confusing. It also could have been that we hadn’t had enough coffee. It’d be a good idea to check google maps prior to your hike.

The walk-up Saint Mary’s Glacier Trail is laden with twist-your-ankle sized rocks. Too small to step on without abruptly falling and too big to kick out of the way. This turned what would have been a quick hike into a surprisingly slow pace of not-going-to-the-E.R.-today hike.

Before reaching Saint Mary’s Glacier Lake, we somehow turned off the trail and began a steep ascent up Kingston Peak. This turned out to be a strenuous (but highly rewarding) portion of the hike. Had we continued the climb, we would have intersected Rock House Kingston Peak Trail but became satisfied with our vantage point. Unfortunately due to the foggy conditions, non of the pictures we took turned out well so were omitted from this article. Guess you'll just have to take the hike for yourself!



After descending back towards the lake, we took our time exploring the shoreline and brilliant fauna adorning the walking paths. For such a chilly day, there were still plenty of jolly hiking compadres with whom to share the trail. Some folks hiked to the base of Saint Mary’s Glacier and beyond. We stopped before reaching the base and turned to take in the view of Silver Lake, another pristine, albeit smaller, body of water, flanked by a handsome rustic cabin.



Having eaten our sandwiches and lowered our body temperatures, we decided it was time to head back to the car. This is a wonderfully trip for the whole family and on a warmer day, one could spend several more hours enjoying the beautiful lake and stunningly white glacier. Again, this trip was only about an hour drive from Denver for those folks who just want to escape into nature without getting lost in it.


9 views0 comments