guide to saint mary's glacier in idaho springs - trail review

Trail Reviews: Saint Mary’s Glacier – Idaho Springs, CO

Trail Reviews: Saint Mary’s Glacier – Idaho Springs, CO

Distance: 1.9 miles

Elevation: 807ft

A quick and fairly easy hike for those short on time, but still want to behold the beauty of the mountains, or who want to get in a quick hike. Much of the elevation gain occurs at the very beginning of the hike and once you reach the lake. The trail is very wide and will take wind you up and through the trees. As this is a very popular trail, much of the snow on the trail is packed down, thus not requiring snowshoes; however, there were one or two spots where the snow was powdery and sunk slightly when stepped on. After walking up and up through the trees you will come upon Saint Mary’s lake, a field of ice nestled right beneath towering mountains. I did not see anyone walking along the lake and am not confident it would be safe to do so. Once you’ve reached the lake the trail separates from the trees and leads a short distance up to the glacier. The exposure and winds are intensified as you continue the short trek up to the top of the glacier. At the top of the glacier, you will finally see breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, the valley below to your left, and the lake below to your right. Take a moment to soak in the grandeur of the mountainous landscape and begin your descent. The hike back to the trailhead is far quicker as it’s entirely downhill.

trail review - Saint Mary’s Glacier - silver lake

         Photo above taken at Silver lake

If you have the time, take a drive by Silver lake and lake Quivira for more icy lake views!