St. Mary's Glacier
St. Mary's Glacier
4.5
About
St. Mary's Glacier is stunning snowfield just outside of Idaho Springs. The 1.5-mile round-trip to the glacier is one of the area's most popular hikes, moderately difficult with rocky terrain and reaching an altitude of 11,000 feet. Keep an eye out for a spur in the trail that leads to a lovely waterfall. If you enjoy the hike, you can keep going past the glacier. Aim to start your day early as it gets busy, particularly during the summer months—you’ll see many enthusiasts carrying skis and snowboards up to the glacier, where there is snow all year round. – Tripadvisor
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  • mary p
    72 contributions
    Beautiful yet crowded
    I've been here twice now; once in Feb 2020 and again June 2020. The hike up is pretty strenuous but a good work out and beautiful reward at the top. Bring a jacket, the wind is chilly coming off the lake. Many people picnic up here, it is lovely so plan to hang out. Parking is challenging, plan to pay the #5 fee and park in the lot (cash only). If you park on the side of the road you WILL be ticketed. Satellite bathrooms available in parking lot.
    Visited June 2020
    Written June 26, 2020
  • Seth J
    Omaha, Nebraska6 contributions
    Beautiful!
    It was my wife and I, 32 and 34 yrs old, my 14 yr old son and my 10 and 7 yr old daughters. The hike to the lake is pretty rocky and can be difficult for some, but when you get to the lake you feel amazing! Then my 2 oldest and I decided to climb the peak overlooking the lake. Very hard hike and I wouldn't recommend it if you have never hiked in a thin oxygen environment or don't exercise much, but the feeling of accomplishment if you do make it is soooo worth it! It was a true bonding experience between my 2 oldest and me. Don't forget the sunscreen! its easy to forget that you burn a lot faster at those altitudes lol.
    Visited July 2020
    Written July 29, 2020
  • mom3boysslp
    Smithton, Missouri7 contributions
    ROCKY but worth it!
    We are not avid hikers but decided to tackle this hike because it's only 1.5 miles round trip--the view is definitely worth it! There's a $5 self-pay fee to park, the trailhead was located between the 2 parking lots. Be prepared to step on and over rocks/boulders the entire time, this is not a smooth path! There are great "resting" rocks on the way up if you're out of shape like us. Our boys (22,17,15) had no difficulty with the hike whatsoever and once we were up, the trip down was easily accomplished! Beautiful view for sure!
    Visited August 2021
    Written August 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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797deboraht
Leander, TX6 contributions
Jul. 2023
We are in our 70's so we had to take this hike a little slower than most, but it was well worth the hike up.
Written July 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wendy B
7 contributions
Nov. 2022
At start it is rocky, steep, icy,snowy but very short incline and rest was perfect for kids, dogs, older hikers! Gorgeous at the top! See it now before glacier disappears!
Written January 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy
3 contributions
Sep. 2022 • Friends
The view was great. I definitely recommend coming here.
1. There is a $5 parking fee. Be sure to bring cash. There is a box with envelopes to put the money in and the parking ticket to put in your car. Bring a pen so you can write the information needed on the envelope.
2. There is an hour hike up till you reach the lake. The hike is not easy if you are a beginner. Its a path of rocks. So I recommend wearing active shoes or hiking shoes.
3. There are two paths that you will reach after walking up for a while. The path leading down leads to a waterfall\stream, which is very beautiful. The other path that is uphill leads to the lake.
Written September 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simonc1
essex138 contributions
Aug. 2022
Well worth the walk. Having recently arrived in Colorado from sea level the altitude had an impact, so had to take it slowly. Had to be careful underfoot with the rocks, which meant that you couldn't take in the scenery when walking - but it gave an excuse for those all-important stops for breath.

I'd say it's a walk worth ging out of your way to do.

There are toilets at the parking lot - not the greatest, but they met a need.
Written September 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vacation-dad12
Washington DC, DC17 contributions
Aug. 2022
I think the best part of this climb is after you get to the glacier. The hike keeps going and going up to a jeep trail. There's no 360 mountain top view up there - but there aren't many people, and you just feel really far away from the hustle and bustle that's down below at the lake.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kmbsfc
Altoona, PA70 contributions
Aug. 2022
Great hike and beautiful views. Be careful on your hike up to the glacier, make sure to take your time and bring water, as the elevation can be difficult for some. Once you get to the glacier, views are amazing, there are places to sit, have a picnic and you can even climb higher if you wish. Great hike with family.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cryptic_Tourist
Saint Louis, MO694 contributions
Jul. 2022 • Couples
After reading many reviews online of hikes near the Denver area, I chose this one due to the overwhelming positive reviews and photos. Photos do not do it justice, it is absolutely gorgeous in person.

As many other have mentioned, get there very early. We arrived at 6:30 AM and there was already three cars in the lot. It was during a very hot weekend in Denver so a lot of folks were heading to the mountains. When we left at 8:00, the parking lot was almost full. When we went to pay the cash fee, there were no permits left. The owner told us he frequently runs out and doesn’t leave pens anymore because he went through thousands of them.

The hike itself isn’t too challenging if you’re up to hiking in a higher altitude. Lots of rocks/some light bouldering on the way up. I noticed a small spur on the way up that led to a gorgeous waterfall. No one mentioned that in any of the other reviews I read. Once you get to the lake, you could turn back but we opted to hike up to the snow pack. Glad we did! Very fun hike!
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allison K
Carlsbad, CA4 contributions
Jul. 2022
2 moms, 3 11-year-olds, 2 14-year-olds and it was no problem to get up to the lake in no time at all. Trail is not marked particularly well but I think all paths lead to the lake. One trail that goes off to the right leads to a waterfall so if you find yourself there be happy for the detour and go the short walk back to the trail. Mutiple people brought snowboards and hiked to the peak and snowboarded down the glacier! Fun times for all
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joshua G
Miami, FL20 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Family
Being Floridians, the hike was a little challenging for us, given the altitudes. Plenty of places to rest, as we did many times, while local toddlers passed us by effortlessly, lol. It's not long, just a bit of a rocky climb. When you arrive, you'll be happy you did it. Spectacular views!!!!
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ksee1981
21 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
As others have said, a moderately difficult hike due to the terrain and elevation but BEYOND worth it. Proper shoes would have been great but I managed to make it halfway up the side of the mountain with my old tennis shoes. Mid-May there is still a decent amount of snow/ice on the trek to the glacier. Take time to soak this one in, it’s breathtaking and a must see when you are in the area. Go early to avoid crowds!
Written May 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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ST. MARY'S GLACIER - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about St. Mary's Glacier

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