A perfect day trip for you is Saint Mary’s Glacier hike that is located near Idaho Springs, Colorado. The Saint Mary’s Glacier trailhead is just an hour away from Denver and must be on your list if you are on a visit there.
It’s a 1.9 mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 807 feet. Even though the hike is short and the elevation gain is not that high as well, do not expect the hike to be easy and straightforward. It will test your physical strength and offer different challenges but that’s just the beauty of it.
The drive to the trailhead is incredible as there are a lot of aspen trees along the way which makes it amazing.
When you reach the Saint Mary’s Glacier trailhead you will want to park your car, so head to the parking lot that is just beyond the trailhead on your left.
There are two parking lots, one is located south of the trailhead and the other one is located north of the trailhead. The former is comparatively smaller and can handle 30 to 40 vehicles whereas the latter is larger and can manage around 100 vehicles. To park your vehicle on any of these parking lots you have to pay a 5 dollar fee and display a permit on the windshield.
Restrooms are also available in the parking lot, so make use of them and head extremely fresh to the hike.
Even though the hike is fairly short it is rocky so it’s better that you wear your hiking boots. The first portion of the trail is quite dry but as you keep ascending you will have to traverse through a lot of wet and deep snow. The hike is even more difficult in the winter season so make sure to wear snowshoes.
The path to the trailhead is marked but the hike to the lake or glacier is not marked.
Of course, people say you keep climbing upwards and you would eventually reach the glacier but it’s not that simple for new hikers.