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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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles418 reviews
Excellent
330
Very good
65
Average
13
Poor
3
Terrible
7

Andrea O
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
We came here more for the hike than the lake, and decided as locals that there are far less crowded places to hike where the parking is free and the restrooms are clean. The signs indicate that there is no street parking and that the $5 parking lot is on private land. There was a row of filthy portable toilets full to the top and infested with flies. Many had bags of trash inside them because there are no trash receptacles provided. The parking lot was full on a Monday, with cars circling and waiting for spots. So what is the "private owner" doing with the parking revenue? Perhaps a few calls to the county (Clear Creek) health department might urge them to put some of that income towards servicing the bathrooms and providing trash receptacles......just a thought.
Written 20 July 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.

blessedsights2c
Ridgeway, WI35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Parking was 5$. Cash only. There were plenty of spots available. We did the hike on a Tuesday afternoon. There were many people there and made the trail crowded. It is a steep, rocky walk up. The view at the top made it well worth it. There is a lot of room around the lake and glacier area, so it didn’t feel as crowded as the trail was. There is a short hike from the lake right up to the glacier. Excellent picture opportunity. Our kids enjoyed climbing around the rocks, touching the glacier, and stepping into the cool lake.
Written 12 August 2020
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.

Thomas H
Cleveland, OH23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
This is a terrific short trip from Denver into the mountains to hike up to see an Alpine Glacier and glacial lake. It's about a 1 hr. drive from Denver to reach the trailhead, with self-parking available for $5 (honor system). Then, with a moderately strenuous hike (1.5 mile round-trip) further up the mountain, one arrives to enjoy the beauty of the glacier, lake and surrounding mountain terrain. You can actually walk around the small lake and climb onto the glacier. Plus... the drive up into the mountains is itself stunning.
This year round snowfield is located within the Arapaho National Forest.
Written 11 August 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.

michaeljones46
Oklahoma City, OK457 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Beautiful drive up and back, and trailhead had ample parking plus toilets. Hike is not easy, as it is a decent climb and since the "trail" is up the glacial moraine it is quite rocky. Wear good hiking shoes. Trail is not well marked, but as long as you stay on the moraine you make it to the lake with no problem. Not for strollers. Lake was beautiful, and the hike crosses a nice bridge to continue up and around the lake to the glacier. The actual glacier cannot be seen from the lake, you have to hike up the rather loose moraine to the northwest and climb over the ridge to see the glacier. We were there in mid October and the glacier was quite small. But well worth the hike!
Written 9 October 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.

romanpiekosz
Chicago, IL8,983 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
Such a beautiful place, beautiful lake, surrounded by rocks and vegetation which was changing their colors in the end of September.
Monday looked to me like best time for this trip. Anyway, there was a lot of people there. I can imagine what's going on during the weekend.
Hiking was not very easy due to the big rocks laying on the trail in lower section.
The upper section, above the lake is not easy too. There was a lot of movable rocks mixed with the soil dirt, so I had to hike with carefulness.
It's worth to pay $5 at the parking spot.
I wish to come back with my family members.
I spent about an hour sitting by the lake and watching people and the nature.
I strongly recommend this place.

RomanP
Written 2 October 2020
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.

itsasmallworld2015
Sarnia, Canada68 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
This is a short walk but don’t be fooled it is steep, rocky, and at high altitiude so it’s not easy. The parking fee is now $20 - we were staying locally so not a problem for us. The views around the lake area are really lovely but you might be sharing it with a number of other people. I confess I only got to the bottom of the snow patch but still felt it was worth the climb.
Written 13 October 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.

Otter2269
Lincoln, NE297 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We were so happy we found this place. The hike was not overly difficult, and the payoff at the top was more than worth the hike. The lake was gorgeous and the kids getting to play in the snow was priceless. Our kids are 6, 8, and 11. They had a blast. We saw other kids as young as 4 make the hike, though that may be a stretch for a little one.
Written 19 July 2020
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.

thekookykorinn
Springfield, IL19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
this trail was amazing! the end view of the glacier was spectacular & breathtaking. The trail was filled with families which was comforting. (especially the dogs) 10/10 would recommend, keep in mind the trail is very rocky at the beginning.
Written 24 July 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.

Stephanie L
Raleigh, NC37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This was worth the rocky, not always well marked trail. It was so beautiful. I was worried it would be crowded with all the people walking the trail with us, but there was plenty of room to spread out. Be sure you have $5 in cash to pay parking and a pen to fill out your parking info.
Written 8 August 2020
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, MO983 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 24 July 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 (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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