Hello October! So glad you are here. Did you get to see the beautiful Aspen’s this past month?
One of my favorite drives isn’t far from Denver via Fall River Road to St Mary’s Glacier. This is a steep and winding road and NO you do not
need a 4-wheel drive (depends on time of year) to get to the top. My first trip was in my late teens with a group of friends. If you can do it, there is a 1.5 mile hike up to the glacier and lake. St. Mary’s Glacier has an easy to moderatewith views that rank with some of the best alpine spots in the world. It’s a fairly easy trail (1.5 hr round trip) but it will require some climbing through the boulders. The elevation gain is around 350 ft.
There is plenty of parking – two parking lots close to the trail head. Porta potties as well as dog waste bag dispenser, trash & recycle cans, and it is maintained yearly. DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD if you do you will get a hefty ticket so pay the $5 parking as it is definitely worth it!
From the parking lot you will hike approximately ½ mile up a gentle slope. This trail is a bit rough because it follows a boulder field. You will wind your way in and around these rocks for about 30 minutes until you reach the glacial lake and the ice field itself. Yes that’s right St. Mary’s Glacier is actually not a glacier, but an ice field.
Spectacular views! At the top of the trail you can now take one of the many little trails that will take you around the water, and/or up to the snow itself. Take your camera, some snacks and water and plan to spend some time exploring or just relaxing!
Once you come back down the mountain you should head straight into Idaho Springs for some mouth-watering Mountain High Pie at
Beau Jo’s(1517 Miner Street). This is a must every time we are up there as the pizza is mouth watering! Idaho Springs some great shops, including a drive-thru Starbucks and numerous cafe. There is even a shop where you can get some old-time photo’s with family and friends.
Have you been here yet? Share your favorite day-drive spot and why?