So you and your gang just got done with an awesome day of ziplining at the Idaho Springs Cliffside Zipline Course! But, ya’ll are still thirsting for more adventure… maybe something with beautiful scenery and lake activities? But you don’t want to stray too far away from the lovely Clear Creek area either. If that is the case, the renowned St. Mary’s Glacier should definitely make it into your schedule! Located just over nine miles North of Idaho Springs, this historic Colorado landmark offers many options for true mountaintop entertainment.
This infamous work of nature is accessible by a nice mile and a half round trip hiking trail (¾ mile one way). Once at the top of this trail, visitors will come across the mesmerizing year-round snow field- which is known for its excellent skiing and snowshoeing. Beware though, this is a heavy backcountry area and recommended for the experienced only.
At the base of the glacier guests can play to their heart’s content in the snowpack, while looking out at the surrounding mountain scenery. And at an elevation of around 10,500 ft, you can’t ask for better views of the snow-capped peaks in the horizon! Also, don’t be afraid to bring your best friend, as pets are more than welcome to visit these trails. Just be aware of the leash law that the St. Mary’s community enforces.
Another great landmark in the St. Mary’s Valley is the crystal clear lake, which sits just at the base of the glacier. This lake offers not just breathtaking views of the valley, but many memorable activities as well. Visitors have the options of swimming, cliff jumping, and boating in the St. Mary’s Lake, along with different tour options through the National Parks Service as well!
Something to keep in mind too while visiting this fantastic location is some of the private property regulations for the surrounding subdivisions. The trails do not permit any motorized vehicles or horses on them. And no straying from the trail is permitted either, as trespassing laws in the area are very strict. The National Forest and Parks service also prohibits free fishing in the St. Mary’s Lake, so only local residents or property owners can take advantage of the fishing.
If given the chance be sure to check out St. Mary’s Glacier!