Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

St. Mary’s Glacier Trail

  • ★★★★
  • 1.5 miles round trip (out & back – can be extended)
  • Elevation gain: 420 feet
  • 1 hour+
  • Easy to moderately strenuous
  • A forest, a lake, & mountains to explore

Distance from Denver: 1 hour


Parking: $5

If you’re looking for a short, easy hike with great views, this is one of your best bets. And for those who think 1.5 mile hikes are silly, there are some challenging extensions you can take after you complete the main trail.

Park at the large lot at the St. Mary’s Glacier trailhead, pay a $5 parking fee, and take the trail up a slight elevation gain until  you reach St. Mary’s Lake, which sits below massive mountains and the glacier and marks the end of the official trail.

A path takes you around the lake and when you’re on the north side of the lake, you can walk up the glacier to the top of the mountain – there is snow in the area year-round so you will most likely be walking up snow but it is usually doable without spikes or snowshoes since there are a lot of people in the area. Once you reach the top, it feels like you’re on top of the world – there are a few mountaintops on which you can sit and enjoy some of the best views of the Rockies around.

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