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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Hiking St. Mary’s Glacier

Idaho Springs is best known for such places as Tommyknocker Brewery and BeauJo’s Pizza. A short drive north from town though, along I70 and Fall River Road, sits the St. Mary’s Glacier; a beautiful trail and lake where time is well spent. The trail up to the lake and glacier seems to be more suitable for an ATV due to the rocky nature of the path, but it is primarily, and easily, used by hikers. And it may seem difficult at first, going up at a steep grade from about 10,300 feet in elevation, but it levels out and becomes easier closer to the top.
It’s only a mile anyway, so no sweat! …figuratively speaking of course.

When we made our way to the top, I found the mountain views stunning. And with the number of outdoor activities to enjoy, I could easily see spending all day there hiking, fishing and enjoying the scenery. Heck, I could’ve even brought a board up and gone for a ride down the glacier as some people who were too impatient for the resorts to open were doing.
On some well-worn paths my friend and I made our way around the lake to check out the glacier, sans snowboards. It’s a beautiful area dotted with wildflowers and lots of brush that hid some small animals that peeked out at us on occasion. And the glacier itself, albeit tainted a bit brown, is quite nice with a couple of small flows issuing from its base that feed the lake.
The best part about all of this though is that it’s totally and completely free. So many places in Colorado, like the state and national parks, require payment. But this gem of a spot has none of it. The only payment required is a $5 day fee for parking at the trailhead, but we were fortunate enough to get a free spot along the road.
And as any Coloradoan, or visitor to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, knows, that $5 can be better spent on a brew and a burger in Idaho Springs.

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