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Just a 40 minute drive from Denver, and just past Idaho Springs, sits a bit of geological history in the form of an ancient glacier. Although it has diminished in size over the years, St. Mary’s Glacier is a reminder of how the world’s landscape is constantly changing.
The area offers a short, moderate in difficulty, hike that rewards the adventurer with splendid views of the adjacent mountains. At the base of the glacier rests a small lake, with water like glass, just begging a kid to skip a rock off its surface. The lake is surrounded by weathered old evergreen trees standing guard at the shore, like a father watching his children playing.
Cross the bridge and follow the wide path up along the glacier for your chance to touch a bit of history. The glacier has been there for 10’s of 1000’s of years and is no doubt the culprit for the current jagged form of the surrounding terrain.
For the slightly more daring hikers, take the trail from the lake and past the glacier up to the top of the mountain. The 360 degree panoramic view is well worth the extra blisters on the feet.
You can reach St. Mary’s Glacier by taking Exit 238 off of I-70. Follow the signs to Fall River Road and the glacier. There is a small parking lot ($5 per car) at the top. The surrounding area is private property, so do tread lightly, and happy hiking!