St. Mary’s Glacier

[All: 1 Avg.: 4]

Distance

2 Miles

Route Type

Out and Back

Difficulty

Easy

Ascent

1,200 ft.

Highest Elevation

11,630ft.

Overview

Check a glacial near-alpine lake off the list or continue higher to access 12er’s and 13ers in a much less populated area.

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St. Mary’s Glacier Walkthrough

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How to Run St. Mary’s Glacier

This route desciption assumes you go to the very top of the Glacier.

The only parking in town is in the public pay lots, which are $5. All roads in St. Mary’s town are private and you will be towed.

The lake at the base of the Glacier is approximately half a mile from trailhead and is an easy hike on an extremely busy, eroded, braided, wide-enough-to-land-a-747 trail. Google Maps lists the trail as a road, and while you can’t get a car onto it, the classification is certainly accurate. Assume you will deal with dogs, bluetooth speakers, and (unfortunately) trash along the way. Snow holds for much of the year, and you should keep an eye out for skiers and snowboarders coming down the trail amongst hikers.

The lake is clear and blue, but generally too cold for any swimming. If you’re brave enough, cliff jumping can be found. If you came for the solitude and natural photos, good luck.

The Glacier is immediately above the lake and holds snow all year long. Glacial travel presents unique risks such as shifting snow, hollow snow with flowing water beneath it, and crevasses. Hiking to the top will gain you access to the James Peak wilderness and the continental divide.

Pack it in. Pack it out.

How to Train for St. Mary’s Glacier

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