If you're someone who has decided to ski year-round in Colorado and are trying to figure out where your August and September days will be, look no further than Idaho Springs.
Yes, you can go on a long adventure for your turns or you can do a quick trip, get your turns in and continue on with your day. It is only half a mile from the trailhead to the lake and then you’ll cross a stream and head up towards the snow. The total trip will likely be less than 4 miles if you go to the edge of the snow at the top. The entire outing will take you about 3 hours at a leisurely pace.
If this is your first time heading out to St. Mary’s for your summer turns here are some tips in the form of an acrostic poem:
Start early (by 7:30 am) or late (after 4 pm) to avoid crowds
Tourists will ask you whether you’re going skiing, you can answer them honestly or make something up
Make sure to have $5 and a pen to fill out your parking pass
Add yak tracks to your hiking shoes to make the approach much more enjoyable
Remember all your ski gear (we wear our helmets and opt to hike instead of skin)
You may get lazy and just ski in your hiking socks, we normally do
Sunscreen is a must, the sun reflects off the snow
Go to the right of the lake for your approach
Look up the weather before going, storms can roll in quickly
Always leave no trace, even better pick up any trash you see
Check out the view - as you’re skiing down look up and enjoy beautiful views
It’s not actually a glacier, just a semi-permanent snow field
Enjoy the skiing (or snowboarding) but…
Realize it’s summer – expect dirt covered sun cups
Scenes from St. Marys over the years:
Jacob isn't one for pictures but before we met all his summer turns were at St. Mary's Glacier, he even used to lap it if the snow was decent. I went consistently in June, August and Sept annually when I skied year round from 2015-2017 and have enjoyed picking my streak back up this year. I hope the leaves are turning for our September turns like they were in 2017, the bottom left picture is one of my favorites!