CacheCrazy.Com: Hiking to St. Mary's Glacier

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hiking to St. Mary's Glacier

Editors Note: This awesome post was from Kim's blog, Snug Harbor Bay from July of 2011 but hey, it was so good we just had to bring it back again! Wait until you see the glorious pictures of family fun, awesome landscapes and geocaching too! Let's go!

We just got back from a quick little trip to Colorado.  I've been wanting to get out there for ages, so I cashed in my credit card miles for my ticket and for my birthday my husband bought my daughter a ticket so she could join me.  Talk about the perfect gift!

We crammed a ton of stuff into our 5 day mini trip, but I'm going to tell you about THE highlight first.  On Sunday we decided to take a hike up to St. Mary's Glacier.   The glacier is located just outside the town of Alice.  We drove up the mountain to one of 2 parking areas and then walked over to the trail leading to the top.  

This is what it looks like at the beginning of the trail...
The higher we went, the more rocky it became.  The hike wasn't bad at all.  If I were to do it again though, I'd be sure to wear hiking boots and take a walking stick.  I hadn't brought my hiking boots with me, so I did it in gym shoes.  Going up wasn't bad but I did a little more sliding than I cared to on the way down.  Lesson learned - no more trips without hiking boots and I need to buy a collapsible walking stick.

At the top of the trail was a crystal clear lake....

We posed around the lake for awhile, but the base of the glacier in the distance was calling to us, so before long we were headed up another trail.  Chablis & I took turns carrying the pack.  You can see "Travelling Snoopy" who always goes along for the ride.
At the base of the mountain it was in the high 90's that day.  
By the time we reached the lake, the wind was blowing with a vengence and it was very comfortable temperature wise.  We were anxious to go play with the snow in August.

Skiiers and snowboarders were hiking up and down with their equipment and enjoying the snow.

We continued up a trail leading to the glacier.  There was a steady stream of people up and down the trail so apparently we weren't the only ones trying to beat the heat that day.
Half way up we enjoyed this view....
When we hit the base of the snow, this is the view that greeted us!
We played in the snow for awhile....
And then continued climbing upward....

Yes, that lake in the background is where we had taken pictures earlier.

Each view was better than the one before it.  We kept scrambling around from rock to rock and kept snapping picture after picture.  Personally, I could have stayed up there for hours.  It was so beautiful up there, the sky was so blue and the air was incredibly clean.  All too soon it was time to start heading down.

We took a break by the lake to catch our breath, drink some water and take some more pictures.  

I decided that I should walk barefoot in the lake since I may never get another chance to wade in a glacier fed lake.  Within 30 seconds my feet were frozen.  That water was COLD!

After one last look around, we headed back down....
And wouldn't you know it, but there was actually a geocache hidden along a side trail, so we hurried over and found it quick....

I can easily say that this was one of the "best days" of my life.  I was hiking on a mountain and playing in the snow, higher up than I had ever been before, with my daughter, my sister and her family.  John Denver's song "Rocky Mountain High" kept running through my mind.   I was on Cloud 9 the rest of the day.  I would go back and do that hike again in a minute.  


Kevin Bloodhounded said...

Oh man, I would have flown out for this trip! So much fun and I'll bet it was a good workout! I'm dying to get out but I really haven't had the time. Not an excuse, this weekend, I'm going.....somewhere:)

El Trekkista said...

beautiful place.

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