Saint Mary’s Glacier located near Idaho Springs, CO is a great hike to do all year-round. One of my favorite things about this hike is that you can really make it your own. The glacier is less than a mile away from the trailhead; from there you can turn around and head back to the parking lot or explore a variety of different unmarked trails. This is also a popular destination for winter sports, and last time I was there we saw a group completing a survival tactics course.
The trail is all up-hill and a bit steep at times, but keep moving because you’ll be to the glacier in no time! I would argue that the scenery is better in the summer when the lake is open. The trail can get very slippery in the winter and we saw a lot of people sliding down on their way back to the parking lot. With that being said, the trail is much more heavily trafficked in the summer months so it really is a trade-off.
This is a good hike to take out-of-towners on because it’s close to Denver, short, and offers stunning mountain scenery without having to travel too far. Oh, and be prepared to see a lot of dogs!