If August’s triple-digit summer days have you longing for March powder, plan a day-trip to one of these cooler summer spots.
—Image courtesy of iStockphoto
St. Mary’s Glacier
One of your best bets for year-round snow in Colorado lies nine miles north of Idaho Springs at the end of Fall River Road. Park ($5) and hike about a mile beyond the lot on a moderate rocky trail with views of the 13,000-foot James Peak, and you’ll hit St. Mary’s Glacier, a permanent snow patch that sits at about 10,000 feet just above the pristine, blue-green St. Mary’s Lake. stmarysglacier.com
For $10, you can drive the 28 miles from Idaho Springs up to 14,000 feet near the top of Mt. Evans—and at that elevation, even in August, you’re bound to find at least enough of the white stuff for a snowball fight. And there’s a bonus for burgeoning peak baggers: A 10-minute hike from the top of the road lands you at the 14,264-foot summit, making this about the easiest ascent of a fourteener you’ll find in Colorado. mountevans.com
Finding the snow on Andrews Glacier is no easy task. The formation sits at the end of a strenuous 4.5-mile, 2,300-foot ascent from Rocky Mountain National Park’s popular Glacier Gorge trailhead. Along the way to Andrews Glacier—a steep cirque tucked below Otis Peak—you’ll pass picturesque Alberta Falls and aspen groves. Come prepared with proper gear (at least a decent pair of crampons) if you plan to scale the glacier itself. The payoff for reaching the top? You’re standing near the top of the Continental Divide. nps.gov/romo