5 hikes to find Colorado’s last glaciers before they’re gone for good

Time is running out to see Colorado’s year-round alpine glaciers before they recede into extinction — which is, in some cases, a couple decades off, according to a study from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

In the Ice Age, glaciers carved much of Colorado’s alpine landscape. Wide mountain valleys — now dotted with towns and zig-zagged by hiking trails — are glacial byproducts of millennia past. But these days, only 14 tiny scraps of moving ice are left.

Many are nestled under peaks where the sun can’t heat them up and melt their surfaces, their shadowy locations also making them hard to reach. Late summer, early fall is the best time to see the remaining ones before they’re surrounded by snow.

The Arikaree is likely to melt in fewer than 20 years, but before it goes, you can still see it from the Arapaho Glacier Trail, located near Rainbow Lakes Campground on County Road 116 near Boulder. At the glacier overlook, the last little bit of moving ice is nestled just to the north of the Arapaho Glacier, to the right when facing the glaciers from the lookout at treeline.

Here are five glacier hikes worth investigating…

 

Similar Posts: