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Ute Trail - Milner Pass to Alpine V.C. - RMNP, CO

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Northeast
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,754 feet
Elevation Gain 1,009 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,157 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 - 3 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 8.06
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2018-06-27 Steph_and_Blake
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Early Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  7:14am - 4:37pm
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Milner Pass - Fall River Pass Trail
0.0 mi away
4.4 mi
1,062 ft
Mount Ida Trail - RMNP
0.2 mi away
4.0 mi
2,102 ft
Old Ute Trail Tundra Walk
0.3 mi away
8.0 mi
Specimen Mountain Trail
0.4 mi away
Poudre River Trail
0.5 mi away
9.2 mi
100 ft
Lake Irene Trail
0.5 mi away
0.5 mi
66 ft
Red Mountain Trail
2.1 mi away
3.1 mi
1,189 ft
Lulu City Trail
2.3 mi away
3.5 mi
758 ft
Timber Lake Trail - RMNP
2.3 mi away
4.5 mi
2,064 ft
La Poudre Pass from Colo River TH - RMNP
La Poudre Pass from Colo River TH - RMNP
2.3 mi away
15.0 mi
1,600 ft
[ View More! ]
witness elk pondering wildflowers
by Steph_and_Blake

Overview
This is a moderate hike connecting Poudre Lake to Rocky Mountain National Park's Alpine Visitor Center. Aside from 0.9 miles when the trail is in the woods by the lake, the hike offers fabulous 360-degree views of meadows, tundra, snow-covered peaks, and river valleys.


Note
There are two trails in RMNP that are called Ute Trail. The other trail begins at Ute Crossing, along Trail Ridge Road, southeast of the Alpine Visitor Center.

Warning
If hiking from Poudre Lake up to the Visitor Center, note that there is a substantial ascent up numerous switchbacks for the first 0.7 miles. If you're not accustomed to the altitude (10,700 feet and higher) or aren't in good shape, you might consider hiking from the top down and organizing a shuttle to take you back to the Visitor Center. Also note that in peak season parking at both Milner Pass (by Poudre Lake) and the Visitor Center may be full. So it's best to go early. Lastly, be aware of the weather, especially in the afternoon. Lightning strikes can be deadly.

Hike
Starting at Poudre Lake find the trail on the south side of the lake. The packed-dirt path follows the curve of the lake for a short distance before entering the woods. Once in the woods, the hike becomes a workout as you climb the switchbacks leading generally in a southeast direction. After the switchbacks the trail straightens out and the woods starts to thin out, offering occasional looks at nearby peaks and the Poudre River Valley to the west. At about the 0.9-mile mark the trees no longer limit your views, the ascent becomes more gradual, and you feel like "this is what I hiked up here for!".

Wildflowers will become more and more plentiful as you continue the hike and elk can often been seen grazing in the fields. At about the 2.25-mile mark, take the time to venture off-trail into the meadow to the east. Turn around and soak up the views, both distant and near. Once back on the trail, you'll continue to ascend in a straight-forward fashion to the Visitor Center. Return the way you came.

Water Sources
While there is certainly snow-melt and a few small ponds near the upper portions of the trail, there are no sources of "ready to drink" water along the trail.

Steph_and_Blake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    NPS

    Rocky Mountain National Park
    $20 per vehicle, good for up to 7 days. It is free to hike but backpacking/camping permits are extra. View NPS Info


    Directions
    Map Drive
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Estes Park, pick up US-36 headed west. Take US-36 for 6.7 miles. At the "Y", take US-34 to the left. Stay on US-34 for 21 miles to the Milner Pass parking area.
    page created by Steph_and_Blake on Jun 28 2018 2:18 pm
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