- Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect place for a scenic hike
- The Mount Ida Trail takes you along the crest of the Continental Divide
- The trail is 10 miles roundtrip on a moderately strenuous hike
- Average time for hiking to the summit and back is 6 hours
Rocky Mountain Park straddles the Continental Divide, and offers some of the most scenic hiking in the country. Hiking the Mount Ida Trail, an outdoor enthusiast gets to experience the beauty of the expansive views and alpine tundra.
From Milner Pass, you’ll climb steeply but once reaching timberline, the trail becomes easier. Along the way, as you trek along the spine of the Continental Divide, you’ll likely catch glimpses of bighorn sheep, pikas, elk and many other wildlife species. At the summit of Mount Ida, you will have 360-degree views and see the Never Summer Mountains and the Gorge Lake area in the distance.
Start out at the Milner Pass Trailhead, which lies along US Highway 34, also known as the Trail Ridge Road. It is about 3 miles south of the Alpine Visitor Center and 17 miles north of Kawuneeche Visitor Center. There’s ample parking.
- Distance – 10 miles
- Average Time of Hike – 6 hours
- Elevation Gain – approximately 2,100 feet
- Difficulty – Moderately strenuous
- Trail Type – Out and back
Plan & Prepare
The Trail Ridge Road is open typically from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which makes this the only time frame in which you can reach the Mount Ida Trail. However, you may still find snow at this elevation as late as June. During the summer you’ll find afternoon thunderstorms are common, thus you must be ready to turn back at any time. To avoid the storms and possible lightning strikes, you should start very early in the morning so you can get back to your car by early afternoon.