Ute Trail from Poudre Lake to Alpine Ridge is a 8.5 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and cross country skiing and is accessible from June until September.
cross country skiing
Here with another couple, so we put a car at both ends of the trail. As this was to be an "easy day" we started at the Alpine Center and went down, although it wouldn't make much difference. I found the trail to be more interesting than I thought it would be. Also, checked out a little of the Mt Ida Trail.
Lovely hike in RMNP. Saw many wild flowers and the temperature was perfect. The climb up from Milner Pass is pretty steep so be aware as you are hiking. Get there early the alpine center fills up fast.
Great hike. I recommend starting from Poudre Lake on going up first. Great views and plenty of wildlife. It's nice because you can hit the Alpine Center for a hit lunch if you want.
Did this starting at the Alpine Visitor Center Ute trail down to Milner pass, Poudre lake. Saw rain clouds so hitched a ride back from Milner pass to Alpine Visitor center. This way was super easy; from Milner there is elevation gain involved but nothing difficult compared to some other trails in RMNP. Anyone can do this trail.
Fab view of the Gore Range.
Saw Elk sitting right by the Visitor Center totally oblivious of the crowds. Lotsa playful Marmots prancing about. Beautiful alpine flowers. Trail is well maintained so it is pretty easy.
It's really just called the Ute Trail, but nonetheless, it is an incredible hike. I have done it twice. It starts out with some steep elevation gain, but quickly mellows out. There is an abundance of alpine wildflowers and a huge variety in nature! There are amazing wildlife viewing opportunities as well, especially in the summer when the elk are still high in elevation. I saw a herd of at least a hundred stampeding directly across the trail, which was simply amazing.
This is not a hike that becomes crowded, but you should start early anyway due to it's high altitude and the possibility of lightning. I have actually been caught in a storm while hiking this trail.
Did this trail today from Milner Pass Trailhead up to the Alpine Visitors Center and back down. The first part of the trail is steep through the forest, but once you get into the subalpine zone it starts to level out with fantastic panoramic views. Even though it was early August and warm at Milner Pass, it was really windy at the top with a temperature of 44 according to the visitor center weather station. So be ready for changing weather conditions. According to the the NPS the total trip is 8 miles with 1038 feet of elevation Gain.
Best hike ever.
The trail is well marked and maintained. The elevation change is about 1,000 feet per mile (way down = loss of 4,000 ft; way up = gain of 4,000 ft). It offers some very nice views along the way.
Remember that the temperature difference from top to bottom can be rather drastic, pack accordingly.