Mount Ida Trail

MODERATE 104 reviews
#19 of 152 trails in

Mount Ida Trail is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2375 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

Did this in late June 2017. Incredible hike and not particularly strenuous, but the altitude is no joke if you are not acclimated. We spent about 5 days in Steamboat Springs before attempting Ida on the way back to Denver, and I was still getting winded. Get to the trailhead early, to get a parking spot, and so that you can be back down below the treeline by early afternoon, as thunderstorms can pop up unexpectedly. We lost the trail for a bit in the switchbacks because it was a little muddy and snow covered, but once you are above the trees it's easy to follow until you get near the summit. There you will be scrambling over boulders for a while. There are cairns all over the place and its hard to tell where the real trail is, but just keep heading up. We were lucky enough to be there in peak wildflower season, it was very colorful. Watch your pack at the top because there are a few very brave marmots up there. Wear layers and bring a hat as it gets very windy above the trees. We moved at a pretty good clip, spent about 20 minutes at the top, jogged for short stints on the way down and completed it in just over 4 hours, logging 9.6 miles total. Most people will just park and look at the lake by the trailhead, a few will hike a ways into the trees, but we only encountered 3 or 4 other small groups above the trees. Amazing views all along this route!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing views the entire hike

hiking
3 months ago

A trail with an amazing view, but be warned - it is VERY exposed. The moderate rating does not reflect its difficulty during high winds. I climbed it during stupidly strong winds, and I would definitely advise against that. I hiked multiple 14ers that were easier than this trail.

That said, it is incredibly beautiful, and I only encountered 2 other groups of hikers.

3 months ago

Hiked July 1, 2017. By far one of the best we've experienced so far.

hiking
5 months ago

Highly recommend!!! Views are great once you get above the tree line.

hiking
6 months ago

My group and I went on this hike near the beginning of August and it did not disappoint! Once above the tree line, the views are incredible and the climb gets a little easier. It was pretty chilly once above treeline, so I definitely would recommend a wind breaker and some layers underneath. Also, try to start early, at least by 7:30, because this trail does take some time to complete. I will never get over how beautiful this trail was. You can see for miles and the views are gorgeous. Highly recommend!!

6 months ago

we love this app !! Very helpful.

hiking
7 months ago

Enjoyed the hike. Numerous elk sightings up close. The altitude affected us...took much longer than expected.

hiking
7 months ago

Outstanding! For a moderate trail, Ida mountain climb kicked my butt. I struggled staying on the trail coming off the top, in the rocks. Made it much more difficult for myself than it had to be. Views were awesome! Such serenity. Felt like I was on top of the world.

hiking
7 months ago

Spectacular!! Not officially a maintained trail, but well enough traveled for way finding. Follow the cairns in the scrambling section for a slightly easier climb. The first half mile or so is below tree line but once you clear that, it is a steady climb above tree line with endless views of the never summer range and 360 degree views of longs, the mummy range, gore range and the entirety of the park from the top. Definitely one of the best hikes in RMNP. Here's to trying to keep it a somewhat hidden gem!

hiking
7 months ago

A very great hike for anyone looking to see great views with less work. The hike took me about 5 hours to complete. It's a moderately long hike, but when you get to the summit you can see everything! Great view of Long's Peak and you can even see Grand Lake! Overall a fantastic hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Got to the trailhead at 730, got back down at 130. Nearly missed a thunderstorm that rolled in around 1. Awesome hike!!!!

8 months ago

8 months ago

Completed on 8/4. Most beautiful hike I've seen in the park... views the entire hike. First mile is toughest in climbing.
The boulders in the last mile or so are no joke. Try to go a little further to the grass area before climbing up. Just pick a route and go up to the summit, it's difficult to follow the cairns. Saw bighorn sheep, deer, pikas, and a lot of marmots. Look at the rocks around 1.5 mile in... marmot colonies.

8 months ago

By far the prettiest and most scenic hike I've done in RMNP. Not too challenging with changing views the whole way. Get started early to see the sun rise over the Never Summer Mountains.

8 months ago

The best hike in the park! Incredible views! Tough first mile...straight up, but worth it! Saw Moose and elk along the way.

hiking
8 months ago

Ssshhh... don't tell anyone that this is hidden gem on the west side of RMNP. Fair amount of work to get up from Milner Pass trailhead, but very worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome hike. Great views.

hiking
8 months ago

Tough - especially through the rock fields, but definitely worth the effort - DON'T give up!
GORGEOUS 360 views at the top
Marmots to greet you along the way
We lucked out and saw 2 big horn sheep.
8:30-3:30 with long stop at the top
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!!!

8 months ago

Completed 7/22. Showing up to the parking lot after a late start around 8:30 am I was able to grab the last spot. No snow on the trails. No easy way to get up the boulder field that fills the last 1.5 ish miles. Wear sunscreen- no tree cover!

hiking
9 months ago

After an initial ~1.5 mile steep trek to get above tree line, the remainder of the route is pure alpine tundra beauty paralleling the continental divide ridge with limited incline. Full panorama views of the Never Summer Range to the west and all the glory of RMNP peaks, lakes, and snow fields to the north and east. There aren't many hikes in RMNP that can beat this experience for the level of effort required. This is a perfect hike for acclimating while not sacrificing on views and experience...there's a reason Ida is consistently rated among the top hikes in RMNP!

Completed on 7/15 the route was snow free but with plenty of views showing large melting snowfields, steep cliffs, and cascading water still in full swing. Started at 5 AM on a Saturday and had the trail and summit all to myself except for one other thru hiker. I took my time coming back down to enjoy the majesty of the view northeast between Ida and 12,150. Took an inordinate amount of pictures from here, of which none do it justice of course. Although this side of the park is less frequented, as others have said by the time I got back to the trailhead around 2 PM the place was packed with a queue of cars waiting for spots. Strange to be jockeying for parking on a trail that is predominantly above tree line right when thunderstorms are building, but hey so is life of the masses in RMNP.

Saw a young bull moose at Poudre Lake the evening prior while scouting the Milner Pass trailhead, but otherwise only marmots and pika.

9 months ago

This is one of the best hikes I've found in RMNP, with unbeatable views of both sides of the park! Start early to avoid the afternoon storms and be prepared for high wind and cool/cold weather along the exposed divide above treeline. I've done this trail about five times, and haven't yet found a hike in CO with more wildlife than this one.

9 months ago

Stupendous day hike. Gorge-like steepness initially but once above treeline it is much more gradual. No snow on The trail. Very easy to find one of the unneeded cairned routes to the top in the last section. I pretty much chose off trail travel in the middle and top section with no route finding issues. Don't make my mistake.... I hike with a micro filter but there is NO water on the way once free of the trees. I popped down to a lower lake on the way down and was rewarded by spotting a lone Coyote. Started at 0720 on July 15 and got the LAST Parkin spot. Crowd here was very different than Sky Pond area crowd... much more capable outdoor crowd. We were fortunate with perfectly clear weather and not too windy. We lingered on top for over an hour and took many off trail forays and got to the car at 4pm.

Boulder "fields" on this hike are puny compared to Sierra talus.. great rock hopping near the top. Don't be consumed by following the cairns...you can see the top easily, just pick your line.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this on July 9, started about 7am and finished at 1pm. We took it slow, took about 200 pictures, and loved every minute. Start early, because it did start raining shortly after we left the trailhead, and I wouldn't want to be up there in the rain. The views were incredible the whole way (hence the pictures!) and varied, from alpine lakes to snowpack to rock fields and elk grazing in the trees. Heading back, stay up close to the ridge, there are some lower trails that are more difficult to follow, but they are down out of the wind.

9 months ago

Great hike! Plenty of wildlife and great views to enjoy. Just make sure to start early to avoid any afternoon thunderstorms on the summit.

hiking
9 months ago

I live at sea level so hiking at this altitude kicked my ass by the end. The last part is as rocky as it gets so careful not to sprain your ankle. Most definitely worth it once you reach the top with glorious panoramic views that will take your breath away.

9 months ago

We did this trail today, July 8. Amazing hike. We started at 6:15 am. The morning was beautiful and it gives you time to avoid afternoon rain. Trail was easy to follow. Saw tons of marmots but the sheep weren't there today. Trail condition was perfect. Very very little snow. At the top, just know that you cannot go wrong. Just head towards the summit. There are less boulders to deal with if you drop to the right a little bit you make it either way. The views over this entire hike are gorgeous. The drive to milners trailhead is. Ice as well.

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent hike. July 3. Trail conditions near perfect. Two or three spots of snow below tree line. Straight shot to summit above tree line. Agree with previous posts - we tracked near 5 miles to summit. Sheep just before tree line around 12:30pm. Hoping this trail does not become too popular!

hiking
9 months ago

One of the best hikes I have done. You get a little forest include with snow run off, then after about an hour you get nonstop views in most directions. We had a clear day so following the trail and finding the cairns was not a problem at all. The summit had plenty of space for hikers to spread out and relax without being on top of each other. We hung out for about an hour before heading back down. Started at 8:30am and got back to the car at 3:30 pm. One thing to know is my GPS put the summit at almost 5 miles from the Milner Pass trailhead, not the 4.1 miles I've seen posted around. We did not veer off the trail. And unfortunately did not see the sheep. But this is a must do in RMNP!

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic hike. After the first hour, you are above the treeline for the whole hike. Spectacular views, especially of the Never Summer range. Saw lots of bighorn sheep. There is still snow beneath the treeline, but not hard to get trough it. Some bouldering near the top, where it's easy to lose the trail. But not hard to find the peak.

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