Mount Ida Trail

HARD 159 reviews
#21 of 179 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 difficult. 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
2,375 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Peak 12,150 is shorter and easier than Mt. Ida, but it offers breathtaking views of the Mummy Range and the Never Summer Mountains.

2 days ago

beautiful.

3 days ago

Hard hike with great views at the end. Fairly crowded.

hiking
3 days ago

Difficult but worth it! Got to the trail head around 8am, summited around 1 and was back at 2:15. My partner and I took some breaks on the way there, the hard parts only last a couple of moments-had to give myself some pep talks but it was worth it! Way back is hard on the knees but as long as your mindful of the trail and your body it’s manageable.

hiking
8 days ago

9 days ago

Not only was this a beautiful hike with incredible views but it will forever be memorable as I proposed to my girlfriend at the summit. It was so perfect!

hiking
10 days ago

Wow, what a hike! This was almost too much for someone slightly out of shape from Southeast Texas. I hiked Sky Pond the day before and didn't struggle too much, but this was on the next rung up. As difficult as it was for me though, the amazing vistas more than made up for it. The summit location in the center of the park basically allows you to see most of the big landmarks RMNP has to offer, from Long's Peak to the Mummy Range and the Never Summer Mountains. While the views from the summit are certainly the highlight, the entire hike offers constant breathtaking views, especially above the treeline. Make sure to start early not only due to this hike's gaining popularity, but also because of the thunderstorm risk since the majority of the hike is rather exposed. With the caveat that I was one of the slower hikers, I began at about 6:45 am, summited about 10:45, spend about 30 minutes at the summit, and was back at the trailhead at 2 pm. The skies were certainly starting to look angry as I was making my way back below treeline. Definitely my favorite hike thus far.

hiking
10 days ago

Our favorite hike in RMNP (so far). The Milner Pass trailhead lot was already full when we arrived at 8:15 AM on a Saturday morning, so we parked down the road a bit and walked in. The trail begins with fairly steep switchbacks through the woods before emerging above the treeline. The views of the Never Summer Wilderness were immediately spectacular, and so was the wildlife, including elk, mule deer, marmots, pikas, ptarmigans, and numerous raptors. The trail to Mt. Ida is almost completely exposed and quite windy, so layering clothes (and watching the weather) is definitely a good idea. The ascent itself is basically boulder scrambling with no clear path, but the views from the summit were more than worth it. All in all, a challenging but absolutely outstanding hike.

hiking
17 days ago

One of my favorite RMNP trail (the other is Chasm lake). Absolutely amazing trail along continental divide. We decided to do an early hike starting around sunrise. Saw a large family of elks while driving along Trail Ridge road and also a couple elks up close at the Milner pass trail head, including a young elk.
Got above tree line after about 1 mile and the view was just breath-taking (not to mention some of the steep inclines at 11-12,000 ft elevation). Saw lots of marmots and cute pikas. We were probably 1/2 mile from summit when we saw straight ahead at a distance a large animal with a skinny long tail leaping, probably at its prey (perhaps a poor marmot). Convinced that it was a mountain lion, we followed our survivor's instinct and turned around. It was still an amazing hike. This is one of our all time favorite hikes. Highly recommend even if you just made it above tree line and not all the way to the summit. Next time I will bring buff and gloves as it gets windy and cold.

hiking
17 days ago

Saw elk, a moose and a lot of other wildlife! A beautiful hike. Challenging and worth every minute. The peak of the hike was absolutely amazing.

hiking
20 days ago

Started the trail at 05:45 and made summit at exactly 08:17, leave early and enjoy the views. Bring layers, most of the hike is wide open exposed mountain range. Hike wasn’t to hard, I will say toward the last mile pay attention to trail markers stacked.

23 days ago

Great trail. No major concerns as far as safety except lighting (and rolling and ankle). Go as early as you can to avoid storms. Crowds are minimal. I’d recommend trekking poles, did the hike without them but they would have been good to have. Bring lots of layers and expect to take on and off often. Wear real hiking boots with toe guards and ankle support. Loose gravel and rocks on path. If you can figure it out avoid the boulder path it’s not fun! Views are spectacular. Took us about 5 hours going slow and stoping at the top. If you’re not acclimated to the elevation take it easy. The majority of climb is in the first part of the hike. Enjoy!!

hiking
24 days ago

Loved this hike. We took our time and enjoyed the views. Parked at 6:20am, summit at 9:40am. Spent nearly an hour on the summit, was hard to leave! Route finding was challenging in spots during the last mile before the summit, but everyone just keeps heading up on any path you find. One of my favorite hikes in RMNP!

hiking
25 days ago

Might be my new fav RMNP hike!!! gorgeous yet windy AF. 5 hours car to cat including summit break. started at 7:30, took one of the last parking spots.

1 month ago

Gorgeous hike and one of my all time new favorites. Highly recommend. However, realize it is 5 miles to the summit and not 4 as advertised. Not a problem and WELL worth it. Go early.

1 month ago

Amazing alpine hike with spectacular mountain views. Ended up seeing multiple elk along the trail and big horns near the summit! First time seeing big horn in the park. Do start early to avoid the crowds and the afternoon showers. Also you’re exposed for the majority of the trek so bring appropriate gear/sunscreen. Definitely would do again!

1 month ago

Hiked Ida in June and there was a lot of snow under the treeline. Took the group I was with about 2 hours to get out of the treeline. Once we were out, the hike was beautiful. The wildlife is abundant and the views are awesome. Ida is a little more tough than moderate I would say because she has a lot of false summits and it's an uphill climb most of the way. You feel like you're close, then there is more. Well worth it though, just be ready for a good challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

Just hiked this trail today, July 11th, and the scenery is superb. You get above tree line fast so the views start within the first 30 minutes. Of course, this means that you are gaining elevation quickly so it is a bit challenging. It took us about six hours round trip moving at a good steady pace, including about 25 minutes at the summit. Some guidebooks say to plan for eight hours, while some reviewers say they did it in about four. I don’t think I could have gone much faster than we did as the trail can get a little slippery in spots due to loose gravel, and the boulder field up top takes time to navigate. I am bushed but it was totally worth it! We started at about 6:15 AM and shared the trail with just a handful of people at that time. We had a good 20 minutes at the summit all to ourselves. Even on the way down it wasn’t super busy, but the parking lot is small so you should get an early start. An early start also ensures you are down below tree line before afternoon storms pop up as you are VERY exposed on most of this trail. Once you hit the boulder field below the summit the trail disappears so just find a good line and head upwards. Beautiful 360 views! I really liked this trail and would do this one again! My gps clocked this at 10.1 miles but that may be because we kept trying to find the trail through the boulders.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a difficult hike but TOTALLY worth the time and effort. We got off the trail so we could hike the top of the divide and the views were better than expected.

walking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! A lot of loose rock along the trail so don’t let the moderate classification fool you!

1 month ago

Amazing hike. It can’t be said enough to be prepared though. Only a few spots today where the trail was slushy and or still had snow on it. Wildlife abounds. Took our time and really enjoyed it. Started at 05:20 with a mostly empty parking lot. Finished and it was crazy busy. Clear skies and beat the crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

There was only one snow field to skirt around as of 6/20. Started just after 6 am and was back at the car by 11:30. Hiked a brisk pace, but stopped frequently for pictures and water. Bring layers! I had a fashion show on the trail! First shedding and then adding bit by bit. Gloves, warm hat, windbreaker strongly recommended. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked in July and didn't think we wanted to get to the summit. Were so close decided to push to the top and got stuck near the top during a thunderstorm. Listen to the rangers and get below tree line by 1pm. Scary time running down the trail in rain and hail with lightning striking in the nearby mountains. Great views from the top, despite not staying too long to appreciate them!

hiking
2 months ago

One of my absolute favorite summits in RMNP - though definitely not for the faint of heart. Right now the first mile is covered in snow (and ice in the morning), but once beyond timberline, it is perfectly clear. The majority of the hike is very exposed so prepare for the sun and strong winds. The trail isn’t always easy to follow at the end on the way up through the boulder field, but scramble through with the summit in sight. We started around 6am and round trip it took us around 4.5 hours not including stopping at the top. We were advised to start early to avoid afternoon storms since the exposure doesn’t lend itself well with lightning. Overall an awesome hike and would do it again in a heartbeat! One of the best of RMNP!

2 months ago

Lots of snow made it hard to stay on the trail to start so we postholed our way up. Once we got past the tree line it was completely dry though. Getting to that point is very difficult until the snow melts. Above the trees you have beautiful views and easy rolling trail that leads to the final scramble to the top. Though the views are good throughout the hike, they get exponentially better when you reach the summit.

hiking
5 months 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
6 months ago

Amazing views the entire hike

hiking
7 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
10 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!!

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