Prater Ridge Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.
Directions from Morefield Campground: Prater Ridge Trailhead is in the southwest corner of Morefield Campground
Some great wildflowers in bloom. It was hot, dry and kind of hazy.
This was a fun hike. Once you get to the top, there are two loops, a longer northern loop, and a shorter southern loop. I thought the northern had more to offer and was by far the better loop. If you only have time or energy for one, do the northern loop. Great views all around. As mentioned in another review, the trail is well-maintained and well-marked. After doing several trails in Mesa Verde, it seems they need a lot of help with correcting their signs. It says this trail is 7.8 miles in total, but it's more like 7.4 miles. The majority of the trail is up top, so if it's a hot day or the sun is blazing, bring water and lather up with sunscreen.
Amazing views! The hike up is about a mile and isn't too strenuous. From the moment you reach the top, you can see for miles. As you follow the north and south loops on top of the ridge, you get a great view into a number of different valleys and canyons. Like all of the trails in Mesa Verde national park, this one is well marked/maintained. Worth the time!