Ute Trail from Poudre Lake to Alpine Ridge

MODERATE 30 reviews
#82 of 179 trails in

Ute Trail from Poudre Lake to Alpine Ridge is a 8.4 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and cross country skiing and is best used from June until September.

8.4 miles
1,315 feet
Out & Back

cross country skiing


trail running




wild flowers


no dogs

30 days ago

A beautiful hike. Took our 6 year old and she did great but she loves hiking a lot! It was cold closer to lake Ida as we took that trail and a storm rolled in so be prepared for rain and to get to safety if one pops up. The views are to die for and we even got to see Elk on our way back down and some mountain sheep and marmot! Overall wonderful hike!

1 month ago

Only hiked about 2 miles out and back from Poudre Lake. Very beautiful and lots of Elk to see. Would have loved to have made the venture to Alpine Pass. The Continental Divide sign near the trailhead is a popular place to take pictures. The lake is gorgeous and the view beyond is spectacular.

1 month ago

Hiked down from Alpine Ridge yesterday afternoon. Hiked with 10, 8 and 6 year olds who dealt fine with the hike. The wind and chill bothered us at the top, but upon reaching tree-line, the hike became more pleasant. PAY ATTENTION to approaching thunderstorms, as they arrive rapidly with the windy conditions, and could be dangerous in the section above tree line. That said, tree line is only a quarter mile down at any time during the hike, so a rapid descent would be possible in lightning. Nice hike!

1 month ago

We hike this as a one way descent from the Alpine Visitors Center to Meeker Pass/Poudre Lake. Wildflowers are in abundance, as are marmots! Elk tracks and scat are visible, but we didn't see any this morning. Snow fields have retreated and the trail is accessible without traction devices or snowshoes. There are still patches of snow across the trail toward the end of the hike--at/after mile 3.

We really like this hike because it covers a variety of terrain and offers opportunities for wildlife viewing. Maybe one day we'll do it as an out and back trip, but for now, the descent is more than sufficient.

2 months ago

Great trail but still a lot of deep snow on the trail near Milner Pass. Hard to find the trail. We hiked from the Alpine Visitor Center and turned back when the snow got deep. Still great views in the upper section of the trail.

2 months ago

An easy tundra hike with beautiful views, marmots playing, above treeline so beware of lightning.

We hiked from the Alpine Center this morning. There was still quite a bit of snow. It was hard to find the trail on the far side of some of the snow fields and a few times we post holed. A little after the sign for Forest Valley Pass we lost the trail in the snow and turned back. There were storms in the afternoon forecast and dark clouds looming so we hoofed it. Will definately come back later in the season.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Started at Alpine Center and went down. Great, fun hike. Hiked in lots of snow in July. Beautiful.

Monday, October 03, 2016

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.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Just beautiful!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

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.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

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.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Best hike ever.

Monday, September 29, 2014

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.

15 days ago

11 months ago

Sunday, July 16, 2017

recorded RMNP

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 30, 2015