Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Ute Trail from Poudre Lake to Alpine Ridge

MODERATE 55 reviews
#106 of 209 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.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,315 feet Route Type: Out & Back

cross country skiing

hiking

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
3 months ago

I did the hike one-way downhill from the visitor center to Milner pass at the end of August. In that direction it was a very easy hike with little elevation change until the very end nearing the lake; I expect this would be quite steep on the way up from the lake but it will level off quickly. The section near the visitor center is open field and completely uncovered, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this trail if it looks like thunderstorms, and do try to get an early start because the sun is really intense in this section. The rest of the hike goes into the trees and has good coverage. This hike is really nice for those who like wildflowers and wooded trail. I didn’t see any wildlife apart from a ton of butterflies and some birds, and the ranger I spoke to said there are better options if wildlife is your main interest.

We thought this trail would take us to the Continental Divide but the only sign we saw was in the parking area So we turned back after about a mile. It was a pretty little hike with forest, meadow and a little stream.

hiking
4 months ago

The star of this trail is the wildlife. The trail is basic and easy to follow. Elevation gain is not very extreme, but noticeable at times. The temperature extremes are also noticeable being cooler at the Alpine Visitor center where you are above 12,000 feet. We saw a number of Marmont, a few Elk and dozens of mule deer. Foot traffic was moderate. There were always other hikers within view, but no over crowding like many hikes in the park

hiking
4 months ago

This is our first hike in RMNP with 2 adults and 11 and 13 year olds. It’s a long out and back hike, but not strenuous. We got caught in a hail storm with thunder and lightning in the open area leaving the Alpine Center. We started at Milner Pass, so we had to get back. I was surprised at the range in temps. The hike up was hot and sunny, but we were freezing with the hail and rain on the way back.

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked from the Alpine Center down to the lake. The trail is well maintained. There were a few small snow fields. The views from the trail are spectacular—this is why I rate the hike 4 stars. If you’re lucky you’ll see elk just chillin’ in the meadows. This is a very easy hike for novice hikers of all ages.

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Parked by the lake, slogged through knee deep snow as soon as you left the parking lot, with no tree cover. Gave up after 100 yards thinking it would be worse in the shade!? Need snowshoes on 3 July!?!?

hiking
Wed Jul 18 2018

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!

hiking
Thu Jul 05 2018

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.

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

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!

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

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.

Tue Jun 12 2018

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.

hiking
Mon May 28 2018

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.

Sun Apr 16 2017

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

hiking
Mon Oct 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.

hiking
Sat Oct 01 2016

Just beautiful!!!

hiking
Sun Jul 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.

Sun Jul 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.

hiking
Tue Jul 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.

hiking
Sat Oct 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.

Wed Aug 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.

Thu Jul 30 2015

Best hike ever.

hiking
Mon Sep 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.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Load More