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Ute Trail - Tombstone Ridge is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from June until September.

Length 5.6 mi Elevation gain 1,912 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (262)
Photos (283)
Recordings (168)
Completed (463)
Kevin Stephens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Hiked on 8/1/20. Started at TH on Trail Ridge Road and hiked out and back to intersection with Beaver Mt. Trail Loop. The Tombstone Ridge portion is easy to moderate with good trail conditions. The Tombstone Ridge area has great views in almost all directions. The portion from Timberline Ridge down to Ute Meadows is difficult going down and back up. The trail is extremely rough and even hard to find in places. Recommend hiking down with a car waiting at the Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead.

Anita Dekker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

UTE Trail to tombstone ridge met pepijn en Paige

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John Cardwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Enjoyable and relaxing, not too many people. At the end of the Alltrails map, you have the option of hiking down a 1,500' hill to the campground, most will turn around here though. Saw maybe 15 marmots. Trailhead parking is tight, maybe 8 cars, but within 0.5mi there is probably an additional 20-25 roadside parking spots (pulloffs) that people use for this trail. Overall we got here at 7:45am and there was plenty of room. No shade Overall a great hike if you want something different out of RMNP

Daniel Mcmullan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

Meh...To each their own but this didn’t do much for me. On a five day trip to RMNP, I figured I need to try something other than a lake and waterfall trail. Started at the alpine visitor center and went about three miles and back. Sure it’s beautiful and unique but nothing special. If I didn’t have my two preteens with me, this might have been a good trail running spot.

Rachel Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

not crowded but super, super windy and cold! views are great but similar to the rest of trail ridge rd. saw some marmots, lots of wildflowers.

Chad Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Easy trail up to Tombstone Ridge (about 2 miles in from the parking area). The 2-mile hike across the Tundra is fantastic! Big views and that Alpine Tundra 'feel'. Hard to describe, you just have to experience it to know what I mean. The trail is very rocky, so hiking boots are a must for a safe hike. This section of trail offers no shelter from sun or storms, so be sure to check the weather before you go. It's a pretty safe bet that storms will move in in the early afternoon most days in the summer. Now, when you get to the ridge, you will know it as the trail drops off of a steep grade. Once again, this is about 2-miles in from the parking area. Just keep a few things in mind... you are at 11k feet (just FYI in case you aren't acclimated to high-altitude exercise), what goes down must come back up (unless you leave a car below at the Beaver Meadows parking lot), and the steep grade does not let up for almost 2.5 miles. My rate of ascent coming back up was about 1250 feet of elevation gain per mile. My point is to only bite off what you can chew with this portion of the trail. My suggestion is always to drop in and take a quick test hike back at to see how you handle the ascent. It is steep and unrelenting if you venture too far down the ridge. If you are in great shape and feel acclimated, go for Ute Meadows or beyond! This trail connects to other trail systems below, so you really choose any turn around point after you drop in. Google Maps has the trailhead listed as Ute Trailhead (Ute Trail, Estes Park, CO) and it spot on. Be safe and enjoy!

Andy Gradl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020

Did this in July 2020 with my CO born and trail raised 4&6 year olds, it was easy for them. Arrived shortly after 8 to the last parking spot. My fave thing about this trail is the limited parking. It's one of the few safe for kids hikes in Rocky that isn't flooded with people. Lots of rock formations right off the trail to practice scrambling (please respect and stay off the tundra), tons of marmots (please, don't feed them!!) and wildflowers (please don't pick them). Great views of the alpine and surrounding peaks. It's alpine, so be prepared for all temps, weather, and conditions. Tourists, beware of weather. Massive thunderheads blowing our way as we got back to the car, which is expected here around noon most days in the summer. Plenty of people trudging up the trail, oblivious. Visitors have died from lightening strikes off Trail Ridge in recent summers. It's always sad to read of a visitor on vacation dying in our park, so don't be one of them!

Christina N Mike Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Would be a great hike in a cooler day. We went yesterday from 130 to 5p. No shade. Super hot and rocky. Glad to have hiking poles. Gorg views but weather can be harsh on this one.

Tyler Howe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingRocky

Limited parking- not a ton of people. Saw some elk and marmots. Rocky trail with cool temperatures in July. Windy, Snowed on us a bit at the very end today-7/12

Blake Gowriluk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Nice high altitude trail, cool temps in mid July, we only made it about halfway and then switched back, but would definitely do it again.

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Jami Haberl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Hiked from the top of the Ute Trail down to Lower Beaver Meadows parking lot. It was around 6.5 miles. The scenery is amazing and changed throughout the course of the hike. It is a pretty steep decline into the meadows and wouldn't recommend anyone with bad knees to try this hike.

Katie Elizabeth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
Hiking

Hiked the first two miles of the trail and turned about right before it descended into the valley/meadow. This is a great 4-mile round trip option if you’re looking for something easy but with amazing views. It was very windy when we hiked this (Wednesday) so come prepared with warm layers. Great views the entire way and there’s a great stopping point right at the 2-mile mark.

Mark Simon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

The view from Ute Trail is fantastic. We had such a clear morning with lots and lots of visibility. This hike has some elevation gain but is mostly flat.. The trail itself is easy to follow and very rocky. While we did not see any large mammals on our hike we did get to see a number of marmots. As a reminder this trail is above tree line so it is cold and windy.

View Mark's Recording
Michelle Beiermeister
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2020
Hiking

Very pretty views the entire hike! Bring an extra jacket, because it can be a lot colder and windy due to the elevation.

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Aeriel R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
HikingRocky

My favorite trail. People have walked this area for thousands of years, I agree with the comments below, very special place!

Shelley Stotz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
HikingIcyNo shadeSnow

We did the portion of Ute Trail from the Alpine Visitor’s Center towards Forest Canyon Pass the second day the park was reopened in June 2020 Check out the video to see for yourself: https://youtu.be/ey2avHc3DjY Beautiful but very snowy and we only made it half way in this location. No one else was on the trail or had gone at that point.

Christopher Helm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail with beautiful views! It's a path that's been walked for thousands of years. Really special place.

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Rachel P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 29, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

ironically we didn't make it to the trail itself, because the road was closed so we had to hike two miles to the trailhead. we didn't want to hike in the wind; looked Rocky and no shade. we hung out on a rock structure for awhile and hiked back. amazing views.

View Rachel's Recording
David Wenaas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2019
HikingNo shade

Mostly flat hike has two short climbs as you cross Tombstone Ridge that winds about two miles to Timberline Pass. Timberline Pass is the sharp drop off the trail makes, its where I turned around. Lots of sun, some wind and the clouds look like a witches brew coming over the ridge. Cool hike

Myndi Clements
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 29, 2019
Hiking

We’ve hiked RMNP quite a bit and loved this trail. About us: we are from Iowa, in our late 30s and in decent shape. We decided to hike this top down. Left a vehicle at Upper Beaver Meadows and then took a second one up to the trailhead on Trail Ridge rd. Hike is posted as 6.5 miles one way not the 5.6 as indicated above. We got to Upper Beaver Meadows at 6:18 to drop off vehicle so we could watch the sunrise at Many Parks Curve before continuing on to TH on top. I highly recommend doing this! Took about 10 minutes to get to TH from here. There is a small pull off at the TH for parking. Started hike at 7:40 - temps in low 40s and 25-30mph winds. The day we went there were some clouds which added to the beauty of it all. After a small ascent the rest of the hike is flat or descending but it is a sharp descent with no switchbacks. Having trekking poles was nice. We found the hike to be very easy but the descent can be a little tricky as there are places that you could easily slide and fall on if you don’t have good balance. If you’re looking for a hike that takes you through multiple habitats this is an awesome one to do - you get tundra, subalpine tundra, meadows, forest, small stream and great views! It’s also one of the best hikes we’ve done for seeing birds. I drank 2L of water on the hike and was comfortable in leggings, T-shirt with long sleeve layer and vest on top. At the start we did wear gloves, beanies, face shields and insulated coats til we started the descent. The hike took us 4 hours and we stopped to take photos often.

Daniel Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2019
Hiking

Breathtaking beautiful hike. We started at Upper Beaver Meadow straight to the top at Trail Ridge Road. About 3200' in elevation and 6.2 mile's one way. (2-cars). Workout but worth it!

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