Hiking Mount Ida could start from the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of trail ridge road adding about 3.5 miles one-way to the trip. Elevation gain is about 2200'. I hope to add more information for this trip report soon. On Saturday morning, we saw 9 moose on our drive to the trailhead. And in addition to conquering this hike, I’m fairly certain Mother Nature knew it was my birthday, because Colorado really went out of its way to make it an amazing weekend! About a mile from the summit, the trail begins to peter out in the rocky landscape. Rocky Mountain National Park: Mount Ida and Gorge Lakes (Version 2) Follow a well-established trail to Mount Ida before ducking into the rugged backcountry surrounding the Gorge Lakes on this 10.7-miler through Rocky Mountain National Park. Give it plenty of room, don’t get between a cow and its calf and hope for the best For the most part, they’re pretty laid back. Ida (elevation 12,865 feet) at the end of June. After sleeping at Timber Creek campground to acclimate, M and I woke up at 5 AM and drove to Milner Pass trailhead. Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park can be quite challenging, and hiking a trail above your fitness level can make for a less than enjoyable day while out on the trail. But even with a few days of acclimation, you could probably manage it. The trail itself moderates slightly on its climb through the mountains. Hopefully you can drive the road again someday in better weather. And yet here we both were, so it turned out we got to hike together after all! Hiking the Continental Divide to Mt. Such an incredible landscape, it’s just heartbreaking to know how long it will take before it looks the way it did when you visited. At some point on the hike back, we got completely off trail. The trail tapers at the top before ascending a cluster of boulders that make up the summit. This time the path is along the edge of the cliff and Mount Ida’s summit can be seen tauntingly high above. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. This sign says that it is 4 miles… this is a lie. From Milner Pass, you’ll climb steeply but … Hike to Chasm Lake. Love the colours in that shot of the sky at dusk, too! Photo: Breanne McNitt. The Hike up to Mt Ida. It is definitely a favorite of mine. The Mount Ida Trail departs from Trail Ridge Road along the Continental Divide. Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Mount Ida, located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. This will take you uphill and toward the southwest side of the hills. Sounds like you have the makings of your own post! Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. The path once again begins to climb steeply at this point as it follows the Continental Divide. I’ve been so bummed about the fires at RMNP. Thousands of trails in this state, and there we both were! I have seen kids under 10 years old on the summit. Thanks for sharing this part of RMNP, Diana. Well-marked and maintained, Mount Ida isn’t quite as popular as other peaks in the park (oddly, it doesn’t always appear on maps), which is a huge plus. We once again continued down the well-worn path as it descended slightly. We had over 600,000 acres burn this summer; not just in Rocky, but in a bunch of amazing places. Lots of breweries to sample out this way as well! Ida Trail in The Rocky Mountain National Park- One of my favorite hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado was the hike to Mount Ida along the Continental Divide.This hike is rated difficult due to weather conditions and route finding, but is actually a very pleasant hike on the right day. Chief Cheley Peak and Mount Ida [CLOSED] is a 10.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. Ida is one of the best hikes in the RMNP. This hike is rated difficult due to weather conditions and route finding, but is actually a very pleasant hike on the right day. While much of hike had been windy – not unusual at this elevation – the summit was remarkably calm, so we spent quite a while taking photos and enjoying the 360° views, including some of the hidden Gorge Lakes which can only be seen from this vantage point. At this point in the hike, we also found ourselves closer to the ridge; we now could see over to the east and down into an alpine valley dotted with lakes. The lake is a favorite for fishermen and is located adjacent to Trail Ridge Road. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, abundant wildlife, dozens of alpine lakes, and sweeping views of snowcapped peaks, Rocky Mountain National Park is about as postcard-perfect as you can get. You will pass Alpine Visitor Center and the road sharply turns south at Medicine Bow Curve. Pegmatite contains many of the same minerals as granite, but the crystals are much larger; this accounts for both the color and the coarseness. Colorado summer afternoon thunderstorms are no joke, and there’s absolutely nowhere safe to hide if one rolls in and you’re in the middle of the tundra. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. We first hiked the Peak a few years back as an acclimating hike. We had to park along the edge of the lot and were lucky to find that. In fact, it’s sometimes not even included on maps. We still haven’t been, but it’s high on our list. Is Mount Ida doable in April or is there too much snow to follow the trail? The path paralleling the Never Summer Mountain Range across the valley. It is much easier than any 14er I’ve ever climbed and the views from the summit rival them all. - Henry Miller. View of the Continental Divide and trail to Mount Ida across the gently rolling tundra slopes. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The trailhead is located on Highway 34, 4.5 miles southwest of the Alpine Visitor Center. A great option if the lot at Milner Pass is full. Ida had a summit of 12,880 ft and was part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was born to roam. At 4.8 miles hikers will finally reach the summit of Mt. Mount Ida Trail [CLOSED] is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Hike the Ypsilon Lake Trail. You were rewarded with some incredible views of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s diverse geography, all with a handstand in the end. How long? Ida via your post. I highly recommend buying a national parks pass when you get here (if you don’t already have one)… I’ve yet to find a trail in Rocky that I didn’t enjoy. The path enters into a boulder field where cairns help distinguish the path forward. Still can’t believe we ran into each other, but glad that we did!! I liked this hike too despite getting caught in the rain as soon as we reached the summit. I bet you could do it! Answer 1 of 5: Heading to RMNP April 12, 2019. I passed Poudre Lake and started up the switchbacks. As Pat and I rock hopped our way up a particularly steep section, we ran into Chelsea who – coincidentally – had texted me a couple days earlier asking if I was free to hike that weekend. They are rated easy, moderate or difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options. There's not a lot of trails heading up from Milner Pass so while you will not see a lot of signage, there is enough to point you in the right direction. The remote summit can be most easily reached from a trail leading southeast from Milner Pass, but is also commonly reached from an unmarked route leading from Mt. Park at the small parking lot at Milner Pass/Poudre Lake. This section of the hike is very nice. What equipment would I need for a snowy hike? I have never seen so much animal excrement clustered in one location. If you want to do a glorious summit hike that offers some of the most incredible views in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Ida is the one for you. Other highlights when hiking Mount Ida include some of the best 360-degree views in Rocky Mountain National. The trail begins on the Continental Divide at Milner Pass, which is approximately equidistant from Estes Park at the east end of Trail Ridge Road and Grand Lake at the west end. All hikes mentioned below are perfect for day hikes. Read More Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect place for a scenic hike Great photos. Then a massive thunderstorm rolled in and spent the next hour threatening to blow our tent away while we hid in the car. Geologically speaking, these pegmatite spires are dikes, formed when molten sediments and minerals seeped into cracks in the surrounding granite and were pushed upwards. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Looking to hike either Twin Sisters Peak or Mount Ida. Because most of the trail is above tree line and completely exposed, it’s very important to start early and turn back at any sign of storms. Ida RMNP in Late June. This area of Rocky – a substantial portion of Rocky, actually – burned in the recent fires that have ravaged our state. Anyway, your photos are fantastic and you definitely lucked out with your campsite! Once we had finished playing with the first three marmots we turned and headed up a steep incline. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure are expected. 2020 has been strange in many ways…. Rocky Mountain National Park & Gorge Lakes Basin Overview Chief Chelley Peak, Mount Ida, and Inkwell Lake. Multiple people and a handful of internet lists designate Mount Ida as the best hike in Rocky. Rocky Mountain National Park is the magnificent and beatific showcase of Rocky Mountain granduer occuping the north-central portion of Colorado's Front Range.It is Colorado's first (and for many years, only) National Park. Either Colorado has a lot of moose, or we’ve been exceptionally lucky since moving here. Hiking the Continental Divide to Mt. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, abundant wildlife, dozens of alpine lakes, and sweeping views of snowcapped peaks, Rocky Mountain National Park is about as postcard-perfect as you can get. I enjoyed reading and to get to know Mt. With 360-degree views of the Mummy Range and dozens of RNMPs other giants, the relatively unfrequented, 12,880-foot Mount Ida offers one of the best viewpoints and most easily accessible high peaks in all of RMNP. Many consider it one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and I can’t disagree. ( Log Out /  Here we found a dozen or so fellow travelers who had taken on and conquered the hiking of Mount Ida. Summiting Mount Ida turned out to be a ‘third time is the charm’ type situation for us. I sure hope some snow comes our way soon. Timber Lake - 9.6 Miles Round-Trip Timber Lake (11,085') is located 4.8 miles from Timber Creek Trailhead on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.It shares a wide, level basin with two adjacent ponds beneath Mt Ida (12,889').. Hiking Mount Ida is an amazing journey. I can’t believe how many moose you saw on the drive to and from the trailhead. The top of this route is the crux, consisting of narrow traverses, vertiginous cliff faces and heart-pounding clambering up polished slabs of rock. We’ve progressively worked our way up to higher altitudes since moving here and I’m at the point now where I’m pretty comfortable up to about 12,500 feet. Ida Trail in The Rocky Mountain National Park- One of my favorite hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado was the hike to Mount Ida along the Continental Divide. Rocky Mountain Park straddles the Continental Divide, and offers some of the most scenic hiking in the country. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. After catching our breath, the three of us made our way to the summit and found it occupied by only one other person and a handful of marmots. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Describes the Mount Ida trail, a 4.9 mile hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Mount Ida Trail - RMNP is a 4.04 mile one way hike with 2,102 feet accumulated elevation gain. I think the most scared/unsure I’ve been on a hike was when a trail took me and three friends through a farmyard and there were twenty odd turkeys strolling around making loads of noise. You will usually see a few people along the way but probably not over a dozen or so. The trailhead is located 4 miles past the Alpine Visitor's Center at the Lake Poudre Trailhead. Hikers will have sweeping 360-degree views, which include the Never Summer Mountains towards the west, the Mummy Range towards the northeast, Terra Tomah Mountain, Mt. While it has less hype than others inside Rocky Mountain National Park, it is no secret. Mount Ida Trail was the highlight of our hiking experience in RMNP. Our first hike and mountain that we conquered in Colorado was Mount Ida. From the campsite to the summit views, this was a winner! A beautifully told story in a well photographed setting, this is an interesting post to read. 3. Julian and Cracktop Mountain immediately t… While hiking to Mt Ida, you really feel like you are walking on top of the world. Mount Ida is admittedly not as popular as some of the other mountain peaks in this park. The Mount Ida Trail starts from the Milner Pass Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado Day Hikes: Strawberry Lake – Handstands Around the World, Follow Handstands Around the World on WordPress.com, Colorado Destinations: Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Getting there: the Mount Ida trail departs from Milner Pass/Poudre Lake just west of the summit of Trail Ridge Road, Fees and passes: there is a $25/car daily or $35/car weekly entrance fee to RMNP; interagency annual passes are accepted, Hiking: 9.8 miles (15.8 km) round-trip with 2522 feet (769 m) of elevation gain; strenuous due to the elevation, Where to stay: there are 5 campgrounds in the park and dozens of lodging options just outside in Grand Lake and Estes Park; while backpacking (permit required) is also an option for many parts of the park, there are no backcountry sites on this trail, Other: as mentioned above, the majority of this hike is through the tundra with absolutely no shelter from the elements, so pay very close attention to the weather and be prepared to turn around if storms approach. I am not exaggerating, we saw 7 more marmots frolicking on the mountain grasses before reaching a ninety-degree turn in the path where 3 marmots were wrestling. The tallest peak in the park (14,259ft), Longs Peak's exhilarating and exhausting Keyhole Route is on many visitors' to-do list. I love the expansive skies and wide open landscapes. The official website for RMNP has up-to-date news on trail conditions, so take a look before you head out. The weather forecast was for a mostly sunny day with minimal chance of storms but we started early nonetheless, stepping onto the trail just after 6:30am. We followed one well-worn path up and a different well-worn path down. Ida had a summit of 12,880 ft and was part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yeah, I keep trying to remind myself that the ecosystem will recover. The main trail heads northeast from this junction toward … Gorgeous scenery! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Alberta Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in Rocky Mountain National … The trail throughout the woods is well maintained and easy to navigate. Change ). Mt. It is a 10 mile round trip hike despite the sign saying it is a 4 mile one way hike. How to Hike Mt Ida Getting to the Trailhead. Come to Colorado and we’ll take you on a moose tour! I loved this hike. But thanks to the never-ending winter of 2019, there was still 3-4 feet (1-1.3 m) of snow obscuring the trail a week prior to our planned hike, so we cancelled our plans. Leaving the ptarmigans behind we finished our accent with one last push up the final incline. That entire campground is full of lakefront sites… believe it or not, some were even better than ours. Enjoyed so much look forward to seeing more. Includes a printable map with elevation profile, photographs of the hike, and how to get there. Timber Lake - Rocky Mountain National Park. Campground site 113 seems to have a stunning view and your handstand on the top of Mt. Hiking info for Mount Ida, located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Ida .... how was it? The trailhead is located 4 miles past the Alpine Visitor's Center at … The Loch – Rocky Mountain National Park. Mount Ida, one of the least-visited peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, falls just shy of 13,000 feet and offers a real chance to experience backcountry seclusion. 5 comments. Is it clear? Length 10.7 miElevation gain 3175 ftRoute type Out & back Many of the best hiking trails are situated within Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). I love the tiny tundra plants and flowers. The slope is of a relatively moderate grade, but the route is above treeline for almost 4 miles - each way. (not quite the full summit) Great views over the open tundra. North Ridge, Mount Ida - Rocky Mountain National Park. Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. You two are so blessed to be able to do all the hiking. Thanks for reading. If you like uncrowded trail, a 360-degree view, hiking in alpine tundra where the terrain is open and air is thin, practicing some trail finding skills, and a good chance of seeing bighorn sheep, Mount Ida is your hike. Timber Lake - Rocky Mountain National Park. A well-cut trail leads through diverse forests and long meadows frequented by moose and elk. Much of the terrain between our campsite and this trailhead was in the path of the flames, and in one location the fire jumped the mountaintops and burned down two drainages on the other side of the park. From there, it was a straightforward hike back to the trailhead. Length 9.3 miElevation gain 2362 ftRoute type Out & back Finally, on the last weekend in June 2020 – which also happened to be my birthday – we made it! The fires have been so heartbreaking. Start early on this trail and if the forecast calls for thunderstorms… find another hike. We’ve had a few around us that are now filled with new growth. Mt Ida (12,889') is located 4.8 miles from Poudre Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike to Mt. They dropped down into the valley with a herd of elk! We got an early start to beat the crowds and afternoon thunder showers. I still really love Chasm Lake, but Mount Ida has definitely solidified its place near the top. share. ), but CA, OR, and WA got so much of the National press and I kept thinking, “but, Colorado?! It was a rough few months for the whole state. I know a couple of blizzards just went through CO in the past month. Winter is not off to a wintery start so far. It is important to start early and keep a watchful eye to the sky. Your handstand looks very brave…and I like the Alpine Sunflower a lot as well:), Third time’s really the charm, that’s for sure! Beautiful photos ..the handstands always make my stomach flip . However, be prepared for the altitude… this shouldn’t be your first hike in the park if you aren’t acclimated to the altitude! I have seen kids under 10 years old on the summit. Others arrived immediately after us and they had to park along the side of Trail Ridge Road. Colorado actually completely shut down a bunch of national forest land for 3 weeks recently because fire danger was so high and people have proven that they can’t be responsible. We, like most hikers, decided to start our hike at Milner Pass. Trail Map | Photo Gallery (not quite the full summit) Great views over the open tundra. Emerging from the trees we were rewarded with our first three marmot sightings and exceptional views of the Never Summer Mountain Range. You will spend almost 8 miles above the treeline so I’ve only ever seen two moose in my life! Photo: Jon King. ( Log Out /  a former gymnast with a neverending case of wanderlust. I have worked hard to live a life of travel in the fleeting moments between work. We are blessed indeed. In my opinion the mountain offers some of the best views in the park, and as such, ranks number one on our list of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. We took the right turn and continued towards the summit. If you are in Rocky Mountain National Park and you are having trouble finding the yellow-bellied marmot look no further than the Mount Ida Trail. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Ida offers some of the most stunning views of Rocky Mountain National Park.How to get there:From the east, take Trail Ridge Road all the way to the west side of the park. 9 miles RT and 2500 ft elevation gain. If you're planning an adventure to Rocky soon, check out our favorite hikes in the park and see how many you can knock off your list before your trip ends. Given that the route towards the summit becomes a little vague I decided to go with the more internet reliable 4.5  miles, but I would say over the distance most hikers will exceed 9 miles total. ( Log Out /  I laugh when I think of this memory, but at the time I was petrified! Our first hike and mountain that we conquered in Colorado was Mount Ida. Hiking Mount Ida is an amazing 4.5-mile out-and-back trail. I woke up early to arrive at 6am, hoping to beat both the crowds and the afternoon thunderstorms. This is a 9.6 mile out-and-back hike with 2100 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 4-6 hours to complete. For a long time, I assumed everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so. Mount Ida. Ida. There are only a few national parks that seem to sum up the American West in all its wildness, and this is definitely one of them. How to get there: From the east, take Trail Ridge Road all the way to the west side of the park. Not recommended as the park rangers don’t appreciate this and you may end up with a ticket. A great option if the lot at Milner Pass is full. I'm from South Texas and I have no idea how snow works. What an incredible birthday from the campsite to the sunset to the moose to the AMAZING trail views. The highlight of this transit, however, was spotting a few well-camouflaged ptarmigans crossing the rocky terrain. We, like most hikers, decided to start our hike at Milner Pass. This is a 7-mile round trip of treeless alpine terrain. At first, they slow their movements to a sloth-like motion as if I can’t see them even though I’m standing mere feet away. Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas: Mount Ida: The summit of Mount Ida is along the Continental Divide on the western slope of Rocky Mountain National Park. The first mile (1.6 km) of this trail was the hardest part for me. Ida. I loved this one! I can’t stress enough how dangerous this is should a thunderstorm roll in. Definitely not a good trip in the fog… sounds scary! We got an early start to beat the crowds and afternoon thunder showers. As I said, our path from the summit wasn’t the path we had arrived on, but both were well-worn and easy to follow. Not much room at the summit! The proximity of private property to the trailhead Colorado ’ s quite a “ small world after all exceptionally... Gently rolling tundra slopes this and you definitely lucked out with your campsite of travel in fog…. Trail was the highlight of our hiking experience in RMNP would say if views. We finished our accent with one last push up the final incline birthday than by going an! Didn ’ t been, but is actually a very pleasant hike on the southern edge of Lake. Seen kids under 10 years old on the right day be able to do, given the lack... Not off to a junction in every way, Longs Peak is the hike to Ida! 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