Hike Mt. Ida

    5.0

    Added by Jon King

    This is a summit hike, with panoramic views, wildflowers and wildlife.

    The hike to Mt. 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. You will pass Alpine Visitor Center and the road sharply turns south at Medicine Bow Curve. The trailhead is located at Milner Pass next to Poudre Lake. There is a small parking lot here with a restroom. If you are coming from the west side of the park, Milner Pass is located approximately 15 miles north of the Grand Lake park entrance.

    Overview:

    • Summit elevation - 12,865'
    • Approximately 9.5 miles out and back
    • Elevation gain - 2112'

    From the trailhead, you will hike approximately 0.6 miles until you reach a junction for the Ute Trail. Keep Right at the junction towards Mt. Ida. After about a mile you'll emerge from the tree line. Personally, I found the first mile to be the most difficult due to the steep elevation gain. From here out the views are simply epic.

    The trail is well marked and maintained until you reach the base of Mt. Ida. As the trail drops off you'll see a large boulder field ahead. Here you have two options. You can hike directly through the field or veer to the west to avoid the rocky terrain. We opted to hike directly through which we soon found out was the more difficult route. If you decide to hike through the boulder field, keep an eye out for small rock piles placed by other hikers. These markers helped keep us on the right track to reach the summit.

    The panoramic views at the summit are simply breathtaking. To the south you can see Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake. Look east and you'll see several small alpine lakes and the majestic Long's Peak. To the west you'll have never ending views of the Rockies. Eat lunch at the summit and soak it all in.

    We hiked around the boulder field on our way back. I'm glad we did because we came across a large herd of bighorn sheep. Just one more reason to love this hike. Once you pick the trail back up you can make great time back to the bottom.

    This hike took us approximately 6 hours. Start earlier in the morning to give yourself plenty of time at the summit. Do your best to be back to the treeline by early afternoon to avoid lightning. Storms can develop quickly in the Rockies. Better safe than sorry.

    Read More
    Chillin
    Photography
    Hiking
    Bathrooms
    Easy Parking
    Scenic
    Wildflowers
    Wildlife

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Rate this Adventure

    🥉Contributor

    over 2 years ago

    Great hike above the tree line

    This was my first hike in RMNP and it didn't disappoint! The majority of the hike is above the tree line offering magnificent views the whole time. Flowers lined the trail and we got to eat lunch next to a family of marmots. Definitely bring sunscreen and lots of water since the trail is pretty exposed.

    🥉Contributor

    over 3 years ago

    Stunning & Breath-taking

    The hike to the summit of Mount Ida was totally worth it. We accidentally hiked through the Boulder field, but still managed to make it all the way up. The views from the top were insane and gave you views that literally took your breath away.

    over 3 years ago

    Great Hike

    We were going to do Longs Peak but woke up at 2 a.m. and just weren't feeling it. Decided on Mt. Ida, and it did not disappoint. Beautiful views the whole way. It was also pretty strenuous for a flat lander. It was not crowded either which can't be said for some of the other hikes in RMNP.

    Explorer

    🥇Top Contributor

    about 4 years ago

    One of the more underrated trails in the park

    The Mt. Ida hike is one of the more underrated in the park. The hike itself is a great one with a high chance of wildlife but there are many more opportunities to explore beyond Mt. Ida.

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Grand Lake, Colorado

    Charming Cabin In The Woods — Near Hiking & Lakes

    From $91/night

    Estes Park, Colorado

    Moraine Park Campground

    Grand Lake, Colorado

    Secluded Mountain View Log Cabin, Near Snow Trails

    From $192/night

    Bellvue, Colorado

    Chambers Lake

    Nearby Adventures

    Backpack Alpine Terrain to Haynach Lakes

    17 mi

    Hike the Colorado River Trailhead Loop

    5.0
    13.6 mi / 1245 ft gain

    Hike to Timber Lake

    4.5
    9.6 mi / 2050 ft gain

    Photograph Moose in Rocky Mountain National Park

    4.3
    More Nearby Adventures

    Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More