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    Old Ute Trail Tundra Walk

    Estes Park, Colorado

    Old Ute Trail Tundra Walk

    Old Ute Trail Tundra Walk Professional Guide

    Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

    "This “top-of-the-world” trail starts on a vast, alpine parkland speckled with miniature flowers, canopied by a mountain-rimmed skyscape. As the trail descends into the comforting confines of conifer stands, hikers discover dramatic changes in plants and weather. Families with children of mixed ages and abilities often begin their tundra trek together; while one adult descends with older kids to the Milner Pass trailhead near Poudre Lake, the other adult and younger children head back to the eastern trailhead and then drive to the Milner Pass parking area.

    The trail begins in the grassland adjacent to the highway crossing opposite the Alpine Visitor Center. Wind makes itself well known as you walk the tundra stretch of the Old Ute Trail, named for the most recent tribe of American Indians to use this route to cross the mountains. Alpine flowers and grasses adapt to the relentless wind by remaining tiny. Encourage youngsters to experience this adaptation by crouching low. Ask if they feel warmer at this level or when standing tall. Have them measure the tallest flower using their finger as a ruler. Remember, the tundra ecosystem is extremely delicate; stay on the path at all times, or rock-hop to avoid trampling the vegetation."

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    Trail Information

    Estes Park
    Nearby City
    Trail Guides

    Best Hikes with Kids Colorado

    Trail Type
    4 hours
    Late June to September
    11,796 feet
    Trailhead Elevation
    11,796 feet
    Top Elevation
    For current conditions and more information, contact the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, or (970) 627-3471
    Local Contacts
    Rocky Mountain National Park brochure; USGS Fall River Pass
    Local Maps

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