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Peak 12,150 Hike

Rocky Mountain National Park

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Peak 12,150 Hike
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  • Milner Pass on the Continental Divide.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Beginning of the Ute Trail near Poudre Lake.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Poudre Lake.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Starting to climb.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • The trail soon rises above the trees.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Taking a break on the climb.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Views of the Never Summer Mountains. - Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Marmots are common on the tundra.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • The alpine tundra is quite fragile and beautiful.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Peak 12,150 is just above the rounded high point. - Peak 12,150 Hike
  • View from the top!- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Looking east to Forest Canyon.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • A well-deserved break at the top.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Big horn sheep.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Never Summer Mountains.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Never-ending views.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Almost back down to the tree line.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • The road is just visible down below.- Peak 12,150 Hike
  • Poudre Lake after the hike.- Peak 12,150 Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Magnificent views. Not crowded. Fairly easy peak.
Cons: 
Very exposed. Can be very windy.
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Region:
Northern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,436.00 ft (437.69 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Total Distance: 
5.70 mi (9.17 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,689.00 ft (3,258.01 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

In the Colorado Rockies, there are many peaks that are not named and are just referred to by their elevation because they are not very prominently differentiated from their neighbors. Sitting adjacent to Mount Ida (12,889 feet), Peak 12,150 offers 90% of the view with half of the effort it takes to summit its big sister. The trail to the top of Mount Ida involves some scrambling and trailblazing, but the route as far as Peak 12,150 is clear and fairly easy.

Starting at beautiful Poudre Lake at Milner Pass on the east edge of the Continental Divide, the trail climbs over the Divide and stays just on the west side of it all the way up. The trees soon thin out, and at about 11,400 feet the trail climbs above the tree line and crosses the alpine tundra the rest of the way up. All along the trail the Never Summer Mountains loom to the west, offering spectacular views of the peaks and the Cache la Poudre River Valley below. Mount Ida and Peak 12,150 are in view much of the time, and the ridge just above the trail to the east is tantalizingly close. Just before the trail crests there is a fork; take the left side until it reaches its highest point and scramble up the hundred yards or so to the rocky peak and vast views to the east.

More ambitious climbers may want to tackle Mount Ida, which is another mile and about 800 feet of climbing, but be aware of the weather. This trail is very exposed and it will take a few hours to descend from Ida, so this shouldn’t be attempted unless it is still well before noon due to frequent and sudden afternoon thunderstorms.

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(18 within a 30 mile radius)

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