Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,663.00 ft (506.88 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.80 mi (7.72 km)
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The town of Buena Vista lies on the banks of the Arkansas River east of the Collegiate Range of 14ers. There is some fabulous hiking up in these mountains, but a real gem of a hike starts right in town and heads east to the top of the range of hills overlooking the Arkansas River Valley. Part of the web of trails (many of them popular with mountain bikers) crisscrossing these hills, the Midland Hill Trail takes hikers right to the highest point of the ridge.

Starting at the parking area at the north end of the Buena Vista Whitewater Park, the trail crosses a bridge over the Arkansas, then follows the river south for while before it turns up to start climbing. The trail crosses the dirt road that is the old Midland Railroad track bed, and just past this point the foot-traffic-only trail branches to the right and begins the climb to the top in earnest.

There are great views of the Collegiate Peaks all the way up the seemingly endless series of switchbacks up to the saddle north of the peak. From here the going is a bit easier and it is a short trek to the peak, where the 360-degree view is the reward that makes the effort worthwhile.

 

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Close to town. Marvelous views. No bikes on the upper trail.

Cons

Some bike traffic on the lower segment.

Trailhead Elevation

7,895.00 ft (2,406.40 m)

Highest point

9,583.00 ft (2,920.90 m)

Features

Flushing toilets
Potable water
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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