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Alpine Ridge Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park

High-altitude stair climb to an alpine vista.

Hiking Moderate

993 m
61 m
61 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
3.6 km
High Point
3.7 km
Alpine Ridge Trail Map

This is undoubtedly one of the most popular trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Many people who set foot on no other trail still hike this one, or at least attempt it. That's because it starts from the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road, a very crowded place during summer. The hike is tantalizingly short, but quite steep, and reaches 12,000 feet elevation, making it difficult if you're not in decent shape. It's all paved, and mostly just stairs from start to finish.


Even for seasoned hikers, this one's worth a quick jaunt if stopping at the visitor center anyway. Despite the crowds, you can appreciate flower-flecked alpine tundra, vistas to surrounding mountains, and you might see wildlife like marmots or mountain goats. If nothing else, it's a welcome stretch of the legs while driving Trail Ridge Road.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between June and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area