Ridgeline Nature Trail

A short, family-friendly overlook hike with breathtaking views of the badlands and their native wildlife.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
1.3 km
Ascent
46 m
Descent
46 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
812 m
High Point
840 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Ridgeline Nature Trail Map

Description

The Ridgeline Nature Trail is a short, sub-30 minute hike along Scenic Loop Rd. with expansive views of the badlands and their accompanying grasslands. Numbered waysides highlight the unique ecology and geology of the ridge, and "kids will enjoy hiking the trail, dashing through the grasslands and leap-frogging ahead to the next numbered post to find out what they are looking at," according to this source. Wildlife, including bison and redtail hawk, among many others, can often be seen nearby.

The Ridgeline Nature Trail (or simply, the Ridgeline Trail for short) is considered one of the easier trails in the park, though there are some steeper sections and stairs that may prove challenging. Remnants of wildfire can also be seen throughout, and "some junipers even show bare patches where bison scratched an itch," as noted by this source.

Parking is located about 11 miles past the park's southern entrance near Mendora. There are no restrooms or facilities at the trailhead, though the large pull-off can accommodate RV's, busses, and larger vehicles. A detailed PDF trail brochure is also available to accompany your hike, courtesy of the NPS - or you could grab a print copy from the trailhead kiosk.

Sources: National Parks Traveler NPS

Difficulty

Moderate

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

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area