Distance From Hidden Vally Parking Lot to Alpine Visitor Center - Rocky Mountain National Park


Original Post
Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

By Chance, does anyone know the distance between the Alpine Visitor Center and the Hidden Valley parking lot in Rocky Mountain National Park? Is there a hiking trail that connects them? I'm looking to do a bit of hiking and would like to know as I can't seem to locate information regarding this.

Thank you

A.J. · · Fort Collins, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Trail Ridge isn't closed for the season yet, but closes sporadically for winter weather. You can check here.
https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/road_status.htm
Regardless, riding from Trail Ridge to Glacier Gorge is unlikely as they're on completely different roads with 20ish miles between. If you're braver than I am, you might ride from Forest Canyon overlook to Rainbow curve.

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40

Are you trying to hike to the Alpine visitors center? You could go up Old Fall River Rd; it's closed to cars, but open to hikers. Or hike elsewhere in the park.

KevinCO · · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 55
Shane Zentner wrote:By Chance, does anyone know the distance between the Alpine Visitor Center and the Hidden Valley parking lot in Rocky Mountain National Park? Is there a hiking trail that connects them? I'm looking to do a bit of hiking and would like to know as I can't seem to locate information regarding this. Thank you
You could hike up Hidden Valley to the ridge line, about 2300 vertical feet. There is a trail at the very beginning and an old trail above the road. From the ridge, you would find the Ute trail. This is an old Indian trail. The trail intersects the road about 2-3 miles away from the Visitors Center.

Another option would probably involve a bivy, unless you are really fast. Park at Hidden Valley and hike down the road (towards Estes Park) a little ways. Hike North to the top of the ridge which is the top of the moraine. The other side of the moraine is a long, steep bushwack down to the road.

Once on the road, hike West to Fall River Road (closed). Hike up Fall River Road which takes you directly to the Visitors Center. There is a section just above Timberline that crosses a slope that might have avy hazards.

I did this route starting at the Fall River road gates as a ski tour. I camped at the meadow where the Ranger Station is (or used to be). Camping, bivying, and overnight parking might incur a ticket.

There will be new snow, but with most blown clear into drifts.

Have fun with your adventure!

edit to add: download Google Earth and learn to use the feature that gives you distance and vertical of your route.

edit to add: Ute Trail map...catch the Ute Trail around #13:

http://www.protrails.com/trail/458/rocky-mountain-national-park-ute-trail/Trail_Map
Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

Thank you!

Sean McAuley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 10

If you're planning on doing this soon, note that although the road is open the Alpine Visitors Center is already closed for the season.

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
Sean McAuley wrote:If you're planning on doing this soon, note that although the road is open the Alpine Visitors Center is already closed for the season.
As of this morning, Trail Ridge Road is still closed at Rainbow Curve.
Sean McAuley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 10

That was quick, drove the road on Sunday and it was clear and busy on the east side. Either way it's not yet officially closed so it should open up again (weather pending).

Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

Excellent, thank you. By chance, do you know the steepness of the road from Rainbow Curve to Hidden Valley parking lot?

KevinCO · · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 55

1570 vertical feet. On a bike, it seems to have some of the steeper sections of TRR.

Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

Thank you. One last question...

Is there snow, ice, or an excessive amount of gravel on the road between Rainbow Curve and the Hidden Valley parking lot?

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
Sean McAuley wrote:That was quick, drove the road on Sunday and it was clear and busy on the east side. Either way it's not yet officially closed so it should open up again (weather pending).
You must have got lucky, it was closed at Rainbow Curve the week prior, and at Many Parks curve the week before that. Even if it doesn't snow, the wind will blow drifts onto the road, so it's currently hit or miss.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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