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Hiking trail

Drive: Grand Lake to Mt Ida (Milner Pass)

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
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    Photo: Chase Marston, Macs Adventure
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The driving route from Grand Lake Visitors Center to the trailhead for Mt. Ida at Milner Pass
Distance 28.5 km
8:14 h
719 m
0 m
A lovely ride that repeats some of yesterday's route, but delivers you to the trailhead for Mt. Ida. Park at Milner Pass parking area, and then enjoy the out and back hike. 

Author’s recommendation

Fuel up your car in Estes as there will be no gas until Grand Lake. 


Depart early as the parking is very limited at Milner Pass

Profile picture of Chase Marston
Chase Marston
Update: July 16, 2019
Highest point
3,288 m
Lowest point
2,570 m

Safety information

Trail Ridge Road is stunning, but there are a few dangers to be aware of.  

  • Elk and other wildlife will often cross the road, oblivious of cars
  • Other drives may drive distracted with the surrounding views. Drive defensively and always be aware. 
  • Bikers sometimes take up space on the shoulder. Pass with care. 
  • There are sections without guardrails leading to steep drops. Again, drive aware. 


Grand Lake Visitor's Center (2,569 m)
40.251657, -105.834522
40°15'06.0"N 105°50'04.3"W
13T 429027 4456023


Milner Pass Parking Area.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 miles - Depart the Grand Lake Visitor's Center and TURN RIGHT onto Trail Ridge Road. 


1.80 miles - Pass through the Grand Lake Park Entrance toll - show your Park Pass. 


17.70 miles - Arrive at Milner Pass parking area, and park on the right side of the road. 


Complete the Mount Ida Hike


To return, TURN LEFT onto Trail RIdge Road and continue the way you came. 


all notes on protected areas


40.251657, -105.834522
40°15'06.0"N 105°50'04.3"W
13T 429027 4456023
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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28.5 km
8:14 h
719 m


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