If you want to attempt a difficult day hike during your stay in Rocky Mountain National Park that maximizes your opportunities for wildlife viewing, Mount Ida is the place to go. It is four miles from the Milner Pass trailhead to the peak of Ida; the first mile is unrelentingly steep, and the last three are above treeline and thus quite exposed to the weather. Hiking this mountain requires an early start and serious preparation – at a minimum, bring food, water, sturdy boots, sunscreen, and raingear.If you’re up to the hike, you have good chances at seeing bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, and Brown-capped Rosy-Finches along the way. The sheep and the ptarmigan are often right along the trail; the rosy-finches are usually on the other side of the ridge, among the snow and cliffs.
Habitat: Lodgepole Forest; Spruce-Fir Forest; Alpine Tundra; Cliff Face
Directions: The Mount Ida trail heads south from Milner Pass, on the Continental Divide along Trail Ridge Road (US 34) inside Rocky Mountain National Park. The national park charges an entrance fee, and Trail Ridge Road is seasonally closed.
Delorme: 28 A4
Roads of Colorado: 39 E4
Dates of Access: Early summer - fall
Ownership: National Park Service
Admission: National Parks fee
Restrictions: Hiking can be a hazardous activity; bring raingear and water, and avoid thunderstorms
Parking: Paved parking lot
Lodging: NPS campgrounds
Handicapped Access: None