The Ute Meadows trail is a great trail for solitude and viewing wildlife. You will get a great mix of hiking with little exposure to tundra hiking and great views at high elevations above 11k ft or 3300 meters.
This trail is a strenuous trail and prepare accordingly. It’s best to start early in the morning to avoid being at high altitude later in the afternoon when thunder storms are more likely present. It might be wise to either arrange to be picked up or drive 2 cars to allow yourself a way to get back to the starting trailhead if you are not feeling up to the hike back.
Ute Meadows Trailhead Start
Starting from this location deeper within rocky mountain national park will start off at a high elevation of over 11 thousand feet or 3353 meters. This trail will descend most of the way. starting from breathtaking high tundra which climbs gradually down.
The trail will take you gradually southeast down the terrain to the Ute Meadows Campground to your north. Here you will pass over Tombstone ridge. After about 2 miles or so you will enter a forest at the top of a valley where the trail will descend to the north of a creek .
You will continue to the north of the creek for another 2 miles or so before you get a breathtaking view of the Big Thompson River.
You will stay to the north side along the river for another .6 miles before you turn north and intersect the Beaver meadows Trail Junction. Stay on the Ute Trail to the North through forest and meadows.
After another 1.4 miles you will come upon another trail merge , The Beaver Brook Crossing Trail. Stay straight on the Ute Trail.
Continue for another 1.3 miles out of the forest into meadows until you intersect the South Junction to Upper Beaver Meadows Rd. Turn North and continue on the Ute Meadows Trail.
After another quarter mile you will encounter the North Junction to Upper Beaver Meadows Rd. junction. Continue on the Ute Trail for another 3/4 miles to the Dear Mountain Trail head.