Tundra Communities Trail (P.O.I.)

Trip Date: 8/30/2016

Location: Rocky Mountain National Park - Trail Ridge Road

Permit/Pass: Automobile - 1-Day Pass $20, 7-Day Pass $30

Trail maps: NPSmap

Directions: From the town of Estes Park in Colorado take East Elkhorn Avenue east to a left turn onto Moraine Avenue. Follow Moraine Ave. for a little over six and a half miles as it heads east out of Estes Park and gradually climbs toward the park entrance. At the Bear Meadows Visitor Center the road essentially turns into Trail Ridge Road (also US34), and climbs through the mountains for about 13 miles until it reaches the trailhead parking area on the north side of the road.

Synopsis: This is a charming and engaging walk through the tundra habitat of these mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for pikas skittering through the rocks if you can take them off of the spectacular alpine scenery.

Trail sequence: Tundra Communities Trail

Type: Out and back

Distance: 1.1 miles

Elevation: Min. - 12,114', Max. - 12,298'

Profile:

Rating: Easy-Moderate* (factors: altitude)

Notes: *BAlthough this is a short walk with little elevation gain, it takes place at very high altitude. Do not underestimate the effects 12,000'+ can have on your body. Know yourself and your abilities. Also, bring along warm clothes and foul weather gear, even on warm, clear days. The weather can change up here (12,3000') quickly.

Track: Tundra Communities Trail - Rocky Mountain NP: AllTrails, GaiaGPS

Turn by Turn:

 -- Follow the trail as it climbs gently to the east, and then levels out on the flat, low tundra landscape. Once you reach the end at about a half-mile, you can climb around a bit in the rocks and appreciate the long, sweeping views.

  -- On the return walk, take a left (south) turn onto a side spur over to another rock outcrop. Upon returning to the main trail, turn left (west) to make your way back to the parking area.

Photos: Flickr