Added by Eric Schuette
This hike along Tombstone Ridge is a short, easy trek with stunning views of Long's Peak, the Mummy's, and the front range. Enjoy wonderful views of the sunrise coming over the horizon and lighting up the surrounding mountains. In addition to the wonderful vistas, this is a good place to see wildlife (large and small) of the alpine including elk, ptarmigan, and big horn sheep.
Tombstone ridge can be accessed via the ute trail from two directions. The lower trail starts at upper beaver meadows and is ~4.3 miles with 3250 feet of elevation gain. It can also be accessed at the Ute trail crossing along trail ridge road, which leaves you a 1.1 mile hike with just under 300 feet of elevation gain.
Tombstone ridge is a scenic and interesting ridge that runs for almost a mile above tree line and offers wonderful views of forest canyon, long's peak, the mummy range, and the front range far below. It has many interesting rocky mounds that offer fun but short scrambling and is a treat place for wildlife viewing.
For a real treat consider doing this hike for sunrise, the area is likely to be empty of people and the sun hitting the surrounding mountains in something that should be experienced. The trail is easy to follow even in the dark once the road is open in the spring until it is closed in the fall.
In the winter and spring tombstone ridge is also a popular destination for backcountry skiers and snow boarders that start at the hidden valley parking lot and hike up to the ridge.
If starting from the trail ridge road parking lot:
- Appropriate clothing
If starting from the upper beaver meadows trailhead:
- More robust day hiking gear would be warranted
- Map - Appropriate clothing - Snacks - Water - Survival gear
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