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Prater Ridge Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Scenic ridge-top views of a stunning desert landscape make this trail a real treat.


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Map Key

7.5

Miles

12.1

KM

Loop

8,404' 2,561 m

High

7,737' 2,358 m

Low

979' 298 m

Up

976' 298 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Overview

Enjoy fantastic views of Mesa Verde National Park's desert landscape as you travel along the Prater Ridge Trail.

Description

Starting at the southern end of the Morefield Campground, the trail climbs moderately for two miles before reaching the ridgeline. Atop the ridgeline, enjoy more relaxed trail gradients as you hike through verdant desert ground cover and standing dead trees, once-scorched by forest fire.

Be sure to slow down and enjoy the panoramic views available in many places along the ridgetop, as they are some of the best in the park!

For a shorter hike, the Prater Ridge Trail's outer loop can be cut short via the Prater Ridge Cutoff Trail located near the center of the loop.

Flora & Fauna

Abundant desert vegetation provides a stark contrast to standing dead trees along the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3094

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
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3 Star
25%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#398

in Colorado

#3,094

Overall
48 Views Last Month
1,295 Since Oct 1, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Fall colors near high point of Prater Ridge Trail.
Nov 25, 2016 near Mancos, CO

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Check-Ins

Feb 8, 2020
Susan Schaefer
May 3, 2019
R Craig
The scenery is the same as from the road, which is always in sight. In May the trail had sticky mud in some places. Don't do it after rain.
Apr 21, 2019
Lauren Sully
Snow. So much snow. Was fun but we were worried about falling off the side of the mountain. 0.5mi
Sep 15, 2017
Marvin Williford
I hiked only the North Loop of this trail. 905' of elevation gain. Great views. I saw only one pair of hikers in 2.5 hours. 5.7mi — 2h 30m
May 12, 2017
Scott Crammond
9mi
Apr 26, 2017
Chelsey Leffet
With lauren. 7.8
Sep 18, 2016
Sarah McClure