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A short hike to a summit with magnificent views across the Arkansas River Valley of the Sawatch Range 14ers.

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Out and Back

9,522' 2,902 m


7,936' 2,419 m


1,586' 483 m


1,585' 483 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (30°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly Great views of the river and mountains. It does gets very steep in the middle section so younger children might need to turn around before the summit.

Open all year. Mostly snow-free, but it can hold snow for a few days after storms, and there is often snowpack from the ridge to the summit (this section is north facing). No water is available except at the trailhead (loo and water fountain in summer, portapotty in winter) and the river for pooch.


This five-mile out-and-back provides hikers with quick access to great views from Midland Hill. The summit is the goal, but you'll have to work harder the closer you get to it. The views and surroundings make it well worth it.


Parking at the Buena Vista River Park, cross the Whipple Bridge over the Arkansas River. You'll start on the Bridge to Bridge trail, following it until a junction with North & South Trail. Take South Trail & start climbing!

After about 300 vertical feet, you'll come to CR304, originally the Colorado Midland Railway which went from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction. Cross the road, and continue on the trail. Another junction (North Broken Boyfriend) will veer left but again go straight (the right fork). You'll be able to see the summit from here, but first you traverse the slope in a SE direction for a while. At the junction with South Broken Boyfriend go left.

When you come to the very large boulders, the steep part of the trail begins. The trail is well made, but keep a close eye out so you don't miss one of the numerous switchbacks. When you gain the ridge, the hardest part is over. Follow the ridge for a bit, switchback a couple more times, circle the summit block counterclockwise and you're there. Now, have a seat and look west. The short view is of the Arkansas River and Buena Vista. But across the valley you'll see 14ers Mt. Columbia, Mt. Yale, Mt. Princeton, Mt. Antero, and Mt. Shavano, along with major 13ers and many 12ers and 11ers.

Then turn to your south. Mt. Ouray dominates the horizon, as well as Methodist Mountain near Salida, and then farther south the Sangre de Cristo Range. You'll also be looking into Brown's Canyon National Monument, but won't be able to identify it unless you know where to look.

Looking east, you're seeing the heart of Four Mile, a BLM destination for ORV and 4x4, mountain biking, and camping. Four Mile includes the aptly named Carnage Canyon, an extreme 4x4 trail. Turn north and you'll see the twin summits of East and West Buffalo Peaks in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.

When you're ready, just retrace your steps back to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Lower down is mostly piñon, then the upper reaches hold ponderosa pine and other conifers. Sage is the dominant shrub. Although not often seen, there are mountain lions, bears, and coyotes. Rattlesnakes are not common, if ever seen, this far north in the valley. They are more prevalent around Salida.


Shared By:

John Toepfer

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 14 votes


  4.6 from 14 votes
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31 Views Last Month
6,826 Since Apr 30, 2017
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We made it to the top! Not bad for senior citizens!
Jun 16, 2019 near Buena V…, CO
Sunrise hitting Mt. Princeton from the top of Midland Hill, 1/1/21
May 16, 2021 near Buena V…, CO
Effie on the summit in August. Mt. Princeton (14,197') on the left; Mt. Yale (14,196') obscured by clouds in center; Mt. Columbia (14,073') on the right.
Mar 4, 2019 near Buena V…, CO
Finally the incline relents when you hit the ridge! You're almost there!
Apr 30, 2017 near Buena V…, CO
Mt. Princeton looming over Buena Vista.
Apr 22, 2024 near Buena V…, CO
Mt. Princeton and Mt. Yale can be seen from the top of Midland Hill.
Apr 30, 2017 near Buena V…, CO



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 8 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Sep 28, 2023
Lauren C
Dec 20, 2021
Lester Cheng
6.5mi — 2h 25m
May 15, 2021
J Wild
Jul 30, 2020
Kenny Del Prete
Fun trail that becomes steep and more rocky towards the peak. Amazing views form the top. 4.9mi — 3h 00m
Jul 7, 2020
Claire Milligan
5mi — 2h 00m
Jun 30, 2020
Mike Kruger
epic hike. everyone made out 5mi — 6h 22m
Apr 1, 2020
Claire Milligan
Trail clear and dry expect for a few spots close to the top. 4.9mi — 2h 30m
Oct 5, 2019
Wayne Thornes
Beautiful hike on a sunny fall day with great views! 3.9mi — 1h 45m

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