Hidden Valley

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Hidden Valley

Submitted By: DanF on December 04, 2011

Administrator: DanF

Views: 570 page views

Featured Descent

Colorado » Ten Mile Range

East Ridge and Bowls

There are two major east facing bowls to descend along the north side of the ridge.  They are pretty obvious to find.  One drops from very near the summit down to 13,100'.  The second begins just past the flat section of the ridge and drops to treeline at 11,600.  You can avoid the lower bowl if desired and ski right down the ridge crest, but the bowl has better skiing.  Just make sure you don't drop too low at the bottom, or you'll have to climb back to the trail.

From treeline, follow the trail back to your car.  Do not ski to the south directly down the fall line to Blue Lakes Road, though this is tempting... you will be trespassing on private property.

The East Bowls are moderate in difficulty - about D3-D4.  For more info on the D-system for rating ski descents, see here: http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/ratings/ski-board-d-rating-system.html.  They are steep enough to slide, but are one of the safer spring ski descents.  This route is not recommended in winter because it will most likely be wind scoured most of the time.



Hidden Valley is a former ski area in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The Ski area and lifts closed in 1991 after operating in one form or another since 1940. 

The skinning is fairly casual right out of the parking lot up to the ridge line.  There are few steeper sections on the approach, but they are short.  There are numerous tree runs from tight to nicely separated.  There is also wide open terrain that captures good snow on an upslope storm. 

Overall, the skiing in this area is moderate and good for an intermediate skier.  The avalanche risk is fairly low due to the low slope angle of most of the terrain, but always be careful. 

The Park service built a warming hut/Ranger station at the trail head.  It is heated and has bathroom facilities. 

Check out Powder Ghost Towns Guide book for further information.  Pick up the book at your local backcountry ski store.  There is great historical information as well as maps and additional info

How to Get There

After reaching Estes Park, take 36 West to the Beaver Meadows gate Entrance.  This will turn into Trail Ridge Road.  You will see signs for Hidden Valley.  Follow these until reaching the parking lot and ranger station. 

Put your skis on and start to skin.

Area Camping

Camping is by permit only due Rocky Mountain National Park restrictions.

Area Food

Estes Park is filled with touristy places to eat.  You can find some great cookies in town too.

Area Access

There is a National Parks Usage fee.  An annual pass is worth getting if you hit the park often

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