Hidden Valley Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Length: 0.4 mi.
Width: 48 in. to 60 in.
Surface type: Fine crushed stone
Typical grade: 4%
Maximum grade: 6%
Typical cross slope: 2%
Maximum cross slope: 4%
Obstacles: erosion ditch
Use Fee required?: park entrance fee and timed entry permit
Accessible features: Parking, restroom, picnic tables
Hidden Valley is a popular alpine meadow surrounding Hidden Valley Creek. From May to August it serves and the headquarters of the Junior Ranger Program offered by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.
There are scattered picnic tables with a group picnic shelter near parking. Watch for wild turkeys. In winter the meadow serves as a sledding area.
The Hidden Valley Trail starts behind the Junior Ranger building and is used by the Junior Rangers for access to the meadow and stream. The trail has a figure 8 loop pattern with the trail going up one side of the creek and down the other with three bridges. A mid-section bridge allows cross over to the return path for a shorter trail.
The surface is firm fine crushed aggregate with some eroded rough spots. Typical grade is 4% with some steeper locations. High cross slope (>4%) on the trail on the opposite side of the creek from the Junior Ranger building may be problematic for some manual wheelchair users going uphill, especially if the trail has erosion.
Picnic tables are scattered along the trail on both sides of the creek. On our visit on a busy August day, picnic tables near the parking lot were taken, however, no tables along the trail, where you can hear the babbling stream, were in use.
Hidden Valley is located on the east side of the park off of Hwy 34, Trail Ridge Road. The drive into Hidden Valley is located 6.1 miles west of the Fall River Entrance Station, and 5.4 miles west of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station.
There are six accessible parking spots. Importantly, there are flush toilets at the Junior Ranger Building.