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Prater Ridge Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (5) 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 5 votes

#3418

Overall
  4.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#436

in Colorado

#3,418

Overall
9 Views Last Month
1,845 Since Oct 1, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

View into the valley.
Jun 17, 2021 near Mancos, CO
Top of the initial climb.
Jun 17, 2021 near Mancos, CO
Fall colors near high point of Prater Ridge Trail.
Nov 25, 2016 near Mancos, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 1, 2022
KYLE BETZ
5.6mi
Jun 16, 2021
Katie Robinson
8mi — 8h 30m
Sep 26, 2020
Breck Tuttle
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