Thing to Do

Explore the Tundra Communities Trail

Visitors are hiking on the Alpine Communities Trail in July
Visitors are hiking on the Alpine Communities Trail in July

NPS/Andreas

  • Distance: 1.2 miles round trip (2 m)
  • Elevation Gain: 190 feet (58 m) 
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back, Easy

Feel like you're on top of the world! Take a hike on the Tundra Communities Trail and experience sweeping mountain views and the beauty of the alpine tundra ecosystem.

This is truly a land of extremes. Strong, frequent winds and cold temperatures help limit what plants can grow there. Most alpine plants are perennials. Many plants are dwarfed, but their few blossoms may be full-sized. The flowers you see blooming can take literal decades to build the energy to do so. Be sure to also check out the Mushroom Rocks – unique rock formations composed of gneiss and Silver Plume granite jutting out from the ground right off the trail. 

Tread Lightly: This fragile ecosystem requires care and sensitivity, Do Not walk off the trail! 

Repeated footsteps destroy tundra plants, allowing exposed soil to blow away. Recovery may take hundreds of years. Only use designated trails when exploring this unique area.

Altitude Warning: Altitude sickness affects many visitors every year. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. Altitude can also aggravate pre-existing conditions like heart and lung disease. Take your time, drink water, eat, and rest. The only cure for altitude sickness is to go down to a lower altitude.

Note: Extreme weather can change the status of Trail Ridge Road at any time—be ready to adjust your travel plans if needed, and always check the weather before you start your drive.

Details

Pets are prohibited on all trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

From May 27 to October 10, 2022, Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required to enter most areas of Rocky Mountain National Park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To access the Bear Lake Road Corridor, Timed Entry Permits are in effect from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available to be booked through https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10086910. One Timed Entry Permit Reservation is $2.00 and non-refundable. 

Timed Entry Permits are vehicle permits. One Timed Entry Permit will cover one vehicle and all passengers in the vehicle. Timed Entry Permit Holders must enter the park during their reseved 2-hour reservation window. 

To learn more, visit the park's Timed Entry Permit Reservation webpage at https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm

Extreme weather can change the status of Trail Ridge Road at any time—be ready to adjust your travel plans if needed, and always check the weather before you start your drive.
Accessibility Information
The Tundra Communities Trail is a paved trail. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: July 15, 2022