Pole Hill

Estes Park, Colorado (Larimer County)

Last Updated: 12/01/2021
4.8 / 5 ( 16 reviews )
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Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 06/15 - 11/30
Length: 1.7 miles
Highest Elevation: 8654 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Estes Park
Nearest Town w/ Services: Estes Park
Official Road Name: 122
Management Agency: Roosevelt National Forest
District: Canyon Lakes Ranger District


Highlight: Pole Hill
Pole Hill is situated in Roosevelt National Forest just east of Estes Park. For how close it is to civilization, it sure does offer a ton of fun, moderate obstacles, and absolutely stunning views of Longs Peak as well as Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether you are new to offroading looking to advance your skills and challenge your rig, or a seasoned veteran looking for a close day trip to go play out on the rocks, Pole Hill is one of those trails that doesn’t disappoint. With the ability to mix in the Panorama Peak loop to the South and Solitude Creek loop to the North, you can have a full day of exploration. In the early summer, you will be greeted with meadows of wildflowers, and in the fall, the vast stretches of Aspen trees will offer a golden shimmer in the sun. This is truly a gem in the area that shouldn’t be missed!


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Pole Hill - Trailhead (0 mi)
Pole Hill begins at the USFS seasonal gate. There is a small parking area where you can air down. The trailhead can get congested with vehicle parking, especially when vehicles with a trailer are left parked. The trailhead is surrounded by private property with some full-time residents living in nearby homes.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Estes Park, CO

Take Highway 36 east out of Estes Park approximately 2.5 miles. Turn left onto CR 122, Pole Hill Road. Follow the winding Pole Hill Road uphill for 1 mile. The trailhead is on your left at the small parking area.



Trail Reviews (36)

Questions & Answers (5)

Q: Can this be done in a Cheverolet 1500 Z71 with a 6" lift and 35's? Pic in my profile.
–Kevin Latham (07/23/2020)
–John (07/23/2020)
Q: Per the MVUM, your seasonal dates in this guide are off by 2 weeks. Trail is open 6/15-11/30
–Ryan Boudreau (06/03/2020)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (06/03/2020)
Q: This is more of a general question for all trails in Colorado. I was unsure on how to ask a question to the who community for help without going into trail I plan I using. I am new to off roading and currently planning a trip to head to Colorado for a week in late July 2020. I have a mostly stock 2012 Chevy Colorado with a topper my fiance and I are planning on camping in for most of the trip on different trails. General areas we will be at are Estes Park, Idaho Springs, and Telluride. Going to stick to easy to moderate trails. Questions I have are listed below. Do you need any special permits or passes to drive trails in Colorado? What are some common off road rules a beginner should follow? (Ex: On an in/out trial who has the right of way?) Are trails open at all times of the day? Trails with dispersed camping can you camp next the trail if you get there towards night and all made campsites are full? (Trying to avoid having to come back down a trail in the dead of night) Any other tips and tricks?? Thanks
–Wyatt Davidson (01/24/2020)
–J Ranello (01/27/2020)
Q: Can you park at the gate and camp inside on forest service land?
–Jill (07/28/2017)
–Nik Verbeck (08/10/2017)
Q: Where do you park your trailer?
–Jeff (07/15/2017)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (07/15/2017)

Writer Information

Tim Palmer

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well. A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg
For individual use only, not to be shared.