Stories, Travel Ideas and Visitor Information for Your Next Trip to Buena Vista, Colorado

Get Ready for your next 14′er on the Midland Trail

Looking for a relatively short but somewhat challenging hike, perhaps to acclimate a day or so before trying your first Fourteener? The Midland Hill Trail offers a fun, moderate hike that locals love for warm-up or a quick hike when time is short. The bonus is hikers are rewarded with what is arguably the best view in the Valley.


Midland Hill is also known locally as “Sleeping Indian.” Having seen several other Sleeping Indians around the West, we think ours is the best – but of course we are biased. Stop by The Trailhead and Trailhead Cycle & Ski to pick up any items or gear you may need and for a quick overview of our Sleeping Indian – you’ll be heading for the Sleeping Indian’s toes.

Check the map - There are lots of trails to pick from this trailhead

This hike is just over five (5) miles round trip with an elevation gain of approximately 2100 feet and averages about 2.5 hours.

The Trail begins at the Buena Vista River Park.  From ‘the’ Buena Vista Stoplight, head east on Main street for about a mile to the gravel parking lot above the river park. Take a look at the large map board at the restrooms to orient yourself for your hike. The Friends of Fourmile usually provide a good stock of free maps in the racks on the board but there is little chance of getting lost. Walk across the footbridge and follow the Barbara Whipple Trail Main Route. The Barbara Whipple Main Route turns left just up the hill from Kiosk Number Two, but you want to continue straight on the Midland Bicycle/South Loop Trail.

Start by crossing the Arkansas River at the River Park BridgeThe trail climbs and switches back a few times until it intersects and crosses County Road 304 (which overlays the old Colorado Midland Railroad grade). Cross CR 304 – you are now on Trail Number 6032, the Midland Hill Trail. Trail 6032A, known locally as “Broken Boyfriend” and a favorite of mountain bikers, departs the main trail to the left, but once again you want to stay to the right to head east-southeast up the hill.

The trail gently crosses contour as it ascends, but after about 10-15 minutes from the CR 304 intersection begins climbing in earnest. (There are some nice boulders for bouldering along this section.)


Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado have done significant work on this section of trail and you’ll certainly benefit from their efforts. Just follow the trail, pause frequently to admire the views and catch your breath and in a little over an hour, on average, you’ll be atop Midland Hill. Be sure to sign the register in a PVC pipe case and enjoy the view before reversing course and returning to the trailhead.

The view from the Midland Trail only partway up


Be sure to stop by THE Trailhead to tell us how you liked it!



This post brought to you by The Trailhead and Trailhead Cycle and Ski. Visit them online at or in person about 1 mile north of the stoplight in Buena Vista, Colorado on Highway 24.