Rocky Mountain Hiking Adventures
Rocky Mountain National Park is the showpiece of the Colorado Rockies, and we have selected the finest, most exhilarating mountain trails in this magnificent land! Within the park are columbine-sprinkled meadows, emerald lakes, shimmering peaks, and herds of elk and bighorn sheep. At lower elevations we will walk through stands of pine and juniper and encounter spruce and aspen alongside peaceful streams. We will also venture high above tree line and explore the fascinating tundra ecosystem.
This one-of-a-kind tour is designed for both first-time hikers as well as enthusiasts. Each day's hike is 3-8 miles in length with elevation gains of 600 - 1000', with longer and more challenging options available. So lace up those hiking boots, grab your knapsack and head to the Rockies for the ultimate western hiking holiday.
Day 1. Hiking Flagstaff Mountain, Black Bear Lodge (800-766-1123/ private baths)
Be sure to eat a hearty brunch, as our group assembles in the sitting room of the elegant Hotel Boulderado, a local historic landmark, at 9:30 a.m. After a short orientation, we hike one of Boulder's most scenic footpaths, the Gregory Canyon Trail. Our walk takes us from the foothills of the Rockies and the Flatirons, Boulder's signature rock formations, to the top of Flagstaff Mountain and magnificent views of the Continental Divide high to the west and the city below. Welcome to the Rocky Mountains!
After a scenic shuttle into the heart of the Rocky Mountains, we arrive at our home-away-from-home for the next two nights at the cozy Black Bear Lodge in Grand Lake, a summer resort town nestled on the shore of a gorgeous alpine lake at over 8,000 feet.
Gregory Canyon and Flagstaff Trails [5 miles; 1400 feet of elevation gain/loss]
Day 2. Hike Adams Falls & Inlet Creek, Black Bear Lodge
We will hike along the meandering Inlet Creek towards the snow-capped summits of the Continental Divide. We will pass a number of alpine meadows and waterfalls, including the cascading Adams Falls, on our way to Lone Pine Lake.
For those wishing for a more leisurely day, hike a portion of the trail and then walk right back to Grand Lake for an option-filled afternoon of horseback riding, sea kayaking or just soaking up the best of the West along Grand Lake's quaint streets. For those wishing to horseback ride, please notify your guides at the beginning of the trip, as reservations are required.
East Inlet Trail to Adams Falls and Lone Pine Lake [up to 11 miles round trip; 1700' elevation gain, then loss]
Horseback Ride and Sea Kayak options [additional cost]
Day 3. Hike Old Ute Trail and Drive Trail Ridge Road, Baldpate Inn (970-586-6151 / shared baths)
Today we hike through the fragile alpine tundra with its delicate forget-me-nots and microscopic plants. More than one-fourth of the plants located here are also found in the Arctic. We descend along the western slopes of Rocky Mountain National Park to Poudre Lake before shuttling over Trail Ridge Road, America's highest continuous road at 12,100-feet.
Descending from this "rooftop of the world" we enter Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Spend the afternoon strolling through Estes Park's quaint streets or take an optional hike up Lumpy Ridge through some of the most varied and distinctive scenery in the park to beautiful Gem Lake, set in a natural rock amphitheater.
Our home for the next two nights is nestled along the Peak-To-Peak Highway, one of Colorado's designated Scenic Byways. Located in this high alpine setting is our charming secluded lodge for the next two nights, the Baldpate Inn.
Old Ute Trail to Poudre Lake [4.2 miles, 1,050 feet of elevation loss, starting at 11,800 feet of altitude]
Gem Lake Trail option [4.0 miles round trip, 1,090 feet of elevation gain, then loss]
Day 4. Hike East Longs Peak Trail to Chasm Lake, Baldpate Inn
Up with the sun, we soon find ourselves surrounded by the peaks of the Continental Divide as we begin our hike into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park. For the adventurous, try the more challenging East Longs Peak trail and climb to Chasm Lake. Longs Peak has long been considered America's Matterhorn. At 14,255', it is the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and has fascinated writers, artists, climbers and explorers since the first recorded American sighting in 1820 by Stephen Long.
The first six miles of our hike are the easiest - don't be fooled, though, this is a hearty hike - and follow an ever-climbing trail through beautiful forests of pine and aspen up to timberline. We then venture onto Chasm Lake that sits beneath the "diamond" on Longs Peak's sheer, spectacular 1675-foot east face. You'll be amazed at the views!
Hike to Chasm Lake [8.4 miles round trip, 2360' elevation gain , then loss; 11,760 feet of altitude at the lake]
Easier Option: Lily Mountain [4 miles round trip, 1000' elevation gain, then loss]
Day 5. Hike to Lake Isabelle, Boulder
After a special breakfast, we are off for a hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Walking through a lush river valley, we pass a number of cascading streams en route to Lake Isabelle. The view from the lake is incredible, and includes Isabelle Glacier and the craggy Indian Peaks: Apache, Pawnee, Paiute, and Shoshoni. We will enjoy a leisurely lunch and the high country's colorful flowers that line the lake's edge: showy daisy, alpine gentian, bistort and elephant head.
Following our hike, we shuttle to Boulder for the conclusion of our trip.
Lake Isabelle [5 miles round trip; 600' of elevation gain, then loss]
|Rocky Mountain Hiking Adventures
|Single Room Supplement**
* Best suited for ages 8 and older. Ages 8-18 receive a 15% discount On inn trips, youths getting this discount must share a room with a full paying adult.
** Rooms are based on double occupancy. You can opt to have your own room and pay our Single Room Supplement fee. With reservations 90 days or more in advance, you can book just one person and pay the regular rate if you will share a room.
All trips require a minimum of 4 people for the trip to run and the trip maximum is 12.
Trip Fees Include:
All meals (lunch Day 1 lunch Day 5), all accommodations (double occupancy), support vehicle, national park fees, T-shirt, water bottle, and professional guides.
Trip Fees Exclude:
Airfare, personal insurance, miscellaneous hotel expenses (phone, fax, laundry, etc.), additional optional tours, services not specified in the tour itinerary, and guide gratuities (An appropriate gratuity to each trip leader is $75-$100 per guest).
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Boulder Outdoor Center
2525 Arapahoe Avenue Suite E4-228
Boulder, CO 80302
Please contact us on the web.
Gateway City Transfer:
Public transportation from Denver International Airport is available. The 'Super Shuttle' (303-227-0000) provides this transportation hourly for $19.00 one-way and $36.00 round-trip to the Hotel Boulderado and other select Boulder hotels, or $25 one-way and $45 round-trip to other Boulder locations. Reservations are not required, as the shuttle leaves the airport every hour, 10-minutes past the hour (7 am - 12 midnight). Check in at the 'Super Shuttle' desk upon arrival into the airport. The RTD Public Bus service from Denver International Airport to Downtown Boulder operates hourly and costs $10 one way (cash and exact change only). The Dowtown Boulder bus terminal is only a few blocks from the Hotel Boulderado. Taxis are also available. Fares to Boulder run approximately $70-$75 one-way.
Special Requests + What to Bring:
If you have any special dietary needs or any special request that will make your trip more enjoyable, please be sure to notify your Trip Consultant or travel agent after booking. One of our trip consultants will be contacting you to go over options and the details with you.
The World Outdoors will provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including your reservation payment receipt and confirmation, travel insurance application, suggestions for preparing for your trip, a packing list, information on pre- and post-trip arrangements, a guest questionnaire and a liability release agreement.
General Information, Questions & Answers
What type of weather should I expect?
Summer is prime time in the mountains. You can expect low humidity with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s. However, as in other mountainous regions, weather in the Rockies is very changeable - sunny skies can turn stormy in minutes, afternoon thunderstorms are common and snow is possible anytime of the year.
How will the change in altitude affect me?
This is a difficult question to answer as altitude physiologically affects different people in different ways. The Rocky Mountains range from 5,000 to over 14,000-feet elevation, and have an extremely dry climate. Thus, to prevent altitude sickness we recommend that you always remain well hydrated, gradually expose yourself to higher elevations, exercise moderately until altitude acclimatized, eat a diet consisting of at least 70% carbohydrates beginning 1 to 2 days prior to ascent, and get plenty of rest. Furthermore, we suggest that you arrive at our gateway city at least 1 to 2 days prior to the first day of your trip.
How difficult is this trip?
This trip is ideal for those who feel comfortable being active 3-5 hours a day. Those who choose this level are generally looking for a leisurely vacation or an introduction to hiking. This is gentle terrain hiking. The hikes range from 1.5-6 miles, with options of up to 8 miles and short ascents of up to 600 feet and one option of up to 2500 feet.
Special Family Values
Young people, ages eight through 18, receive a 15% discount on this trip. This applies to camping trips when accompanied by one full paying adult and inn trips when sharing a room with one full paying adult. Though children eight years and older are welcome on this tour, please see our itinerary above and make sure your child can handle the level of physical activity on this trip. Call us to discuss the suitability of a particular tour.
Meeting Place & Time
9:30 a.m. at Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado 800-433-4344 / 303-442-4344. The hotel is located one block north of Pearl Street. We recommend that you have a hearty brunch prior or our meeting, and arrive ready to hike. For your comfort, we recommend that you wear comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and wool socks coupled with a thin liner sock.
Please see our directions and driving times in the upper right hand corner to get additional directions.
5:00 p.m. at Hotel Boulderado, Boulder. Airline departures from Denver should be scheduled no earlier than 8:30 p.m. and airport shuttles be scheduled no earlier than 5:30 p.m.
How do I book airfare for this trip?
Once you have booked your reservation, Sherry will contact you to help arrange your air. You can also call James TravelPoints, a local travel agency, at 800-538-7461 and ask for Georgia (ext 251) or Di (ext 252) or email GeorgiaT@travelpoints.com or DianeJ@travelpoints.com. Be sure to tell her you are traveling with The World Outdoors. Alternatively, you are welcome to book your airfare online, directly with the airline or through your personal travel agent.
The Best Value in Active Travel Guarantee:
We commit to you that all of our trips are of the highest quality at the best value. If you find a trip of equal quality that matches our itinerary and inclusions at a lower fare within 30 days of booking your trip with us, we will gladly refund the difference. A simple guarantee that assures you of the best trip at the best fare!
If you cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing. We calculate your refund from the day we receive written notice of your cancellation. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving early from a trip.
Number of Days Prior to Trip Departure
|90 days or more
||$100 per person
|89 to 60 days
||50% of total price per person
|59 to 30 days
||75% of total price per person
|29 to 0 days
||100% of total price per person
We highly recommend trip insurance. This is an option we will discuss with you.