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Portered Ouzel Lake

Highlights

  • Fantastic family trip for kids!
  • Backcountry hiking/camping with light day packs
  • 1 camp, allowing for fantastic day hiking
  • Waterfalls, rivers, meadows, alpine lakes and more
  • One of the most scenic spots in the Rockies
  • Great solitude in Rocky Mountain National Park

Description

Our Portered Ouzel Lake trip is a fantastic family option (for people with kids) and for people who want an amazing backcountry experience of the Colorado Rockies on a less demanding trip. Porters hike in with all of our gear and set up camp, so when we arrive we are all set! We spend 2-3 nights in this camp, day hiking each day to explore Rocky Mountain National Park's amazing Wild Basin. On the final day the porters hike in again, break down camp and transport our gear back to the trailhead.
The highlights of this trip are camping near the shores of stunning Ouzel Lake; enjoying breathtaking views of the alpine peaks and ridges of the Continental Divide; hiking to one or two additional alpine lakes that sit right at treeline; opportunities to see wildlife; multiple waterfalls; our award-winning customer service and backcountry cuisine!
Feel free to give us a ring at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book a trip today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to trailhead: 30 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Gain:
1,500 feet

This Rocky Mountain National Park hiking trip begins at a relatively remote, but popular, trailhead. Our porters will get started ahead of us and have our camp set up by the time we arrive. Our hike takes us along a beautiful mountain creek, past a stunning cascade, and through pine forests to the shores of stunning Ouzel Lake. We'll get settled into our camp, which is not far from the water, and the lake itself boasts outstanding views of the alpine ridges and peaks of the Continental Divide. We can spend the afternoon swimming, exploring, fishing, or simply relaxing in camp. We'll cap the day off with a blazing campfire and hearty backcountry dinner.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 4 miles day hiking
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,000 feet

We'll start today with a delicious Rocky Mountain breakfast on the shores of Ouzel Lake. Afterward we'll load up our day packs and set off on a hike to a higher, even more breathtaking mountain lake - Bluebird Lake. Our hike takes us first back down the valley we hiked up yesterday before we split off on a separate trail and begin an ascent of approximately 1,000 feet. Bluebird Lake is a stunning alpine lake that sits just under 11,000 feet with high mountain peaks standing guard above. We'll relax and have a picnic lunch on the shores, and afterward hike higher into the alpine terrain above the lake or return to camp for another hearty dinner.


Day 3 (4-day Itinerary Only)

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Loss/Gain:
800 feet

If you're doing the 4-day version of this trip, we'll make the most of Day 3 by heading to another amazing Rocky Mountain National Park lake - Thunder Lake. Thunder Lake sits below several soaring peaks and a pass on the Continental Divide. We'll sit along the grassy shores keepin an eye out for rainbow trout, enjoy a picnic lunch, and explore around the lake. Finally we'll head back to camp at Ouzel Lake, which is all downhill. We'll enjoy one more celebratory campfire and backcountry feast before turning in for a good night's sleep.



Final Day

Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Loss: 1,500 feet
Shuttle to Estes Park:
30 minutes

After a relaxing morning and a big breakfast we'll begin our hike back to the trailhead. We'll hike a slightly different trail on the way back that takes us along Ouzel Creek, past Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades, both Rocky Mountain water features well worth seeing. Ouzel Falls is a sheer waterfall about 50 feet high, and Calypso Cascades is a beautiful stretch of tumbling water in a thick Lodgepole Pine forest. Our arrival at Wild Basin Trailhead marks the end of our hiking trip; after a short shuttle ride back to Estes Park we'll drop you off at your hotel where warm showers await you!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Porters to transport gear in and out, and to set up and break down camp
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Rocky Mountain hiking guide
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Transportation for the duration of the trip beginning and ending in Estes Park, CO
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You will meet your guide and group in Estes Park, Colorado on the morning of Day 1, when we pick you up at your hotel. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to answer any questions you have, provide you with more details about your exact trip, and coordinate the pick up.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time in the pre-trip contact. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Colorado Rockies

Being a high mountain environment, the Rocky Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Colorado's high country. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High / Low
 
June
71°
48°
 
July
79°
55°
 
August
78°
53°
 
September
69°
45°