Premier Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Company

Wildland Trekking Phone Number

9am to 5pm Everyday

800-715-HIKE

Rocky Mountain Basecamp

Highlights

  • Enjoy five classic, adventurous hikes throughout Rocky Mountain National Park
  • See out-of-this-world views, wildlife, waterfalls, high peaks, alpine lakes and more
  • Explore the habitats of elk, deer, bears, moose, marmots and more
  • Enjoy a wonderful basecamp with showers, comfortable camping, and evening campfires
  • Dine on our delicious outdoor cuisine prepared by expert trip leaders
  • Learn about the phenomenal geology and botany of the Rocky Mountains
  • Drive twice over Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in America


Description

Our Rocky Mountain National Park Basecamp hiking tour is an opportunity to have a diverse range of mountain hiking experiences carrying only a light backpack. In the evenings you'll enjoy fantastic meals and access to showers at a quiet, private campground on the eastern, less-crowded side of the Continental Divide.

From our basecamp we'll venture out on carefully selected day hikes to various stunning features of Rocky Mountain National Park. These hand-picked hikes will take you through mountain meadows, to waterfalls, to the tops of alpine peaks (the highest being over 13,000 feet high), to the shores of high mountain lakes, to the edges of glaciers, and through fantastic wildlife areas. Each evening you'll appreciate delicious meals prepared by your guide. Then it's time to relax by the campfire, go on evening or moonlit hikes along the Colorado River, or have a hot shower. Your mornings will begin with a wonderful breakfast and hot coffee or tea before we head out on each day's adventure!


 


Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to trailhead: 20 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
Shuttle to campground: 1.5 hours

This Rocky Mountain National Park hiking tour begins in Estes Park, where we drive to the famous Bear Lake/Glacier Gorge area of the Park. We'll get an early start to beat the crowds (this is the only day that we're around many other hikers). Our hike takes us past Alberta Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall that plunges through a glacial-cut canyon. We'll continue up to The Lock, a picturesque alpine lake before continuing to Steven's Tarn and a dramatic view of Steven's Glacier. This hike is an extraordinary day in one of the most stunning alpine cirques in the Continental United States.

Following our hike we'll drive up and over Trail Ridge Road to the wilder, more wildlife-rich, west side of the Park. We'll set up camp at an established, private campground literally on the edge of the Park and get ready for a very tasty dinner prepared by your guide. At night you can enjoy a hot shower and then relax around the campfire with a glass of hot chocolate, tea, wine or beer.


Day 2

Shuttle to trailhead: 30 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Loss/Gain:
400+ feet

We'll have a relaxing morning and a big breakfast before setting off for our day's destination - the Cache La Poudre River Valley. This secluded valley is rich with wildlife and beautiful, vast meadows. We'll enjoy lunch on the edge of one of the meadows before hiking back to the trailhead. If time and energy allow, we can hike up to the flanks of Ute Mountain on the way back and enjoy a dramatic, bird's eye view of the valley we just explored.

Another tasty dinner and campfire will top off this fantastic day!


Day 3

Shuttle to trailhead: 45 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
Elevation Loss: 600 feet


Day 3 is designed to prepare us for the elevation and energy expenditure of Day 4's climb to the top of Mount Chiquita (13,069 feet). Our hike is a high-elevation, 4-mile, one-way hike that trends downhill. We'll start at just over 12,000 feet near the famous Alpine Visitor's Center along Trail Ridge Road. Your guide will drop you off to begin your hike, then drive to the end of the trail at Poudre Lake and begin hiking uphill to meet your group in the middle. This hike is mostly above treeline with breathtaking views down into deep, pristine valleys and up into the dramatic peaks of the Gore Range. We'll stop for a snack and even possibly a nap at the head of one of these valleys.

This afternoon is an opportunity to either relax and enjoy camp or to join your guide on a hike along the famous Colorado River.


Day 4

Shuttle to trailhead: 2 hours
Hiking Mileage: 7+ miles
Elevation Gain/Loss:
2400+ feet

Day 4 will be a very early start. We'll eat breakfast enroute to the trailhead and begin hiking as early as possible to beat potential thunderstorms. Our destination today is Mount Chiquita (13,069 feet) and if time, weather and energy allow Mount Ypsilon as well (13,514 feet). Our route takes us through a beautiful subalpine forest to treeline, where we traverse beneath 12,000+ foot Mount Chapin. Elk and Big Horn Sheep are plentiful in these mountains. We'll reach Chapin Pass and then begin our ascent of Mount Chiquita. Today requires nothing more than hiking, but we are at elevation so going can be slow. We'll break often, and eat and drink plenty! When we reach the summit of Mount Chiquita we'll assess the weather and our energy to decide whether to continue to Mount Ypsilon.

Please note that if you at anytime decide you've gone far enough on this hike, you can sit down and enjoy the views for an hour or two, while the group continues the hike and returns to pick you up.


Day 5

Shuttle to trailhead: 15 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000 feet
Shuttle to Estes Park: 1.5 hours


After a relaxing morning we'll drive a short 15 minutes to our trailhead. Our final hike takes us up a broad, meadow-laden valley and a series of rock steps that allow incredible views back down the valley. We'll pass a stunning, box canyon waterfall and have great opportunities so see moose. We'll find a picturesque spot to enjoy a snack and soak it all up one last time before turning back toward the trailhead.

Following our hike we'll return to camp. While you gather all of your personal belongings your guide will break down camp. We'll eventually begin our last journey across Trail Ridge Road as we drive back to the east side for your drop off in Estes Park. As the final stretch of road into Estes draws close we're certain you'll feel a deep appreciation and respect for this amazing park and the time you've spent here.


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

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical 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
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you and your family 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
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% 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 outdoors – 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
  • 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 waterbottles 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

Where Do We Meet?

You will meet your guide and group in Estes Park, Colorado for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip and will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.

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


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

The standard group size on this trip 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.


Weather in the Colorado Rockies

Being a high mountain environment, Rocky Mountain National Park is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the Rocky Mountains. 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°