Gem Lake and Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park

Best of Rocky Mountain Tour

Estes Park, CO
5.0 (31 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Diverse Day Hikes
  • Breathtaking Mountain Scenery
  • Waterfalls & Wildlife
  • Pristine Rivers, Creeks & Lakes
  • Wonderful Mountain Lodging & Meals
  • Abundant Wildlife Habitat
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

Our 5-Day Best of Rocky Mountain National Park Tour is an inn-based immersion in the ecology, human, and natural history of the Colorado Rockies. From our base in comfortable and historic lodging in Estes Park, Colorado, we’ll experience all of the diversity the Park has to offer: from pristine mountain lakes to high peaks and alpine glaciers, to the iconic Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep – our hikes are chosen to highlight the most remarkable features of this National Park.

We begin our tour from our lodging base in Estes Park, Colorado, gateway to Rocky. We’ll stay at a lovely lakeside lodge minutes from the national park boundary, with each day of adventure designed to create a unique experience and window into the Park’s variety and beauty.

Read more …
From USD
$3335 Per Person
$855 Single Supplement  

$855 Single Supplement

Unless otherwise requested, we will attempt to find you a roommate of the same gender. If you would like a single room, the single supplement will apply.

Trip Type: Inn-Based Hiking Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-12 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 45+MI / 60+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This tour hikes on well-maintained trails, ranging from gradual to steep inclines. The difficulty of this trip (hiking distance and elevation change) may vary based on the group’s motivation level. Ratings reflect maximum hiking distances.

Hiking Distances:

4-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2380 ft

Heights Exposure:

Light

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on lightly rugged terrain
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Rocky Mountain National Park Inn-based Tour a Solitude Level 2. You can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time.

MINIMUM OF 2 GUESTS

If a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 4-6 weeks before the departure date, and notify guests of changes and options immediately.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 2
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
Or fill out a Reservation Request
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 10 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000 feet

This Rocky Mountain National Park hiking tour begins with a scenic drive to Gem Lake Trailhead, nestled within the ancient granite cliffs and boulders of Lumpy Ridge. We will hike in a labyrinth of rock formations, while taking in amazing views of the country we’ll be hiking through over the coming days. The route provides excellent opportunities for photography, acclimatization, and serves as a great first hike. After lunch at the lake, we’ll make our way back to Estes Park to check into our rooms and enjoy our first dinner at a hand-picked, local mountain eatery.

Sunset on Longs Peak and The Crags above Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Day 2

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1520 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn on Fall River

Today we’ll find the pleasures and power of mountain water: from rushing rivers and waterfalls, to high mountain lakes. Our hike will take us through the reaches of Wild Basin, a wildlife- and flower-strewn region of the Park. Moose have recently been seen in this river valley as well!

We’ll hike along the North Saint Vrain River, past Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls to Ouzel Lake and the mountain cirque that envelopes it. From there, time and interest permitting, we’ll continue along to the higher reaches of Bluebird Lake and take in another view of the Continental Divide beyond. From there it’s back down trail to our lodging, where evening dinner awaits.

Day 3

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 20 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1440 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn on Fall River

Day 3 will find us headed into the land of glaciers, past and present. We’ll make an “alpine start”, with an early breakfast and early departure to Glacier Gorge, the trailhead from which we’ll begin our ascent.

Our route will take us past Alberta Falls, into the sub-alpine forest, and from to a emerald string of mountain lakes, from Mills to Jewel, and at last to Black Lake, which sits in a silent and imposing mountain cirque, testament to the power of glacial ice. We’ll enjoy a hearty lunch, scope out the granite crags above us, including Spearhead and Keyboard of the Winds, before making our way home to Estes for the evening. On our return we’ll get great views of Andrews Glacier, the pyramidal Storm Peak, and the stark vastness of Longs Peak, Pagoda, and Chiefs Head mountains.

Please Note: We’ll always have good alternatives if weather or other factors require an itinerary change. Also, it’s important to dress in layers and prepare for cold and windy conditions above tree line.

Day 4

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 30 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 9+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2380 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn on Fall River

Our time spent hiking at altitude has prepared us for an ambitious hike to the Chasm Cirque. Our trail begins with a steep start and gradually eases as we crest above tree line and are welcomed with a view of Long’s Peak. Arriving to Chasm Lake, one can not help being enthralled by the 1,800 foot vertical cliff known as “The Diamond.” A world-famous climb, we’ll likely see rock climbers high above us on this granite wall while we enjoy lunch. We will take our time returning the way we came, while enjoying the countless wildflowers that seemingly bring the mountain meadows to life.

Day 5

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600 feet
  • Accommodations: Inn on Fall River

To finish off our week of adventure, we spend much of our final day above tree line, touring the highest continuous paved road in the United States. Starting at 11,400 Feet, we’ll begin our hiking tour on the famous Ute Trail. This trail provides superb views of summits, ancient volcanoes, glaciers, and often wildlife. From our vantage point we will have an amazing view of the park and the previous days’ adventures, which often fosters an appreciation for all we’ve seen and done.

After our starter hike, we will continue down the road for another brief hike at The Alpine Ridge visitor center. This viewpoint resides above the headwaters of the Colorado River and offers breath taking views of the Never Summer Range.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 4 nights of premier, double occupancy lodging in Estes Park (single occupancy requires an additional single supplement)
  • Top-of-the-line daypack and trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour (beginning and ending in Estes Park)
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What To Expect

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

For dinners, we’ve hand-picked local restaurants you’re sure to enjoy! We made our decisions based on the quality of their food, their charm, and how much local color and character they have.

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
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

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 at 8:30 AM the first day of the trip (if staying in Denver, Estes Park Shuttle offers a 5:00-8:00 am shuttle). 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.

We recommend guests arrive in Estes Park (or another nearby location that is 7500′ or higher) 1-2 days before your trip starts. This will help you acclimatize to the higher elevation, and make for a more enjoyable experience during your tour. This is especially important if you have never been to higher altitude, or are flying in from sea level.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Travel to Estes Park, Colorado

All Rocky Mountain National Park trips begin and end from Estes Park, Colorado. Estes Park does not have an airport. The most convenient airport is Denver International Airport (DIA), which is served by most major airlines and is an inexpensive airport to fly into. From DIA one can take a shuttle or rent a car to reach Estes Park. It is a 1.5-hour drive from DIA to Estes Park on good roads.

Denver to Estes Park Shuttles

Estes Park Shuttle: 970-586-5151

Start/End Times

You will meet your guide and group in Estes Park at 8:30 am the first day of the trip. 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 Precautions

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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)

MonthHighLow
June71°48°
July79°55°
August78°
53°
September69°45°

Accommodations

Accommodations

INN ON FALL RIVER

4 nights

This extremely cozy, scenic lodge is located on the shores of a majestic mountain creek and offers a natural but modern lodging experience perfect for our Rocky Mountain adventure.
(creekside spas)

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (31 reviews)
Deb M
5.0

Incredible

6 months ago

My friends and I have taken numerous Wildland trips. The trips are well planned, guides are knowledgeable, and accommodations are terrific! We cannot wait for our next adventure with Wildland!

Carol B
5.0

Beyond outstanding!

6 months ago

Wildland Trekking is an amazing company for hiking adventures. I recommend them to everyone I know looking for a great National Park hiking 🥾 experience. All Wildland Inn Based trips are all inclusive and beyond outstanding! I have been on six hiking adventures since 2017 that include over 8 National Parks and National Monuments. We are already planning 2024 and 2025.

Debra N
5.0

Beautiful Country

6 months ago

I spent a week with some of my girlfriends in Estes Park. We spent the week with Wildland Trekking hiking in the Rocky Mountain NP area, Inn base. We stayed at the Inn on Fall River. It was nice sleeping in a bed every night , showers, hot tub, dining at fabulous restaurants and hiking. Dakota and Chris were an absolute joy to spend a week with. They took care of us . Also they put up with eight ladies talking a lot , laughing and having fun while hiking, dining and drinking. We saw some beautiful country. Are lunches and some of our breakfasts were made by our guides. Always delicious. It was just a really delightful week. I would recommend this trip !

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