Portered Odessa Gorge

Estes Park, CO
5.0 (3 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Amazing Odessa Gorge
  • Alpine Lakes
  • High Country Exploration
  • Stunning Campsite
  • Hike with Light Daypack
  • Waterfalls, Rivers, Meadows & Lakes
  • Abundant Wildlife Habitat


Please Note:  This trip was affected by the 2020 wildfires in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Park Service has not indicated yet whether this area will be open in 2021, or what condition it will be in. For the time being, we are not adding 2021 reservations for this trip. We heartily recommend our Rocky Mountain llama treks as excellent alternatives!

This great point-to-point hike takes us from Bear Lake into the lake-strewn canyon of Odessa Gorge and the Fern Lake drainage beyond. Camping two nights at Odessa Lake allows for an entire day of exploring. Porters transport the gear and food to our campsite and set everything up, allowing us to hike with lighter backpacking (than on backpacking trips) while enjoying a thoroughly authentic backcountry experience. On the final day, the porters will break down camp and the gear back out for us, completing the trip.

Starting at Bear Lake, we’ll ascend through a long canyon with views of high peaks above to our lake-side camp. Odessa Lake is nestled in a rich subalpine spruce/fir forest at 10,000 feet and is perfectly situated for amazing day hikes from camp. Above us to the west stand some of the most iconic landmarks of the Colorado Rockies including; the Flat Top Mountain, Little Matterhorn, Notchtop Peak, and Ptarmigan Point. The combination of rich forest, mountain lakes, and diverse hiking terrain make this a truly remarkable trip that is both awe-inspiring and suitable for families.

Please Note: Porters transport all camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads…etc.) as well as food. They also set up and break down camp. Guests are responsible for carrying their clothing and personal items.

3 Days
$1170 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Portered Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-6 Guests
Trip Length: 3 Days
Distance: 15MI / 24KM


Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
15-20 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-6 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1870 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1870 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained and some off trail
This trip goes up over 11,000 feet in elevation. It’s best to arrive in Estes Park a day or two early to acclimatize. We may also be hiking off trail at times on variable terrain including meadows, forests and talus.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Colorado backpacking trip a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time.

Learn More about our Rating System
Travel to Estes Park

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

SuperShuttle: 970-482-0505

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 20 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet

This Rocky Mountain National Park hiking trip starts with a brief shuttle to our starting trailhead at Bear Lake. We begin by first ascending the trail above Emerald Lake til reaching the tree line near Flat Top Mountain. From here, we’ll find ourselves in a world of mountain spires and alpine lakes beneath them. We’ll take in views of the Little Matterhorn, The Gable, Notchtop and Knobtop mountains, all near 12,000 feet or higher. After an enjoyable lunch we will gradually descend the trail to our campsite at Odessa Lake. We’ll arrive with camp fully set, enjoy a great dinner prepared by your guide, and plan for our day of exploration tomorrow.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 2-6 miles day hiking
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500-1,100 feet

After a hearty breakfast near the shores of Odessa Lake, we’ll enjoy a full day of exploration – to Lake Helene, Two Rivers Lake, and traversing the high country beneath Flattop Mountain as our interests suggest.

We’ll enjoy lunch en route, and make our way to camp as evening shadows begin to fall from the Continental Divide above us. Prepare for sightings of Rocky Mountain Bighorn, Golden Eagles, Elk and Deer, not to mention the Marmots and Pikas that dance among the rocks above treeline!

The fishing at Odessa is excellent: for anglers, options abound for catch and release trout fishing: rainbow, browns, brook, and the native cutthroat.

Whether taking some time to fish or just relaxing along the Lake, we’ll settle in before dinner, then enjoy our meal together as stars rise in a brilliant sky.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 2,300 feet

Day 3 makes a climactic and refreshing finish, as it is nearly all downhill to our exit trailhead. After breakfast, we’ll grab our day packs and enjoy a comfortable walk through Fern Canyon, past another stunning alpine lake and waterfall to the trailhead. We will reminisce about our trip over lunch before returning to Estes Park.

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.

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


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


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


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

  • 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)

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

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
  • Emergency communication device(s)

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

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. 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.

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 the Estes Park Mountain Shop (2050 Big Thompson Ave) at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins for an orientation meeting. 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 rendezvous.

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

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. 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.


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.

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.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The maximum group size on portered trips is 6 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-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)





Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.


Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.


In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (3 reviews)
Perry K.

Incredible Trip!

6 months ago

Incredible trip! Our guide was great and Wildland was very thorough.

Amy B.

Excellent Job Planning Our Trip

1 year ago

Wildland did an excellent job of planning our trip. We are not really campers so would have had no ability to find and reserve the beautiful campsite, procure and carry all equipment, find the stunning hikes, and plan for excellent, hot meals. The national parks can be very trickly to navigate, so we are appreciative that Wildland did it for us!

Karen H.

Excellent Overall

2 years ago

This trip was excellent. One piece of feedback is it wold have been more beneficial if the Orientation meeting had been the night before the hike instead of the morning of. I did not realize that the porters only carried group camping gear and that I had to carry all my personal items. Sorting that out the morning of was stressful.

See More Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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