Rocky Mountain Basecamp Tour

Estes Park, CO
4.9 (17 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • 5 Iconic Rocky Mountain Hikes
  • Abundant Wildlife
  • Premier Camping
  • Waterfalls, Creeks & Rivers
  • Alpine Lakes & High Peaks
  • Stunning Mountain Scenery
  • Fantastic Outdoor Cuisine

Description

This Rocky Mountain National Park camping 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 western, less-crowded side of the Continental Divide. During the days we’ll enter Rocky Mountain National Park for an amazing variety of hikes throughout the Park.

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, 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 and/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!

Read more …
From
$1935 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Basecamp Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 34MI / 54KM

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:

4-8 mi

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2400 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
  • Hike at high altitudes much of the trip (10,000+ feet) with a high elevation of nearly 13,000 feet
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

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

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

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 1.75
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-8 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 9-12 People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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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
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ITINERARY

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. Our hike takes us past Alberta Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall that plunges through a glacial-cut canyon. We’ll continue up to The Loch, a picturesque alpine lake before continuing to Andrews Tarn and a dramatic view of Andrews 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 (alcoholic beverages not provided).

Day 2

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 30 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 600 feet

We’ll have a relaxing morning and breakfast before heading to the trailhead. Today’s trail meanders along the head waters of the Colorado River in a secluded valley with vast beautiful meadows. A prime location for wildlife sightings of moose, elk, and deer. We’ll break for lunch at Lulu City, a historical mining site abandoned in 1885. On our way back we will venture up the Red Mountain Trail to 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: 15 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 800 feet

After leisurely breakfast we will make our way to our Trailhead for a day of wildlife viewing and waterfall exploration. The trail skirts the edges of a wetland meadow, where sitings of moose and deer are common. The trail is very level for the first 2 miles as we hike along the creek. We will break for lunch and listen to the rapid water flowing to the headwaters of the Colorado River. Continuing further down the trail will bring more breathtaking views of mountain summits. With a full day of hiking, we will head back the way we came to our camp.

Hikers going to summit

Day 4

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 30 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 9.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2400 feet

Today we embark into the alpine to the remote summit of Mount Ida (12,889 feet). Of all Rocky Mountain National Park’s peaks, Mount Ida provides one of the most astonishing vantage points on top of the Continental Divide, even compared to many higher summits. An early start is necessary to get ahead of afternoon storms, so after a nutritious breakfast and short shuttle, we will begin hiking above Poudre Lake. The trail begins with a steep incline until reaching tree line. We continue hiking along the crest of the Continental Divide, interspersed with some off trail travel and a few steep sections til reaching Mount Ida. From the summit we are rewarded with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop to a delicious picnic lunch.

Day 5

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 feet
  • Shuttle to Estes Park: 45 minutes

We will start our last day with another wonderful breakfast and relaxing morning. After collecting our belongings we will drive across Trail Ridge Road towards Estes Park. Along the way, we will stop to hike the Ute Trail. A moderate trail offering fantastic views of Long’s Peak and yesterday’s summit of Mount Ida. After lunch, we will make our way back to Estes Park to conclude our tour.

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

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear (see recommendations)
  • 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 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 trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • 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.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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

PREMIER CAMPGROUNDS

4 nights

On our basecamp tours we hand pick wonderful campgrounds that put us right in the action for exceptional hiking and camping vacations. They may be national park, state park, or private vehicle-accessible campgrounds. They may vary by trip date depending on availability and seasonality.

FANTASTIC MEALS

14 Meals

Basecamp trips include meals for the duration of the tours beginning with breakfast the first day through lunch the final day. Meals are prepared by your guide(s) using fresh ingredients, exclusive Wildland recipes, and we adhere to all department of health outdoor cooking codes.

COMFORTABLE CAMPING

Camping Amenities

What amenities do basecamp tours include? Cold and hot drinks, campfires (where/when allowed), camp chairs, access to showers, fresh food, roomy tents, comfortable sleeping pads, comfy sleeping bags, camp pillows and more! Camp comfortably, eat like royalty, and hike til your heart’s content!

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (17 reviews)
Barbara C
5.0

Trip of a Lifetime

4 months ago

Samantha was a fantastic guide. She was attentive and very knowledgeable. A fantastic chef and paid attention to the little things. She kept us safe and comfortable and made this experience the trip of a lifetime. I would not want anyone else as my guide. What an amazingly bright and passionate person who truly is brilliant at her craft. Thank you Samantha for making this experience one I will never forget!

Tami C
5.0

Exceeded my expectations!

4 months ago

If I could give Samantha Cooke 100 stars I would! She was an excellent guide in every way. My RMNP trip exceeded my expectations! The hiking, camping, new friendships, and delicious food were phenomenal. This was my third Wildland trip and I’m looking forward to planning my next one.

Joseph Z
5.0

A+++ service!

1 year ago

Exceeded my expectations! Samantha not only took us on great hikes and took care of us, but she was an excellent source of knowledge about the different areas that we visited. A+++ service!

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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