Photographer capturing alpine magic in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoCascading creek in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, ColoradoWildland Trekking guest inspecting wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National ParkView of mountains from the deck of Grand Lake Lodge, ColoradoMajestic trout stream in Rocky Mountain National ParkView of alpine peaks in Rocky Mountain National ParkMoose and calf in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoWildland Trekking guest on rocky ridgeline in Rocky Mountain National ParkGorgeous alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Western Rockies Inn-based Tour at Grand Lake

Estes Park, CO

Trip Highlights

  • Breathtaking Scenery
  • Quiet Side of the Rockies
  • Headwaters of the Colorado River
  • Unforgettable Hikes
  • Premier Mountain Lodging
  • Fascinating Natural & Cultural History

Description

This premier hiking adventure offers adventurous guests the opportunity to explore the quiet side of Rocky Mountain National Park and the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. The town of Grand Lake is a quaint mountain enclave on the shores of Colorado’s largest natural lake, and our home for four nights. Each day we head into Rocky Mountain National Park for unforgettable hikes to waterfalls, pristine mountain valleys, alpine vistas, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and more. You’ll learn about the amazing history of this area and get to know its ecosystem of plants and animals. Each evening we’ll return to our lodge overlooking the town of Grand Lake and the majestic peaks of the Rockies for delicious dinners and much-deserved relaxation.

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From USD
$3255 Per Person
$675 Single Supplement  

$675 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: 34MI / 54KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

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 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.

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.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 20 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
  • Shuttle to Grand Lake: 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 quieter west side of the Park, and check into our home for the next 4 nights: Grand Lake Lodge. After a chance to get settled and clean up, we’ll head into Grand Lake to walk around town, soak up views of the lake and mountains, and enjoy a delicious dinner in the mountains.

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 today’s trailhead. Our hike today meanders along the head waters of the Colorado River in a secluded valley with vast beautiful meadows. This is 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 enchanting evening and dinner in Grand Lake cap this amazing day off.

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. Our hike skirts the edges of a wetland meadow, where sitings of moose and deer are common. The trail is very level for the first two 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.

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 thunderstorms, 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

  • 4 nights of premier, double occupancy lodging in Grand Lake, CO (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
  • 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.

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.

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

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.

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

Grand Lake Lodge cabins with the blue water of Grand Lake in the background

Grand Lake Lodge

Grand Lake Lodge cabins with the blue water of Grand Lake in the background

4 Nights

Grand Lake Lodge puts us right in the action to enjoy the quieter side of Rocky Mountain National Park and the charming town of Grand Lake. With 70 newly renovated guest cabins, a mountainside deck and tavern, swimming pool and hot tub – all with dramatic views of Grand Lake and the high peaks of the Rockies – this lodge is the perfect home away from home for our Colorado adventure.

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

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