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Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

SOLD OUT! (Put me on the waiting list)

Jul 8 - Jul 15, 2015 -- $1250 ★★★★

Everybody has heard of the incredible beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, but few have experienced the wonders of the magnificent mountains close-up. On this trip, you will hike along backcountry trails that will give you breathtaking vistas that car bound tourists just can't access.

The park is host to a wide variety of plants and animals including black bear, elk, coyote, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, marmot, white tailed ptarmigan, blue grouse, and beaver as well as Colorado Blue Spruce, Quaking Aspen, Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, and endless fields of redolent wildflowers.

Our trek begins at the Cub Lake Trailhead at about 8080'. You will want to be super hydrated to stave off the effects of altitude as this is about the lowest elevation of the trip. We'll head up past Cub Lake to Old Forest Inn. From there, we'll hike past Spruce Lake and Odessa Lake to a remote scenic stretch of trail near Sourdough. Then, we'll head to Bear Lake, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the park before going back into the wilderness. We'll spend a night at Andrew's Creek and visit Andrew's Tarn. The end of the trip will be a beautiful but grueling hike up and over Granite Pass at about 12100' with dramatic unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountain Range.

Summer is prime time in Colorado, so why not join us?


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Summer is the ideal time to hike in the rockies. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s and 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures into the 90s and nights as low as the 30s. There are also ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorms (often with hailstorms) at high elevations that are to be avoided for safety (and comfort) reasons. Here are the historical weather averages Be prepared with lots of sun protection and water containers that add up to 5 liters of capacity.

Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Kate Lukof


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Denver International Airport (DEN), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, entrance fees, 5+ days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the parks, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and awesome guides.

Important Note

The trails through the Rockies often have good footing but elevation changes can be drastic, which implies more difficulty, but also higher, unimpeded views. Furthermore, those arriving from lower elevations may have difficulty with the altitude. Our first day in Denver should help ... so will staying super hydrated, but it will still take a few days to fully acclimate. Distances will be kept below 10 miles per day, but the longer days will require perseverance, especially when we hike over Granite Pass.

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Packing List
Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) or drive into Denver. The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so.

Take free airport shuttle to Quality Inn & Suites Denver International Airport, 6890 Tower Rd, Denver, CO, 80249, 303-371-5300

Equipment shakedown

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go to Denver Flagship REI Store, 1416 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 756-3100 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (not included in trip cost)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free breakfast at hotel

Fitpacking shuttle takes us to Beaver Meadows Ranger Station. You have about 20 minutes of unstructured time while guides do permitting paperwork.

Board National Park buses for the park. Deboard at Moraine Park

Transfer to Cub Lake / Fern Lake bus. Deboard at Cub Lake Trailhead.

Begin hiking at Cub Lake Trailhead, elevation 8080'

Hike 0.5 miles to Cub Lake Trail, elevation 8100'

Hike 2.0 miles to the Mill Creek Trail, elevation 8650'

Hike 0.7 miles to Old Forest Inn Turnoff (just before bridge), elevation 8400'

Hike 0.1 miles to Old Forest Inn Campsite, elevation 8400'

Camp at Old Forest Inn Campsite, elevation 8400'.

Miles today: 3.3. Total miles: 3.3

Possible bailout: Cub Lake Trailhead

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hike 1.8 uphill miles to Marguerite Falls, elevation 9430'

Hide packs and day-hike 2.8 miles to Spruce Lake, elevation 9800'

Pick up packs and hike 2.5 uphill miles with sweeping views to Sourdough, elevation 10600'

Camp at Sourdough, elevation 10600'.

Miles today: 7.1. Total miles: 10.4

Possible bailout: Cubl Lake Trailhead

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hike 2.5 downhill miles to Flattop Mountain Trail, elevation 9950'

Hike 0.5 miles to Bear Lake Trailhead, elevation 9750'

Hike 0.5 miles to Bear Lake, elevation 9475'. Expect lots of tourists here.

Hike 0.5 miles to Emerald Lake Trail, elevation 9475'

Hike 2.9 miles to Loch Vale Trail, elevation 9800'

Hike 0.5 miles to the North Longs Peak Trail, elevation 9750'

Hike 2.3 miles to Boulder Brook, elevation 10300'

Camp at Boulder Brook Group Site, elevation 10300'

Miles today: 9.7. Total miles: 20.1

Possible bailout: Bear Lake

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day-Hiking Only Today

Day-Hike 2.8 miles to Loch Vale Trail, elevation 9800'

Day-Hike 1.6 miles to Andrews Creek Trail, elevation 10400'

Day-Hike 0.9 round-trip miles to Andrew's Tarn, elevation 11390'

Day-Hike 5.3 miles back to Boulder Brook, elevation 10300'

Camp at Boulder Brook Group Site, elevation 10300'

Miles today: 10.6. Total miles: 30.7

Possible bailout: Bear Lake Road

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wake up extremely early and break camp quickly to avoid possible thunderstorms

Hike 3.3 grueling uphill miles (with incredible sweeping views) to Granite Pass, elevation 12100'

Hike 0.8 miles on E. Longs Peak Trail to the Chasm Lake Trail, elevation 11550'. There is a pit toilet here (Yee Haw!)

Hike 2.9 steep downhill miles to Eugenia Mine Trail, elevation 9700'

Hike 1.5 miles to Moore Park, elevation 9700'

Camp at Moore Park, elevation 9700'

Miles today: 8.5. Total miles: 39.2

Possible bailout: Longs Peak Road

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hike 1.5 miles to the Chasm Lake Trail, elevation 9700'

Hike 0.5 miles to Longs Pond Trailhead, elevation 9400'

End of Hike

Miles today: 2.0. Total miles: 41.2

Possible bailout: Longs Peak Road

Fitpacking shuttle takes us back to Quality Inn & Suites Denver International Airport, 6890 Tower Rd, Denver, CO, 80249, 303-371-5300

After measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Free Hotel Breakfast

Leave Hotel

Free airport shuttle

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