Weekend Hiking Getaway – Rocky Mountain
July 26 - 28, 2019
(3 days, 2 nights; Fri - Sun)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, meals, van shuttles, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Denver and Estes Park prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Denver International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:00 am
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of America’s great scenic treasures. Within its borders are some of the world’s most spectacular alpine features—towering above-timberline peaks that are snowclad year-round, countless lakes and beautiful mountain valleys. In so many ways, the park also is a celebration of Colorado, a state renowned for its high-mountain majesty, attributable in no small measure to the presence of 54 named summits exceeding 14,000 feet in elevation. In a single hike we can pass through 3 life zones whose flora and fauna change as the elevation changes.
On Day 1, after the DIA airport pick up, we’ll shuttle to Wild Basin, the southern most trailhead in the National Park. We’ll have a warm up hike to beautiful Calypso Cascades and nearby Ouzel Falls. We’ll make a loop hike by returning on the little used North St. Vrain Trail (6 miles). Wild life abounds on this quiet trail.
We’ll hike on Day 2 from the Glacier Gorge trailhead, following Glacier Creek as it continues its course through the Gorge. Early in the hike, we’ll encounter thundering Alberta Falls and then it’s on to some of the park’s most renowned lakes. In rapid succession, we’ll climb to the Loch, rise beyond the tree line to Timberline Falls, scramble up a ledge along the falls to Lake of Glass and beyond, finally reaching our destination- incredibly beautiful Sky Pond, nestled in the shadow of Powell and Taylor Peaks. The views of all that we passed are breathtaking as they unfold in a panoramic fantasy in the course of our descent (9 miles).
Day 3 we’ll hop a shuttle to the popular Bear Lake trailhead. Soon we will leave the crowds behind as we ascend a ridge, then meander our way along the flank of Flattop Mountain past Lake Helene. Here we meet the spectacular valley of Fern Creek where we skirt on a high ledge past the peaks of Notchtop, Knobtop, Gabletop and Little Matterhorn. We continue down the valley past shimmering Lake Odessa and serene Fern Lake. After joining the Thompson River at The Pool, we exit the flat valley to the waiting van. You are almost guaranteed to see herds of elk in this valley. Alas, our taste of the Rocky Mountain majesty has come to an end. On our return to Denver we’ll have time to reflect on the grandeur of the peaks we leave behind, and be inspired to begin planning for our next adventure!
|Day 1||Van shuttle from DIA to Wild Basin- Calypso Cascades - Ouzel Falls- Overnight in Estes Park||6|
|Day 2||Glacier Gorge Trailhead- Alberta Falls- Sky Pond- Overnight in Estes Park||9|
|Day 3||Bear Lake - Lake Helene - Odessa Lake - Fern Lake, return to Denver||9|
Total Distance: 24 miles
- Hotel Estes