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ROCKY MOUNTAINS, COLORADO

To the Top! Hiking Colorado’s 14ers

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Walking/Hiking

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Road Scholar
Program #9891RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Salida is at 7,000 feet; hikes will occur from 7,500-14,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements
Daypack, water bottles, good broken-in hiking boots, rain gear, recommended list will be mailed.

Itinerary for Jul 13 — Jul 19, 2014

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Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, July 13 - Orientation/Safety Lecture/Introduction
Arrive To: Arrival by 4 p.m. Required orientation at 5:00 p.m. Welcome to Salida! We'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session.

Dinner: Dinner will be catered to the hotel tonight.

Evening: We’ll review the updated schedule, cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, July 14 - Colorado Trail, Segment Near Brown's Creek
Breakfast: Breakfast in motel

Morning: Day long hike along Colorado Trail, Segment near Brown's Creek to Brown's Creek Falls; 5-6 miles round trip, 500 ft. elevation gains and losses along a rolling mountain trail traversing the Collegiate Range. This is a very fun hike to a beautiful waterfall. The hike has plenty of variety that will keep your interest including meadows, pine, and aspen forest.

Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Afternoon: At the falls, look for the Dipper. The American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), also known as a Water Ouzel, is a stocky dark grey bird with a head sometimes tinged with brown, and white feathers on the eyelids causing the eyes to flash white as the bird blinks. We will keep our eyes open for other birds and wildlife and talk about anything you see that catches your curiosity as we hike.

Dinner: Dinner is provided at a local restaurant this evening and you will have plenty of options to order off the menu.

Evening: We will have a short meeting to discuss tomorrow's itinerary. Each program we also feature exciting educational presentations by various expert guest presenters. These sessions are optional, so if you prefer you can use the extra time to rest, relax in the hot tub, etc.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, July 15 - Alpine Lake
Breakfast: Breakfast in motel

Morning: Day long hike to treeline and Ptarmigan Lake; 1,500 elevation gain-loss; 7 miles RT The hike starts in thick spruce-fir forest, opening occasionally as two boulder fields flow over the trail. We will gain roughly 1500 ft. to reach beautiful Ptarmigan Lake, and it’s worth it!

Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Afternoon: Several lakes in Colorado bear the name Ptarmigan. The white-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus, is a member of the grouse family that lives year-round above treeline and in the krummholz just below. Krummholz refers to the stunted, twisted tree hedges growing at the edge of treeline. Ptarmigan are masters of disguise: During winter months they wear snow-white feathers, which turn mottled brown and white in the summer. We will continue to enjoy and experience this beautiful area as we return on the same path to the trailhead.

Dinner: Dinner is provided at a local restaurant this evening and you will have plenty of options to order off the menu.

Evening: We will have a short meeting to discuss tomorrow's itinerary. Each program we also feature exciting educational presentations by various expert guest presenters. These sessions are optional, so if you prefer you can use the extra time to rest, relax in the hot tub, etc.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, July 16 - Monarch Pass
Breakfast: Breakfast in motel

Morning: Day hike along the Alpine Tunnel Trail; 500-600 elevation gain, 6 miles. This scenic trail follows the railroad grade of the Denver, South Park, and Pacific railroad from the historic townsite of Hancock to the caved-in east portal of the Alpine Tunnel. A long time ago, during Colorado's settlement era in the late 1800's, a railroad route was needed to cross the imposing Continental Divide in central Colorado. This remote and mountainous area between the once bustling mining towns of St. Elmo and Pitkin was selected as a site to build a 1,771 foot tunnel through a mountain ridge. The railroad and tunnel were eventually abandoned in the early 1900's as mining activity diminished, upkeep was deemed too expensive and snow removal became overwhelming. We will hike past some nice interpretive signs with great pictures and stories about this area.

Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Afternoon: Watch and listen for Marmot and Pika as you hike down from treeline. The yellow-bellied marmot is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus, a little smaller than a football. Pikas are smaller mammals in the rabbit family, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tails. On our return drive from the trailhead we will stop in one of Colorado's most preserved ghost towns, St. Elmo. The town was at its pinnacle in the 1890s, when it included a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, dancing halls, a newspaper office, and a school house.

Dinner: Dinner tonight is "On Your Own" to explore the local eateries and the historic downtown of Salida.

Evening: Free night.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, July 17 - Brown's Canyon of the Arkansas River
Breakfast: Breakfast in motel

Morning: This morning we will offer an optional hike on Monarch Crest Continental Divide Trail, a gorgeous and pleasant trail that leads us over rolling terrain in a loop that is approximately 4 miles in length. We will take some time to look at the diversity in the trees of this area and talk about forest health. This scenic trail climbs to the Continental Divide Trail near the Monarch Ski Area.

Lunch: Picnic box lunch provided.

Afternoon: This afternoon we rest our legs and enjoy a raft trip! This popular half day raft trip offers some of the most exciting whitewater on the Arkansas River and beautiful mountain scenery. Your wet 'n wild ride through Browns Canyon will provide lots of thrills and laughter as you weave through Pinball, tumble down Zoomflume, squeak by the Devil's Punchbowl and barrel through the rest, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Dinner: Dinner is provided at a local restaurant this evening and you will have plenty of options to order off the menu.

Evening: We will have a brief meeting to discuss the details of tomorrow’s itinerary and answer any questions.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Express Salida, Colorado combines the friendly, personal service and western hospitality of a small mountain town motel, with the modern amenities and facilities of a big city hotel chain. Salida is located in Chaffee County, Colorado, the county with the most fourteeners (fourteen-thousand foot high mountains) in the United States.

Contact info:
7400 U.S. Hwy 50 West
Salida, CO 81201 USA
phone: 719-539-8500
web: www.hiesalida.com/index.htm

Room amenities: All rooms have executive workspace with Free wireless Internet access H B O Remote Control Cable 25" TV In Room Refrigerators and Microwaves Hair Dryers Ironing Board/Iron

Facility amenities: Friendly, Helpful Staff Available 24 Hours a Day Deluxe Hot Breakfast Bar Non-Smoking Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Early Arrival / Late Departure stays in the hotel are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and rates vary depending on how far in advance you book your room. Call hotel for reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, July 18 - Mt. Sherman/Final Farewells
Breakfast: Early breakfast in hotel.

Morning: Day long hike climb of Mt. Sherman: 14,036 feet; depending upon route selected: 2,150' elevation gain, loss, 6.5 mi. RT Mount Sherman, in the middle of the north- to south-trending Mosquito Range, is a rounded 14,036-foot-high peak that rises above the western edge of South Park in central Colorado. Like all the Fourteeners, Mount Sherman needs to be treated with respect. Thunderstorms brew over the Sawatch Range to the west and move in quickly. It always seems windy on Sherman’s upper ridge and summit. It’s best to get an early start, carry rain gear, keep an eye on the weather for thunderstorms and lightning, and keep an open mind. The view from the top is unforgettable!

Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Afternoon: Today, a turn-around time will be announced. When this time comes, whether you are catching your breath on the rocky summit of the mountain, or enjoying the view from a saddle below, you will turn around and start re-tracing your steps to the trailhead. This time is dependent on weather and group ability. You will have the great luxury of being with experienced guides on the trail that will help show you the most beautiful parts of Colorado, but work with you to stay safe in this challenging environment.

Dinner: Dinner is provided at a local restaurant this evening and you will have plenty of options to order off the menu.

Evening: After a delicious dinner, we will get together for one last group meeting to share our highlights of the week and to share our experiences.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, July 19 - Departures after breakfast
Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the hotel beginning at 6:30 am. End of program, safe travels! Room check-out by 10:00 am.

Morning: Independent departures after breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
8 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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