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Hiking Purple Mountain Majesty: Climb Colorado 14ers!

Program Number: 4818RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2013 - 8/24/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Salida, Colorado
Price starting at: $1,198.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

A “14er” is a mountain peak that exceeds 14,000-feet above sea level. With 54 to its credit, Colorado has the most 14ers in the continental U.S. During this extremely challenging program, we will attempt climbs of three peaks in Colorado’s Sawatch Range, home to 15 14ers. As a capstone companion program to our challenging Road Scholar Program #9883, “Basecamp: Hiking Colorado’s Mummy Range,” we will attempt one peak per day on three days, an easier climb on another — and a thrilling raft trip on the Arkansas River on a fifth day.




Highlights

• Learn firsthand about this area and the resident plants and animals while hiking three 14,000-foot peaks.
• Discover the teamwork, challenges, and achievements of summiting mountains in this challenging program.
• Explore the inhabited “ghost town” of St. Elmo and learn of its 1880 founding and mining history.



Activity Particulars

Hiking 7-12 miles a day with 4,000-5,000-foot elevation gain. Climbing elevations of 8,000-14,433 feet.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Salida

Born as a railroad stop and developed by prosperous mining and agricultural industries, Salida is flanked by snowcapped, 14,000-foot peaks, making it an ideal gateway to the world-class recreational opportunities of the Rocky Mountains. Salida has a rich frontier history, reflected in the preserved architecture of its downtown heritage district.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with indoor swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Express
  Salida, CO 6 nights
 Holiday Inn Express
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 workspaces 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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for rates and reservation 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.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for rates and reservation 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.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrive and check-in by 4:00 pm. Required orientation at 5:00 pm. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Room check-out is 10:00 am. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Salida, CO
  Nearest highway: US 50 and 285
  Nearest airport:  Colorado Springs
  From End of Program
  Location: Salida, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Salida from Denver International Airport (DEN)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Black Hills Stage Lines
phone: 877-779-2999
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx. $30
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

3.5 hours to Denver Transit Center, another 30 minutes to airport 

   

Reservations-tickets can be purchased at website: www.blackhillsstagelines.com/book-your-trip.asp A different and shorter in time and mileage option is to fly from Denver to Gunnison (GUC) and then take Black Hills Stage from Gunnison Airport to Salida. Cars also may be rented at Denver or Colorado Springs airports

 
Driving Directions
  Salida-All directions in Colorado Salida can be located on a road map in the center of the state; all roads are clear and passable in the summer. Routes are available by traveling through Glenwood Springs heading east on I-70 taking either US highway 24 south to Minturn or Colorado highway 91 south at Copper Mountain. >From Denver take I-70 west to Colorado highway 91 south at Copper Mountain or US highway 24 south to Minturn, both highways will merge in Leadville and continue south to Salida via Buena Vista. If arriving form the south from Colorado Springs take US highway 24 to Buena Vista then South on US 24/285 to Salida. Highway 285 also travels north to Salida from Monte Vista.
Elevation Note: Salida is at 7,000 feet; hikes will occur from 8,500-14,433 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Daypack, water bottles, good broken-in hiking boots, rain gear, recommended list will be mailed.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation/Safety Lecture/Introduction
(Sunday, August 18)

Note: The following itinerary is proposed to be followed for this program. The goal is to climb 3 peaks over fourteen thousand feet in the vicinity of Salida. Several factors may require changing the final peaks selected and routes taken including weather, group hiking abilities, and trail conditions.



   
 Arrive To: Welcome to Salida and your Road Scholar “Hiking Purple Mountain Majesty: Climb Colorado 14ers!” Program #4818. 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.
 Evening: We’ll review the updated schedule, cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Hike our first 14'er of the week!
(Monday, August 19)

Note: We will be hiking for approximately 8 hours per day with distances covered between 6-12 miles round trip. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in motel
 Morning: Each morning we will enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before we van to our trailhead. These van rides vary in distance and are a great chance to get to know your fellow group members and talk about the hike of the day. Today we will hike 14,036 foot Mount Sherman, roughly 5.5 miles RT. Mount Sherman, in the middle of the Mosquito Range, is a rounded peak that rises above the western edge of South Park in central Colorado. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate. Although ranked as a "beginner 14'er", 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. Colorado boasts 54 of these coveted mountains (80 percent of the 14ers in the contiguous United States), which offer variety in terms of aesthetics, level of difficulty and timeframe.
 Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the alpine ecosystem of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
 Afternoon: Each day there will be a turn around time that 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 will change each day and is dependent on weather and timing. 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: 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.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: St. Elmo Historic District and Alpine Tunnel Hike
(Tuesday, August 20)
   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast will be served in the hotel.
 Morning: Today we take a field trip to the Historic mining town of St. Elmo to learn about the local history and then hike the scenic Alpine Tunnel. Alternate day hike to Ptarmigan Lake. Day's choice of hikes will depend upon trail and road conditions at either location.
 Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the alpine ecosystem of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
 Afternoon: This afternoon on our way back to Salida, we will offer an optional stop for a soak in the beautiful Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. The heart of Mt. Princeton is the geothermal springs. The water is crystal clear and odorless. These springs feed five pristine pools, averaging 95 degrees in temperature. You may also choose to lounge in the natural creek side pools.
 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.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Hike our second 14'er of the week!
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: We will be hiking for approximately 8 hours per day with distances covered between 6-12 miles round trip. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in motel
 Morning: Each morning we will enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before we van to our trailhead. These van rides vary in distance and are a great chance to get to know your fellow group members and talk about the hike of the day. Today we will hike Mount Yale. Mount Yale rises to a height of 14,194 feet above Middle Cottonwood Creek. We will start out in the twilight hours in the morning so that the round trip attempt to the summit can be completed before the afternoon thundershowers hit. Although an established trail runs almost all the way to the summit, the steep and primitive nature of the final pitches and the scrambling required to gain the summit give this hike some of the flavor of a mountaineering trek. Total trail length is roughly 9 miles, with an approximate elevation gain of 4,300 feet. It is very important that you train for ascending and descending this many vertical feet. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate.
 Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the alpine ecosystem of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
 Afternoon: Each day there will be a turn around time that 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 will change each day and is dependent on weather and timing. 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 tonight is "On Your Own" to explore the local eateries and the historic downtown of Salida.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Morning hike then optional active rest adventure!
(Thursday, August 22)
   
 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
 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. NOTICE: Due to weather and other factors, this activity could be replaced with another popular local tour such as a Zip-Line Eco Adventure trip.
 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.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hike our third 14'er of the week!
(Friday, August 23)

Note: We will be hiking for approximately 8 hours per day with distances covered between 6-12 miles round trip. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in motel
 Morning: Each morning we will enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before we van to our trailhead. These van rides vary in distance and are a great chance to get to know your fellow group members and talk about the hike of the day. Today we will hike Mt. Shavano, 9.25 miles RT - 4500 ft. elev gain. Mt. Shavano is the 17th highest peak in Colorado and a near-neighbor to Tabeguache Peak. It lies just east of the Continental Divide and just west of the Arkansas River rising 7,200 feet above the town of Salida in Chaffee County to the southeast. Mount Shavano is famous for the Angel of Shavano, a snow formation in the image of an angel that emerges on the east face of the mountain during snow melt each spring. All 14'ers need to be treated with respect and should only be attempted by experienced hikers that have the proper conditioning. It is highly recommended that you arrive to this program early to acclimate.
 Lunch: We will offer supplies for you to pack your lunch each day to eat and enjoy along the trail in the alpine ecosystem of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
 Afternoon: Each day there will be a turn around time that 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 will change each day and is dependent on weather and timing. 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.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Departures after breakfast
(Saturday, August 24)
   
 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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