17417
Gunnison
Riding Into the Wilderness: Horseback Journey in the Rocky Mountains
From your basecamp in the West Elk Wilderness Preserve, explore the Rockies through horseback riding and wildlife walks while living a “cowboy/cowgirl” lifestyle with your grandchild.
Program No. 17417RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,249
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Meet the wranglers.
Gunnison, Colorado
D
Western State Colorado University

Activity note: Get acquainted and settled into your room on campus. Meet with your outfitters.

Afternoon: Check into campus residence halls.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the campus dining hall and get to know our fellow participants.

Evening: Meet the ranglers! Learn about the horses, horsepacking and life at base camp.

DAY
2
Goat Ranch and Cowboy Lifestyle
Gunnison, Colorado
B,L,D
Western State Colorado University

Activity note: Participants should be prepared to walk 1/2 mile and do some light physical activity.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the campus dining hall.

Morning: Visit local attractions which help to understand the ranching in this area. This day will also help with acclimatization to 7,700 feet elevation.

Lunch: Lunch in campus dining hall.

Afternoon: Learn about the area from local experts. Travel to nearby locations to see some of what Gunnison Country has to offer.

Dinner: Dinner at campus dining hall.

Evening: Enjoy an outdoor campfire and BBQ dinner while to listen to traditional cowboy songs and poetry.

DAY
3
Travel by van 20 miles to the trailhead. Enjoy lunch then climb onto your horse. Ride 2.5 hours into the West Elk Wilderness through beautiful forests surrounded by majestic peaks. Arrive at base camp, in the heart of the wilderness.
West Elk Wilderness
B,L,D
West Elk Base camp

Activity note: Be ready to pack up and head into the wilderness on horseback. Participants will ride by horseback for 2.5 hours, up to an elevation of 11,000 feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast in the campus dining hall.

Morning: Pack up your gear and load up the van. Travel 20 miles north to the trailhead. Prepare the horses for the trail ride to base camp.

Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch at the trailhead.

Afternoon: Ride horseback to base camp, approximately 2.5 hour ride. Ride through beautiful meadows and forests, surrounded by spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery. Base camp is equipped with 12x20 wall tents accommodating up to five guests each. Furnishings include wall to wall carpeting, spring beds with mattresses and pillow ( you will need to bring a warm sleep bag rated to 20 degrees), a latrine facility, tack tent, guide quarters, and a shower tent with hot water are also at base camp. Meals will be eaten in the dining tent.

Dinner: Relax with a campfire dinner prepared by the outfitter guides.

DAY
4
Be a cowboy/cowgirl for the day.
West Elk Wilderness
B,L,D
West Elk Base camp

Activity note: Experience the great outdoors in the wilderness. Camp is at 11,000 feet. Activities require moderate exertion.

Breakfast: Breakfast at camp.

Morning: Participants explore on a horse ride into the area for one day and the next day the outdoor activities. Camp chores include caring for the horses and tack. Learn how to Leave No Trace in the wilderness area.

Lunch: Lunch at camp

Afternoon: Continue with morning's activities.

Dinner: Dinner

DAY
5
If this is your day for riding, expect to groom your horse, help saddle up and spend 2 - 3 hours riding in the wilderness. Expect to learn about the area from your wranglers.
West Elk Wilderness
B,L,D
West Elk Base camp

Activity note: Lots of fun activities at camp. Activities range from easy to moderate and are tailored to the participant's abilities. Elevation 11,000 feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast in camp.

Morning: Participants will choose a horse ride into the area for one day and the next day the outdoor activities.

Lunch: Lunch at camp

Afternoon: A trip to a working ranch operated by local cowboys is part of the schedule during these two days. Participants will see first hand living quarters of a trail ranch cowboy.

Dinner: Dinner at camp.

DAY
6
Celebrate your family and the course. Pack and clean up camp. Lunch and ride horses 2.5 hours back to the trail head. Unload the horses and travel in vans back to campus.
Gunnison, Colorado
B,L

Activity note: Enjoy your final morning at camp, camp clean up and family celebration. Ride horseback 2.5 hours down the trail to the vans. Travel back to your room on campus. You may clean up before packing if your wish. Check out and turn in keys by 3 pm before heading home.

Breakfast: Breakfast at camp.

Morning: The morning will be spent doing activities from Project Wild. As a closing activity, everyone will join in celebrating the experience. We will pack and clean up the camp.

Lunch: Lunch at camp

Afternoon: Leave after lunch for the trail ride back to the trailhead, weather permitting. Ride your horse 2.5 hours back to trail head taking in the last of the mountain scenery. Unload the horses and gear. Get in the vans to travel back to Gunnison and Western State College. Complete course evaluations with a planned ending time of 5:00 pm. There will be no dinner provided.