17551
Colorado
Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park for Women
Join instructors and a small group of women to hike the varied landscapes of Rocky Mountain National Park, discovering alpine tundra, boulder fields, pristine mountain lakes and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 17551RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Estes Park, CO
D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Motel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. All of our hikes will be in Rocky Mountain National Park. Routes selected will depend upon group interest and fitness level, and will allow ample time for adjusting to altitude and difficulty as week progresses. On some days, after hiking the minimum distance together, the group will split into smaller subgroups with each led by a Group Leader offering a choice of hiking distance. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: After walking to a local restaurant, we’ll order plated meals from the menu with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Hike to Cub Lake in Moraine Park, Hike in Bear Lake
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off van; driving approximately 30 miles roundtrip; about 1/2 hour each way. Hiking approximately 5 miles roundtrip; about 5 hours hiking with lunch stop; well maintained but rocky trail with steep inclines and descents. Trailhead elevation is about 8,250 feet; elevation gain/loss of approximately 540 feet; maximum elevation of roughly 8,800 feet.

Breakfast: At a local restaurant, we’ll order plated meals from the menu, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: We depart by van from the motel each morning. The trail to Cub Lake begins at the west end of Moraine Park and has a reputation for being a good trail for viewing wildlife, including elk, ducks, and songbirds. Cub Lake is covered with pond lilies in the summer and affords a nice view to Stones Peak. This is a great first day-warm up hike in Rocky Mountain National Park!

Lunch: At a pleasant stopping point along the trail, we’ll have boxed lunches featuring a pre-selected sandwich, chips, fruit, and dessert.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our morning hike and return to the trailhead in the mid-afternoon. En route to Estes Park, we’ll then stop at the Visitor's Center for a rest stop and an opportunity to independently explore the exhibits. Will we return to the hotel before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll order plated meals from the menu with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
All Day Hike to Fern Lake
Estes Park, CO
B,L
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Driving distance for day 30 miles roundtrip; about 1/2 hour each way. Hiking approximately 7.5 miles roundtrip; about 6 hours; well maintained but rocky trail with steep inclines and descents. Trailhead elevation is about 8,165 feet; elevation gain/loss of approximately 1,400 feet; maximum elevation of roughly 9,565 feet.

Breakfast: Restaurant plated meal.

Morning: Upon arrival at the trailhead, we’ll hop out of the vans and follow the Fern Lake Trail along Big Thompson River to The Pool, the site of the now absent Forest Inn, which was founded in 1917. As we walk the trail, we’ll come across some picturesque views of Big Thompson Valley through the trees. A mix of various pine species as well as aspen, willows, and cottonwoods line the path. Arriving at the lake, there are great vistas of Notchtop Mountain (12,129 feet), Little Matterhorn (11,586 feet), Knobtop Mountain (12,331 feet), and The Gable (11,018 feet).

Lunch: At a pleasant stopping point along the trail, we’ll have boxed lunches featuring a pre-selected sandwich, chips, fruit, dessert.

Afternoon: Once we complete our hike, we will return to our motel for a short debrief and time to freshen up before heading to Estes Park. We will drive downtown by van as a group. Those who wish to can use the free town shuttle trolley that circulates every 20 minutes.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in downtown Estes Park. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. We’ll return to the motel independently using free town shuttle trolley.

DAY
4
Over the Top: Trail Ridge Road, Ute Trail
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Driving approximately 90 miles roundtrip; about 1 hour in morning, 1.5 hours in afternoon. Hiking approximately 3 miles on Ute Trail; about 1.5 hours; well maintained but rocky trail, easy to moderate inclines. Trailhead elevation is about 11,350 feet; elevation gain of approximately 800 feet; maximum elevation of roughly 12,150 feet. Afternoon hiking of approximately 1 mile total over several short interpretive hikes to viewpoints along highway.

Breakfast: Restaurant plated meal.

Morning: Today we will travel on Trail Ridge Road – the highest continuous highway in the United States – starting in the Montane ecosystem below 9,000 feet, through the subalpine between 9,000 and 11,400 feet, and up to the alpine ecosystem above 11,400 ft. Upon arrival at the Ute Trail starting point, we’ll get out and hike this out-and-back route for several hours, during which we’ll experience the beauty of the alpine tundra and spectacular views. It is important to stay on the trail because plants are very fragile in this harsh environment. After completing our hike, we’ll get back in the van and drive to the Alpine Visitor Center where we’ll enjoy the views and eat lunch outside.

Lunch: At the Visitor Center, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll drive to cross the Continental Divide into the Kawuneeche Valley where we’ll stop for a walk to hopefully see herds of elk along the road, and perhaps even moose. On our way back to Estes Park, we’ll stop to take a short hike at high altitude on the Tundra Communities Trail. We’ll then return to the motel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll order plated meals from the menu with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Hike to the Top of Flattop Mountain
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Driving approximately 30 miles roundtrip; about 1/2 hour each way. Hiking approximately 8.5 miles roundtrip; about 7 hours; well maintained but rocky trail with steep inclines and descents; Bear Lake Trailhead elevation is approximately 9,745 feet; maximum elevation gain/loss of about 2,877 feet; maximum elevation of roughly 12,324 feet. Very early morning start for maximum climbing time and to get ahead of potential afternoon thunderstorms.

Breakfast: Restaurant plated meal.

Morning: Traveling by van, we’ll make our way to Bear Lake where the Flattop Mountain Trail heads northwest. Climbing upward soon after the start, we’ll make our way along the forested trail as it brings us up approximately 2,800 feet in 4 miles. Though it uses switchbacks to gain elevation with less strain, the path will clear periodically for overlooks and striking views of Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, Glacier Gorge, and Longs Peak. After passing the treeline, keep an eye out for other summits like Hallett Peak to the southwest as we climb the rest of the way to the top.

Lunch: Along the trail, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Continuing our morning hike, the last leg to the summit will be weather permitting. Upon completion and getting back to our vehicles, we’ll return to the motel in late afternoon.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Estes Park, we’ll enjoy a tasty plated farewell dinner plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll settle in for our final debriefing and wrap-up session. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Estes Park, CO
B

Activity note: Motel check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Restaurant plated meal. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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