4821
Colorado
Birding and Hiking in the Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are home to myriad species of rare and unique birds. Come see for yourself as you hike with experts to search for Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse and majestic Bald Eagles.
Rating (4.75)
Program No. 4821RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,249
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Safety Orientation/Introductions
Estes Park, CO
D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Three days of hikes this week will be in Rocky Mountain National Park. One day will travel to Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. Program will have walks daily with two days spent hiking up to five miles round trip to access birding locations. Minor modifications to the schedule or the order of activities may be made due to weather or other circumstances.

Dinner: Restaurant meal with several entree choices

Evening: Introductions, planning for the week

DAY
2
Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Fern and Cub Lakes
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Trailhead elevation is 8,250 feet. Today's hike is 4 miles round trip with a maximum elevation gain/loss of 540 feet. Highest elevation gained is 8,800 feet.

Breakfast: Restaurant meal with menu choices

Morning: The trail to Fern and Cub Lakes 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. This is a great first day-warm up hike in Rocky Mountain National Park!

Lunch: Picnic box lunch

Afternoon: Continue hikes in the Moraine Park area, stop at visitor's center

Dinner: Tonight we dine at a restaurant in Estes Park

Evening: Free for reflection, relaxation

DAY
3
Over the top-Trail Ridge Road, Lake Irene, Colorado River
Estes Park, CO
B,L
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Activity Notes We will travel by van over the highest Federal Highway in the U.S.: Trail Ridge Road. several short interpretive hikes including alpine tundra lifezone along highway, highest elevation, 12,150 feet. Afternoon birding along the headwaters of the Colorado River..

Breakfast: Restaurant meal with menu choices

Morning: Today you will travel by van stopping to bird and observe wildlife on Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the U.S. We will start in the Montane ecosystem, below 9,000 ft, travel to the Subalpine, 9,000-11,400 ft, and end up in the Alpine ecosystem above 11,400 ft. We’ll take short hikes to experience the beauty of the alpine tundra and beautiful views. It’s important to stay on the trail because plants are very fragile in this harsh environment.

Lunch: Picnic box lunch at Lake Irene

Afternoon: We continue our drive along Trail Ridge Road. Hopefully, we’ll see herds of elk along the road. We will look for moose and more elk in the Kawuneeche Valley where we will stop to bird and hike along the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Dinner: Dinner on own to allow participants to enjoy downtown Estes Park and local restaurants on own

Evening: Free for reflection, relaxation

DAY
4
Day long Field Trip to Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Travel by van to North Park by way of Trail Ridge Road, short walks.

Breakfast: Restaurant meal with menu choices

Morning: We retrace our drive over Trail Ridge Road but continue to North Park, an amazing grassland surrounded by high snowy mountain peaks. The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for waterfowl and high mountain song birds. Over 200 birds have been recorded in the refuge with 82 species breeding. Two are on the Federal Threatened Species list. Birding opportunities will exist at all stops with walks up to one mile on level terrain, trails or boardwalks.

Lunch: Picnic box lunch

Afternoon: On our way back we’ll stop and bird at Lake John and Delaney Buttes State Wildlife area. Once again we will look for wildlife and birds on our drive back to Estes Park.

Dinner: Tonight we dine at a restaurant with menu choices.

Evening: Free for reflection, relaxation

DAY
5
Wild Basin
Estes Park, CO
B,L,D
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Activity note: Trailhead elevation is 8,006 feet. Today's hike is roundtrip 5.4 miles with a maximum elevation gain/loss of 1,500 feet. Highest elevation gained is 10,000 feet.

Breakfast: Restaurant meal with menu choices

Morning: Our birding hike today will start in Wild Basin, a trailhead in the national park. The elevation at the trailhead is 8,566 feet. This will be a day to enjoy beautiful waterfalls. We will first come to Copeland Falls (.3miles), then climb 1.8 miles to Calypso Cascades. Calypso Cascades was named after the calypso orchid, also known as fairy slipper. On the trail you will see remains of a 1978 forest fire. This opened up the area to get a great view of Mt Meeker (right) and Long’s Peak (left) At 2.7 miles Ouzel Falls is on the left. It is named after a grey bird that is about the size of a robin that dips its head in the stream and dives for insects. It’s also called a dipper. The elevation of Ouzel Falls is 9,516.

Lunch: Picnic box lunch on trail

Afternoon: Continue morning hike, return to motel in late afternoon.

Dinner: Closing dinner at a restaurant with menu choices.

Evening: We gather to wrap up our week and tally our birds.

DAY
6
Departures after breakfast, motel check-out 10 am.
Estes Park, CO
B

Breakfast: Restaurant meal with menu choices

Morning: Independent departures after breakfast, end of program. Room check-out is 10:00 am.






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