9891
Colorado
To the Top! Hiking Colorado’s 14ers
Participate in daily hikes through the Rocky Mountains on this adventure of discovery and learning, as you join outdoor experts on hikes that build in difficulty throughout the week.
Rating (5)
Program No. 9891RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,299
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Orientation/Safety Lecture/Introduction
Salida, CO
D
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: Orientation followed by Dinner 5:00 pm

Dinner: Dinner will either be catered in the hotel meeting room or at a local restaurant.

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

DAY
2
Colorado Trail, Segment to Brown's Creek Falls
Salida, CO
B,L,D
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: 5-6 miles round trip, 500 ft. elevation gains and losses

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: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
3
Day Hike to an Alpine Lake above treeline
Salida, CO
B,L,D
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: 7 miles round trip; 1,500 ft. elevation gains and losses

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: Packed lunch on trail.

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

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
Alpine Tunnel Trail, Ghost town, and wildflowers
Salida, CO
B,L,D
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: 6 miles round trip; 500 ft. elevation gains and losses

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: Packed lunch on trail.

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: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
5
Monarch Crest Hike and Rafting the Arkansas River
Salida, CO
B,L
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: 4 miles round trip; 200 ft. elevation gains and losses

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

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Climb to 14,036 feet Mt. Sherman
Salida, CO
B,L,D
Baymont Inn & Suites Salida

Activity note: Day long hike climb of Mt. Sherman: 14,036 feet; 6.5 mi. round trip; 2,150' elevation gain, loss,

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: Packed lunch on trail.

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: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Evening free for packing and reflections of an exciting week in the Colorado Rockies.

DAY
7
Departures after breakfast
Salida, CO
B

Activity note: Room check-out by 10:00 am.

Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the hotel. End of program, safe travels! Room check-out by 10:00 am.

Morning: Independent departures after breakfast






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