United States

Rocky Mountain Backpacking

Spend six days backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, known for its towering peaks, stunning waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and alpine lakes. Explore the park’s hidden gems with a naturalist guide and finish with a night at the historic Stanley Hotel.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Denver and meet the team

Your adventure begins today! You’ll meet your group and backpacking guides in Denver, and get to know each other over lunch at a local restaurant.

Then, set off for our campsite just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll set up camp, make a delicious dinner, and organize our packs together for the next day’s adventure.

MEALS: Lunch & dinner

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Get an early start in Rocky Mountain National Park to begin the backpacking portion of our trip. We’ll make the 6mi journey to Thunder Lake with a steep incline to get warmed up!

Upon arrival, we’ll set up our base camp for the next few days. We’ll cook a delicious camp dinner tonight and tell ghost stories around the fire!

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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After a relaxing morning, we’ll slackpack to Lion Lake or Lake of the Winds. We leave our tents and heavy gear at camp so we’re able to hike quickly and have plenty of time to enjoy our day splashing around in an incredible alpine lake.

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Today, we’ll strap on our packs and head to Finch Lake. Along the way, you’ll learn about the park’s ecological history from your naturalist guide. Once we get to our destination, it's time for a refreshing dip!

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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On this morning, we pack up camp and hike out of the backcountry. Head to the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining.

We’ll have a chance to freshen up before enjoying a farewell dinner with your new friends and backpacking guides.

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Enjoy breakfast at a local cafe in Estes Park before departing for the airport and bidding farewell to a new group of friends.

MEALS: Breakfast

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What's Included

Included
  • Medically-trained, naturalist guides.
  • Round-trip transportation from Denver.
  • 5 x nights accommodation.
  • Tent, sleeping pad & group camping equipment.
  • All meals as set out in the itinerary.
  • Park entry fees.
Not Included
  • Gratuity for your guide.
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent for US$50).
  • Personal camping gear (see pack list in FAQs).
  • Travel insurance.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

FAQs

Before you go

Expect to spend up to 6hrs per day walking or hiking (up to 10 mi and 2,500ft elevation change) while carrying a loaded pack. Several days will include slackpacking with just a daypack full of water and snacks! This trip is suitable for most fit people with a bit of hiking experience.

REQUIRED GEAR - Backpacking pack (60L recommended) - Day pack (15-30L recommended) - Luggage (can be left in the vehicle, 1 small suitcase per person) - Sleeping bag (also available to rent), rated to 15 degrees - Pack cover - Headlamp - Reusable water bottles RECOMMENDED GEAR & PERSONAL ITEMS - Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional, recommended if renting) - Travel pillow - Sunscreen - Earplugs - Insect repellent - Toiletries (please choose biodegradable and scent-free items) - Small, personal first aid kit (including blister treatment) - Small, quick dry towel REQUIRED CLOTHING - Warm jacket (down, puffy, fleece) - Rain jacket or shell - Breathable wicking base layers - Lightweight hiking pants - Warm clothes to sleep in - Warm hat - Sun hat with a brim - Wool socks (1 pair per day of trip) - Hiking boots - Sunglasses RECOMMENDED CLOTHING - Rain pants - Buff or neck scarf - Comfortable clothes for camp - Sandals or camp shoes

On your trip

It depends on the day. The longest day will be about six miles with some steep incline.

You will have you carry your kit most days, however there will be one day where you will "slack pack", meaning we'll leave most gear at our campsite.

We spend: - 1 x night frontcountry camping in Estes Park - 3 x nights backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park - 1 x night in a hotel in Estes Park N.B. Pricing is based on double occupancy accommodations.

Yes, but we will be filtering water in the backcountry.

Start: Fly into the Denver Airport. You’ll want to pick a flight that arrives before 12:00 PM MST on the first day. Alternatively, we can collect you from your accommodation in Denver at around 11:15 AM if you’ve arrived early. End: At the end of your trip, your backpacking guide will drop you back at the Denver airport at 12:00 PM for your flight home (or back at your accommodation if you’re staying to explore).

There may be some steeper sections of the trail, but please reach out if you have any concerns and we'll be sure to set expectations and work with you to find a solution!

We'll be eating campfire meals (pending fire restrictions in Rocky Mountain National Park) like chili, mac and cheese, and/or breakfast burritos. Lunch might be something like sandwiches and other easy to-go options. Please indicate any dietary restrictions so we can be sure to accommodate.

We may be able to accommodate some small extra luggage. Please reach out to inquire about this.

Other FAQs

Most of our travelers are in their 30s – 50s. We get families, couples, and friends, but most of our travelers come solo!

The Rocky Mountains have very extreme weather – August can be warm and sunny in the day, but cold in the evenings with highs in the 70s and lows in the high 40s. Expect brief afternoon thunderstorms almost every day.

Yes, it is available for an additional US$500 per person. If you'd like to upgrade to the single supplement, let your guide know by messaging them from your Skyhook dashboard. You can settle this directly in country.

All of the open guided trips are 18+. If you’re traveling with kids, reach out to get a quote for a private trip.

Yes. Please reach out if you'll be staying in the area longer than the designated trip.

Yes! We can accommodate pretty much any dietary restrictions. Please indicate your dietary requirements on the trip form that you fill out on your Skyhook dashboard.

Your head guide is Megan

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Good Trip Adventures, based in Belgrade.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Megan