Trek Notes - USA

Rocky Mountains

An Inn-to-Inn, Hiking Adventure

Rocky Mountain National Park is the showpiece of Colorado.Within the park are aspen and wildflower-lined meadows, emerald-tinted lakes, hanging glaciers and extensive herds of elk, deer, and bighorn sheep.At lower elevations we will walk through stands of pine and juniper and encounter spruce and aspen alongside peaceful streams. We will also venture high above tree line and explore the fascinating tundra ecosystem.In addition to hiking, this trip includes a day rafting the Colorado River.  This one-of-a-kind tour is designed for the first-time hiker and each day's walk is 3-5 miles in length with elevation gains of 600 - 1000’.For one looking for more of a challenge, some of the routes can be extended to include more difficult terrain.


DAY 1  
Hiking Mesa Trail, Hotel Boulderado  

Our group assembles in the sitting room of the Hotel Boulderado at 12:30 p.m.This elegant Boulder landmark is our home for the evening and is as charming today as when it first opened on New Year's day in 1909.After a short orientation, we will hike one of Boulder's most scenic footpaths, the Mesa Trail.Our walk will take us along the foothills of the Rockies and the Flatirons, a spectacular jagged rock formation.Welcome to the Rocky Mountains!  
Dinner is enjoyed in one of Boulder's fine restaurants.Afterwards, close out the evening with a stroll down Pearl Street, Boulder's central walking mall with its many cafes, bookstores, and street performers.  
Mesa Trail [3.5 miles; limited elevation gain and loss]  

DAY 2  
Hike to Lake Isabelle, Baldpate Inn  

Following breakfast, we are off to the high country for a hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.Walking in a lush river valley, we pass a number of cascading waterfalls en route to Lake Isabelle.The view from the lake is incredible, and includes Isabelle Glacier and the craggy Indian Peaks: Apache, Pawnee, Paiute, and Shoshoni.We will enjoy a leisurely lunch and the high country's colourful flowers that line the lake's edge: showy daisy, alpine gentian, bistort and elephant head.  
After our hike, we drive along the Peak-To-Peak Highway, one of Colorado's designated Scenic Byways. Located in this high alpine setting is our secluded lodge for the next two nights, the Baldpate Inn.Following dinner adjourn to the porch or sit in front of the crackling fire and enjoy fresh-baked snacks.  
Lake Isabelle [5 miles; 600' of elevation gain, then loss]  
Moderately Easy Option[additional 1-2 miles]  

DAY 3  
Mills Lake or Flattop Mountain, Baldpate Inn  

The peaks of the Continental Divide surround us as we begin our hike in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park.We will hike to views of glistening glaciers, snowfields and crystal waterfalls.Ascending from the aspen forests, our trail enters the expansive Mills Lake cirque basin. Rocky Mountain National Park's highest peak at 14,255-feet, the Longs Peak massif towers above.  
For the more adventurous, try the more challenging option, the Flattop Mountain trail, and climb to the Continental Divide.From the Divide the views of the surrounding peaks and Andrews Glacier are magnificent.  
Tonight, we dine in one of the many fine restaurants in Estes Park, and after dinner, enjoy a stroll along Estes Park’s quaint streets.  
Mills Lake [5 miles; 600 feet of elevation gain, then loss]  
Option: Flattop Mountain Trail [8 miles; 2800 feet elevation gain, then loss]

DAY 4  
Trail Ridge Road & Tonahutu Creek, Gateway Inn or Grand Lake Lodge  

We will shuttle over Trail Ridge Road, America's highest continuous road at 12,100-feet and explore the fragile alpine tundra with its delicate forget-me-nots and microscopic plants.More than one-fourth of the plants located here are also found in the Arctic. 
Descending from this "rooftop of the world" we enter Grand Lake, a small lakeside summer resort surrounded by high peaks.We can opt for an afternoon horseback trail ride or a hike on the Tonahutu Creek trail.Otherwise, simply relax fireside or in the hot tub at the Gateway Inn, our home for the next two evenings.We will enjoy fine dining at Grand Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, situated high above a sparkling lake. 
Please note that for the trip beginning on June 24th, we will be staying at Grand Lake Lodge for two nights.  
Alpine Tundra Trail [1.5 miles at an altitude of 12,100 feet; limited elevation gain and loss]  
Option: Tonahutu Creek [5.3 miles; 700 feet of elevation gain, then 900 feet of elevation loss]  
Horseback Ride [additional cost]

DAY 5  
Rafting the Colorado River, Gateway Inn or Grand Lake Lodge  

We will trade our hiking boots for paddles as we raft the Colorado River.The Colorado winds through Lower Gore Canyon, a beautiful and remote region accessible only by boat.Highlights along the river include historic cabins and natural hot springs.For the thrill seekers in the group, opt to paddle your own “sit-on-top” kayak.If you prefer not to raft, join one of our guides for a hike, take a horseback ride, or simply relax in town.This evening we dine at the Rapids Lodge.  
Lower Gore Canyon Rafting [Class II-III rapids]  
Option: Hiking Trails [distances & elevation variable]  
Option: Horseback Ride [additional cost]  

DAY 6  
Hike Adams Falls & Inlet Creek, Boulder  

We will hike along the meandering Inlet Creek towards the snow-capped summits of the Continental Divide.We will pass a number of alpine meadows and waterfalls, including the cascading Adams Falls.Following lunch, we shuttle back to Boulder for the conclusion of our trip.  
Inlet Creek Trail [distances & elevation variable]  


Type of Trip:Inn-to-Inn  
Length of Trip:
6 days/5 nights
Trip Level:
Easy to Moderately Easy, with 1 day of Moderate options
Gateway City: Denver, Colorado  
Meeting Time & Place:
12:30 p.m. at Hotel Boulderado. The hotel is located one block north of Pearl Street.We recommend that you have lunch prior or our meeting, and arrive ready to hike.For your comfort, we recommend that you wear comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and wool socks coupled with a thin liner sock.
Trip Conclusion:
5:30 p.m. at Hotel Boulderado, Boulder. Airline departures from Denver should be scheduled no earlier than 8:30 p.m. and airport shuttles be scheduled no earlier than 6:30 p.m.  
Trip Fees Includes:
Full-day raft trip, T-shirt, water bottle, all meals (dinner Day 1‑lunch Day 6), all accommodations (double occupancy), support vehicle, maps, regional information packet, national park fees, and professional guides.
Trip Fees Exclude:
Free afternoon options: horseback or boat rides

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