Trip Number: 12209A
Adult Price: $1,695
Child Price: $995
Adult Deposit: $200
Child Deposit: $100
Staff: Rob White
Minimum Age: 8
- Hike through spectacular alpine scenery along the Continental Divide
- Traverse Andrews Glacier and climb 14,256-foot Longs Peak
- Stay in beautiful lodge accommodations with exceptional recreational facilities located adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park
- Group meeting facilities & private room with bath/shower
- On-trip transportation, including Denver airport transfers
- All meals
Photo: Rob White
Rambling through Rocky Mountain National Park will allow us to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world. The leader and co-leader are former Rocky Mountain National Park rangers and have hiked nearly every corner of the park. They promise to take you to some of the most awe-inspiring areas in one of America's most spectacular national parks.
We'll stay in very comfortable accommodations located adjacent to the park.
The lodge will provide meals, evening nature programs, children's programs,
horseback riding (not included in trip price), fishing, Internet service, and
exceptional recreational facilities such as swimming, volleyball and miniature
From our lodge, we will take day trips into Rocky Mountain National Park. Some
hikes will be suitable for all members of the family, others will be more strenuous.
On the tougher days, a family member may choose to stay behind to rest, go horseback
riding, or take advantage of the lodge's children's programs. Regardless, every
day will end with plenty of time to enjoy a nice buffet dinner at the lodge.
The evenings are free for each family to spend time together or with the group
while enjoying the lodge's many recreational facilities.
Photo: Rob White
The trip starts with lunch at our lodge, which is within a stone's-throw of Rocky Mountain National Park. Following lunch and a brief orientation, you'll have the chance to explore the resort's grounds or just relax. Before dinner we will gather to review logistics and answer last-minute questions.
Hikes are planned so that a tough day out on the trail is followed by an easier day. Participants should understand that mountain weather is often unpredictable, which makes each day's route somewhat weather-dependent. When the weather is stormy we will hike in the lower elevations and enjoy the lakes, streams, and waterfalls. When the forecast calls for blue skies, we will try to head for the high-country peaks and glaciers.
Possible destinations include:
Andrews Glacier/Flattop Mountain: From Bear Lake, we will head up Flattop Mountain to the Continental Divide, following it south to Andrews Glacier. We will then descend the glacier and work our way down Glacier Gorge to Alberta Falls and back to Bear Lake.
Ouzel Falls: From Wild Basin we will enjoy a leisurely hike past several smaller waterfalls to Ouzel Falls, a spectacular cascade where one can also find water ouzels.
Lake Haiyaha: From Bear Lake we will hike to Nymph Lake, Dream
Lake, and then on to Emerald Lake. We will then travel to Lake Haiyaha for lunch.
We will descend to Mills Lake before we make our way past Albert Falls and then
back to the trailhead.
Longs Peak/Diamond or Chasm Lake: Weather and stamina permitting,
the group will have the opportunity to climb Long's Peak. At 14,256 feet in
elevation, Long's is the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the
15th highest in Colorado. While not technically difficult, there are areas of
exposure, and the 16-mile round-trip makes for a long and tiring -- but highly
rewarding -- day. An alternative is to hike to Chasm Lake at the peak's base
for a magnificent view of "the Diamond," the 1,000-foot vertical east
face of Longs Peak; or to Fern and Odessa Lakes, which afford phenomenal views
of the Little Matterhorn; or to Cub Lake for a chance to see some of Rocky's
most spectacular wildlife.
Photo: Rob White
Lake of Glass/Sky Pond: From Bear Lake, we will hike past beautiful Alberta Falls and the Loch on our way to Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. Sky Pond sits below the vertical east face of Taylor Peak and just above a waterfall, which we will climb in order to reach the lake. Lake of Glass is a spectacular tarn surrounded by granite peaks that form a dramatic semicircular wall around the lake.
Lulu City: We'll drive over Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world, to the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, while stopping at a number of spectacular overlooks. From here we will hike along the headwaters of the Colorado River to an old abandoned mining camp, taking some time to dip our toes into the Colorado before venturing into the mountain community of Grand Lake for some ice cream!
All participants are invited to gather after dinner on the last night of the trip to celebrate with a trip into the town of Estes Park for a special dessert and souvenir shopping. The next morning, we will head back to the Denver International Airport at 8 a.m.
Photo: Rob White
The closest major airport to Estes Park, Colorado is Denver International Airport,
approximately 75 miles from our lodge. From the airport, you can rent a car,
take a shuttle, or meet the trip leader at Dollar Rent-a-Car near the airport
at 10:00 a.m. on day one for transportation to the lodge by van. The trip to
Estes Park is spectacular, so you will want to make the trip during the daylight
Accommodations and Food
The trip price includes private room lodge accommodations. Each room has a
private bath, two queen beds, a futon, and telephone. The lodge will provide
all towels and bedding. Wireless internet service is available in the lobby
of the lodge and in other public areas. The lodge also offers a variety of recreational
activities to enjoy on your free time, including a crafts shop, horseback riding,
hiking trails, fishing, archery, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, miniature
golf, disc golf, a skate park, and a library.
All food is served cafeteria style. The group will eat all breakfasts and dinners
in the cafeteria, and all lunches will be prepared for us by the lodge staff
and eaten on the trail. Vegetarian options are available.
Photo: Rob White
The difficulty of the day hikes ranges from moderate to strenuous. We will hike both on- and off-trail, although the vast majority of the trip will cover very well established and maintained trails. We will be hiking between 7,000 and 14,256 feet. Although most of our hikes will be below the tree line of 11,000 feet, we will spend a portion of our hiking time above tree line on the tundra. Each of our hikes (except Longs Peak) should last no longer than eight hours; there will be plenty of time to rest each night at the lodge.
Trip participants should have experience hiking with a backpack or day pack over long distances. High altitude experience is not necessary, but you must be comfortable hiking at a high altitude on steep trails. In order to fully enjoy the trip, participants will need to participate in a regular aerobic exercise program prior to the trip.
Equipment and Clothing
Trip members are expected to furnish their own backpack (day pack) and personal gear, including rain gear, lightweight insulating layers, and adequate hiking boots or hiking shoes. Please make sure all gear has been field tested, especially hiking boots! The leader will send a more detailed equipment list to registered participants within a month of the trip.
Rocky Mountain National Park trail maps can be obtained from the Rocky Mountain Nature Association at http://www.rmna.org/rmna.cfm, or via telephone at (800) 816-7662, or by writing RMNA, c/o Rocky Mountain National Park, Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517.
- Dannen, Kent and Donna, Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Trails.
Available from the Rocky Mountain Nature Association.
- For general information, contact Rocky Mountain National Park at http://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm.
Photo: Rob White
Our discussions will center on the following wilderness themes:
- The importance of clean air and water.
- Global Warming: Are RMNP glaciers melting away?
- National Parks: Why are they so important for our future?
- Park Budgets: Are national parks falling behind?
- Wildlife & Exposure: Know when to play it safe!
- Local topics of special interest.
Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and will operate under a permit from Rocky Mountain National Park.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Rob White has been a member of the Sierra Club since high school and has been interested in preserving and protecting the outdoors for as long as he can remember. After obtaining a master's degree in park and recreation administration, he accepted a position at Rocky Mountain National Park as a ranger/naturalist. He now works with the Colorado State Park system as a park manager. Rob continues to hike extensively in Rocky Mountain National Park.
John Cole worked for a number of years as a ranger/naturalist at Rocky Mountain National Park while on his summer break from his grade school teaching position in Kansas. John continues to cherish the time he spends in Rocky Mountain National Park each summer and loves to share his knowledge of the park's history and wildlife!
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips