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Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2019 -- $1300 ★★★★

Everybody has heard of the incredible beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, but few have experienced the wonders of the magnificent mountains close-up. On this trip, you will hike along backcountry trails that will give you breathtaking vistas that car bound tourists just can't access.


The park is host to a wide variety of plants and animals including black bear, elk, coyote, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, marmot, white tailed ptarmigan, blue grouse, and beaver as well as Colorado Blue Spruce, Quaking Aspen, Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, and endless fields of redolent wildflowers.


Our trek begins at the Cub Lake Trailhead at about 8080'. You will want to be super hydrated to stave off the effects of altitude as this is about the lowest elevation of the trip. We'll head up past Cub Lake to Old Forest Inn. From there, we'll hike past Spruce Lake and Odessa Lake to a remote scenic stretch of trail near Sourdough. Then, we'll head to Bear Lake, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the park before going back into the wilderness. We'll spend a night at Andrew's Creek and visit Andrew's Tarn. The end of the trip will loop around back to Cub Lake via beautiful Bierstadt Lake where a previous group all went swimming (note: the water wasn't that warm).


Summer is prime time in Colorado, so why not join us?



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Summer is the ideal time to hike in the rockies. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s and 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures into the 90s and nights as low as the 30s. There are also ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorms (often with hailstorms) at high elevations that are to be avoided for safety (and comfort) reasons. Here are the historical weather averages Be prepared with sun protection and water containers that add up to 5 liters of capacity.



Trip Leaders

Julie Quibodeaux
Danielle Piscatelli

Cost

$1300 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Denver International Airport (DEN), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, park entrance fees (bring a park pass if you have one), 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the parks, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and awesome guides.



Difficulty

The trails through the Rockies often have good footing but elevation changes can be drastic. This implies more difficulty but also higher, unimpeded views. Furthermore, those arriving from lower elevations may have difficulty with the altitude. Our first day in Denver should help ... so will staying super hydrated, but it will still take a few days to fully acclimate. Distances will be kept below 10 miles per day.



Important Notes

There may be snow at higher elevations. Please be prepared for walking through an occasional snowfield.


Rocky Mountain National Park requires us to carry Bear Canisters which can be cumbersome, although they are effective at protecting food plus you can sit on them. The park also highly recommends using Restop2 wag bags to pack out solid waste at Glacier Gorge campsite.


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Itinerary


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) or drive into Denver. The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so.


Take free airport shuttle to local hotel (TBD)


Equipment shakedown


Trail mix distribution


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Go to Denver Flagship REI Store, 1416 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 756-3100 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase


Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (not included in trip cost)



Monday, July 8, 2019

Second set of "before" measurements taken


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.


Free breakfast at hotel


Fitpacking shuttle takes us to Beaver Meadows Ranger Station. You have about 20 minutes of unstructured time while guides do permitting paperwork.


If you have a National Park Pass, please bring it


Board National Park buses for the park. Deboard at Moraine Park


Transfer to Cub Lake / Fern Lake bus. Deboard at Cub Lake Trailhead.


Begin hiking at Cub Lake Trailhead, elevation 8080'


Hike 0.5 miles to Cub Lake Trail, elevation 8100'


Hike 2.0 miles to the Mill Creek Trail, elevation 8650'


Hike 0.7 miles to Old Forest Inn Turnoff (just before bridge), elevation 8400'


Hike 0.1 miles to Old Forest Inn Campsite, elevation 8400'


Camp at Old Forest Inn Campsite, elevation 8400'.


Miles today: 3.3. Total miles: 3.3


Possible bailout: Cub Lake Trailhead


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hike 1.8 uphill miles to Marguerite Falls, elevation 9430'


Hide packs and day-hike 2.8 miles to Spruce Lake, elevation 9800'


Pick up packs and hike 2.5 uphill miles with sweeping views to Sourdough, elevation 10600'


Camp at Sourdough, elevation 10600'.


Miles today: 7.1. Total miles: 10.4


Possible bailout: Cub Lake Trailhead


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hike 2.0 downhill miles to Flattop Mountain Trail, elevation 9950'


Hike 0.5 miles to Bear Lake Trailhead, elevation 9750'


Hike 0.5 miles to Bear Lake, elevation 9475'. Expect lots of tourists here.


Hike 1.0 miles to Emerald Lake Trail, elevation 9475'


Stash packs and Day-Hike 1.4 round trip miles to Emerald Lake, elevation 10110'


Hike 0.7 miles on the Bear Lake Trail to the Lake Haiyaha Trail, elevation 10150'


Stash packs and Day-Hike 0.7 round trip miles to Lake Haiyaha, elevation 10220'


Hike 1.2 miles to Loch Vale Trail, elevation 9800'


Hike 1.7 miles to Glacier Gorge Campsite, elevation 10000'


Camp at Glacier Gorge campsite, elevation 10000'


Note: This is an environmentally sensitive area and we are strongly encouraged to pack out our poop in a Restop2 wag bag


Miles today: 7.6. Total miles: 18.0


Possible bailout: Bear Lake


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hike 1.7 miles to Loch Vale Trail, elevation 9800'


Drop and hide packs in order to Day Hike


Day-Hike 1.6 miles to Andrews Creek Trail, elevation 10400'


Day-Hike 0.9 round-trip miles to Andrew's Tarn, elevation 11390'


Day-Hike 2.5 miles back to the Glacier Gorge Trail, elevation 9800'


Get packs and Hike 2.8 miles to Boulder Brook, elevation 10300'


Camp at Boulder Brook, Campsite, elevation 10300'


Miles today: 6.7. Total miles: 24.7


Possible bailout: Bear Lake Road


Friday, July 12, 2019

Hike 2.0 miles on the Boulder Brook Trail to the Glacier Creek Trail, elevation 8850'


Hike 0.4 miles to Bear Lake Rd, elevation 8800'.


Hike 1.6 miles to Bierstadt Lake Trail intersection, elevation 9450'.


Hike 0.5 round-trip miles to Bierstadt Lake, elevation 9419'.


Hike 1.1 miles to Mill Creek Basin, elevation 9000'.


Hike 2.0 miles to Cub Creek Campsite, elevation 8600'


Camp at Wind River Bluff, campsite, elevation 8600'


Miles today: 7.6. Total miles: 32.3


Possible bailout: Bear Lake Road


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hike 4.6 miles to Tuxedo Park, elevation 7930'


End of Hike


Miles today: 4.6. Total miles: 36.9


Possible bailout: Park Road


Board park shuttle for Beaver Meadows Ranger Station


Fitpacking shuttle takes us back to Denver hotel (TBD)


After measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Free Hotel Breakfast


Free airport shuttle


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