Secluded Southern Traverse
Seasons: July, August & Sept
Departure:Boulder, Denver, Estes Park Co
Activity: Backpacking, fly fishing, peak ascents, hiking
We guarantee departure, but there are different prices for less than 4. $875 per person for 4 or more people, $1,095 per person for 3 people and $1,315 per person for 2 people. Contact CWRAG office for prices for solo travelers. Additional trip options: fly fishing ($100 per person) plus fishing license ($9 - $27 pp)
Location of Trip:
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Length of Trip:
3 Days and 2 nights
scheduled dates released in March. Call for custom dates or to book your trip now
Early morning departure on Day 1 and early evening return on Day 3
Additional trip options:
fly fishing ($100 per person) plus fishing license ($9 - $27 pp)
This trip traverses the Southern Section of Rocky Mountain National Park, Americas’ 10th National Park with challenging off-trail hiking. Along the way we’ll explore beautiful alpine lakes and vast fields of wildflowers. During this trip, we will get to experience the least visited area of Rocky Mountain National Park with many spectacular peaks, forests, and open basins to explore. We’ll also get the chance to see Colorado’s largest natural forming body of water, Grand Lake. This is the perfect trip for those wanting a true wilderness adventure, challenging terrain, and an amazing secluded backcountry vacation. Consider making this trip 4 days and add fly-fishing in remote mountain lakes and streams or climb an isolated backcountry 13,000’ peak.
Day 0 : Meet and go over gear, food, and itinerary. Plan on meeting for 1-1.5 hours the night before to make sure all gear is double-checked and your backpack is packed and ready to go for an early morning departure. Note: Some companies include this day as part of the total trip length, thus making it a four-day trip. However, we only include it as Day 0 to build rapport with your Colorado local guide and help with your acclimation.
Day 1 : This day starts on the southeastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail begins at 8500′ under Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pines and follows a beautiful stream up to a sub-alpine lake situated below the Continental Divide and the Mighty Mt. Alice. Elevation gain: 2110′. Distance: 7 miles and 6-7 hours.
Day 2 : This day will start with a 3.5 mile lung-burning ascent to the Continental Divide, and possibly ascending a 13,000 foot high secluded peak in Southern Rocky Mountain National Park. We generally start early to get to the Divide by 10 am and be descending before the afternoon thunderstorms roll in. The hiking begins on faint trails and then as we get closer to the Divide, we do some class 2 -3 scrambling to complete our ascent to the Continental Divide. Once arriving at our high point for the day, we will be rewarded with tremendous views to the East and West. The remainder of our day will be spent descending west for 3 miles over faint and unmarked trails past two secluded alpine lakes to our campsite. Elevation gain: 2700′. Hiking mileage and time: 6.7 miles and 8 hours.
Day 3 : This last day starts at the campsite and follow a good trail beside rivers over 6.9 miles back down to the Trailhead on the southwestern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. We normally take a refreshing dip in Colorado’s largest natural forming lake to celebrate our east – west traverse of Rocky Mountain National Park. Drive back to Estes Park, Boulder, or Denver (3 -5 hours, depending upon starting location). Elevation loss: -2310′. Distance: 6.9 miles and 5-6 hours.
Extremely Difficult – Extremely difficult trips involve hiking on very rugged trails or off-trail with backpacks of 35-45 pounds. These trips demand prolonged hiking with very strenuous, difficult sections. Terrain can be steep, loose, rocky and/or exposed (3rd class terrain). If you are considering an extremely difficult trip, you must be able to exercise vigorously for long periods (5-10 hours) and have previous experience exercising and sleeping at elevations of 10,000‘ – 14,000’. Trips take place at altitudes of up to 14,500’.
What to Bring: Sent with trip confirmation
Included: The services of a professional backpacking guide, Rocky Mountain National Park permit and back-country Colorado camping permits, transportation between Boulder and the wilderness trail heads, shuttle and extra shuttle staff for traverse, all food during the backpacking trip, a re-supply drop, if necessary, gear for water purification and cooking, bear canister, tent, medical kit, CB radio and contingency and emergency support.
Not included in our rates: Meals while in the front country (breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on the last day), laundry, alcoholic beverages, hotel overnight before your trip and at trip’s conclusion; personal equipment (sleeping bag, pad, backpack – these items are available to rent), and gratuities for your guide(s) – while this is at your discretion, the recommended amount is 20%. If you want to add fly-fishing, cost is $100 extra per person (rod, reel, and flies for the trip and backpacking – angling guide)
Special Notes: If you’re looking for the best backpacking in Colorado, we can make that happen through our custom guided backpacking trips, Colorado hiking trips, and uniquely tailored backpacking tours. For families and small groups, we have designed attractive Colorado backpacking and hiking vacations (camping near Denver). Let us show you the hidden spots of Rocky Mountain National Park in our Rocky Mountain backpacking tours. We offer backpacking for beginners to those wanting complex experiences on and off backpacking trails.
If you enjoy hiking trails around your home, take it to the next level and join us for Colorado hiking. Hiking in Colorado is truly an unforgettable experience. Use our single day Boulder hiking tours and Denver hiking trips to acclimate to Colorado’s thin air prior to beginning the backpacking Colorado tours and hiking trips. As a technical climbing, mountaineering, skiing and education concessionaire in Rocky Mountain National Park, we know the park like the back of our hand. Our permits with 14 other land managers, allow us to fashion acclimatization hikes to fit your needs and schedule. Come visit our Boulder hub, located only 45 minutes from Denver International Airport or let us meet you at your hotel.