Hike: Big Meadows (3 day)


For families and new hikers, Big Meadows is a great introduction to backpacking in an unforgettable landscape.

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For families and new hikers, Big Meadows is a great introduction to backpacking in an unforgettable landscape. The advantage of lower altitudes and gradual terrain compared to other backpacking areas in the park makes this the perfect trip for those who want big views and the opportunity to see majestic wildlife such as moose and elk. While we’re there, we’ll also have the opportunity to explore some of the streams, small lakes and meadows that are showcased in this wonderful backpacking area of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are interested in fly fishing, we can throw in a fly rod and tackle for you to try your hand at the world famous trout that call Big Meadows their home.

Additional information

Group Size

2, 3, 4

Trip Dates

Please call us for details.

Trip Details


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 by driving 3-4 hours to Grand Lake on the Western side of Rocky Mountain National Park over the highest Continuous Paved Road in America (Trail Ridge Road). We start from the Green Mountain trailhead (8,800-feet) with several moderate climbs before entering a series of meadows where elk and moose are frequently grazing. At just under 2-miles in, we reach our campsite for the first night. Elevation gain: 750’’. Distance: 1.8 miles

Day 2: From the campsite, we track northeast along the a wonderful mountain stream, along the way we will have the option to visit Granite Falls, a short hike from the main trail. 4 miles in, we arrive at the Campsite in one of the largest meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park and one of the best sites for deer, elk, and moose viewing. Elevation gain: 1250’’. Distance: 4.3 miles

Day 3 This day starts at our campsite and follows rivers less than 7 miles back down to the Trailhead on the south-eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. After which we will drive back to Estes Park, Boulder, or Denver, where we will celebrate our achievement. Elevation loss: -1250′. Distance: 6.6 miles.

Difficulty Description: 

Easy – On our easy trips, you will hike 2-4 miles a day with a 25-35 pound backpack remaining on maintained trails. Elevation gain/loss may be as much as but not more than 1500 feet. Altitudes range from 5,000 – 9,000’.

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)


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