Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colorado
Guided Hikes & Nature Walks
Rocky Mountain National Park has 359 miles of hiking trails! Covering 416 square miles, the park contains some of the most spectacular mountains and tundra in North America. Over 300 different species of birds have been identified. Elk, Moose and Coyotes can be seen openly roaming the meadows, while Bears, Mountain Lions and Bobcats are some of the more elusive predators we find in the forested areas. Little critters like Marmots, Chipmunks and Ground Squirrels are abundant. During the summer, the colorful wildflowers and tundra plants are stunning. Longs Peak, the highest mountain in the park, rises up to 14,255 feet. Trail Ridge Road crosses over the tundra and the continental divide and summits at 12,100 feet! Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park will be an experience you will not forget!
Kaiyote Tours is authorized by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Please scroll down below to the private hiking section for descriptions of our weekly group hikes and for printable wildlife checklist.
We offer three categories of private hikes: 1) Full day moderate and difficult mountain treks and summit hikes. 2) Full day moderate and difficult hikes to lakes and glaciers. 3) Half day easy to moderate hikes and nature walks. There are no age or group size restrictions for private hikes.
On deciding what type of hike to choose, it is important to determine: 1) What is the physical ability of your group? 2) How many miles do you want to hike in the mountains in a day? 3) What is the highest elevation that the members in your group can safely handle?
We will also need to know: 1) Is anyone in your group under the age of 17 and if so, what their ages are. 2) Will you have your own transportation to and from the trailhead?
Below is a short list of suggestions to give you some ideas. We have many more suggestions if you need.
Click here for a printable and more extensive list of east side hiking descriptions.
Private full day moderate and difficult mountain treks and summit hikes:
- Flattop Mountain - It is 4.4 miles each way and summits at 12,300 feet. The trail is wide, not extremely steep and there is no exposure to falls. The tundra walk on top is wonderful and has incredible views! There is a lot of exploring to be done on top of Flattop. Once on top we can view Tyndall Glacier from above and a 1/2 a mile further walk, we can view the Ptarmigan Glacier as well. From the top of Flattop, you can see Estes Park, as well as the Grand Lake area. Also from the top of Flattop, we can hike a .5 mile further to the top of Hallet's Peak (12,700 feet). We usually start hiking at 7:00am at the latest. The trail starts at Bear Lake at 9,475 feet.
- The Key Hole - This is along the Long's Peak trail. It is 6.25 miles each and up to 13,200 feet. Incredible views and hiking right below the Long's Peak summit, which is the highest peak in the area at 14,200 feet. We can also hike over to Chasm overlook to view the lake below. Because of parking and lightning issues, we like to start this hike very early, usually by 5:00am. Trailhead starts at 9,400 feet.
- Mummy Range Hikes – There are three summit trips that start at Chapin pass on Old Fall River Road. The trail starts at 10,640 feet and goes to Chapin Peak (12, 454 feet), Chiquita Mountain (13,069) and Mount Ypsilon (13, 514). Mileage: 1.5 – 4.0 miles each way.
- Mount Ida (12, 880 feet) – Starting at Milner Pass (10,700 feet) and 4.5 miles each way, this is a great tundra walk with incredible views, wildflowers and a good chance to see Bighorn Sheep.
- Over the continental divide hikes: There are three main trail routes that travel over the top between Bear Lake or Wild Basin to Grand Lake and vice versa. The hikes are easier if done from east (Bear Lake) to west. For more details, please click on the east side printable list link above or below.
Private full day moderate and difficult hikes to lakes and glaciers:
- Chasm Lake - Sitting at the base of the diamond face of Long's Peak, this is a great hike with lots of exploring to do at the lake. 4.2 miles each way and the high point of the day is about 11,700 feet. Because of parking and lighting issues, we like to start this hike very early, usually by 6:00am. Trailhead starts at 9,400 feet.
- Glacier Gorge Trailhead (9,300 feet) - There are numerous lakes to hike to that range in distances from 2.5 – 6 miles each way at elevations of 9,940 to 11,500 feet. Due to glaciation, this is a very dramatic area of the park.
- Andrew's Glacier – (Glacier Gorge area) Hike to the base of Andrew's Glacier and Andrew's Tarn (11,390 feet). It is 4.7 miles each way. The last mile is a little steep. To stand at the base of the glacier is amazing. Andrew's glacier is the most active glacier in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Lawn Lake and Crystal Lakes – These beautiful lakes sit at the base of Mummy and Fairchild Mountains at an elevation of 10,789 and 11,520 feet. Great wildflowers and chances to see Bighorn Sheep. Mileage: 6.2 – 7.7 miles each way.
- Wild Basin – Great all day hikes to Thunder, Bluebird and Finch Lakes (5.3 – 6.8 miles each way)
Private half day easy to moderate hikes and educational nature walks:
- Cub Lake, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Hollowell Park and the Big Thompson Pool: Check below in the weekly scheduled group hikes and nature walks section for descriptions of these hikes which vary in length from 2 - 6 miles. Easy and beautiful walks. Great hikes for birds, wildlife and wildflowers.
- Wild Basin – The trail follows the St. Vrain River and there are numerous waterfalls and cascades along the way. Mileage: 1.8 – 3.4 miles each way.
- Mummy Range Tundra Hike – The Chapin pass trail starts on Old Fall River Road at 10,640 feet and goes to the saddle between Chapin Peak and Chiquita Mountain. Elevation at the saddle is at approx. 12,000 feet. Beautiful tundra flowers and lots of Marmots to see. 1.5 miles each way.
- Easy Tundra Hikes (0.5 – 2 miles each way) - If you want to experience high altitude, there are hikes where we can drive up to 11,000 – 12,000 feet and hike from there. These hikes have great views and you will get to know what it feels like to be on top of a mountain.
Click here for a printable and more extenisve list of east side hiking descriptions.
Pricing for private hikes:
- Half day hikes: 1 - 2 people $145 and $35 for each additional person.
- Full day hikes: 1 - 2 people $220 and $35 for each additional person.
- Hikes over 11,500: 1 - 2 people $265 and $35 for each additional person.
- Longs Peak: 1 - 2 people $365 and $35 for each additional person.
Hiking fee does not include your admission fee into Rocky Mountain National Park which is $20 per week per vehicle.
Grand Lake – We also guide trips in the Grand Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Please contact us for hike locations and descriptions or click here for a printable list.
Printable Wildlife Checklists
These are lists of all the wildlife we have seen on each particular trail.
Print page one of the checklist first.
Then using the back side of page one for the second page,
You can make a small pamphlet.
Nature Hike Descriptions
|| The Big Thompson Pool – easy level hike. Trailhead 8155; 3.4 miles round trip and 245 foot elevation gain. This is a good hike for plants, birds and small mammals. This hike starts at the Fern Lake Trailhead. The trail follows the Big Thompson River. Along the way we will see signs of beaver activity and lots of very interesting rocks left behind from the glaciers.
|| Hollowell Park and Mill Creek Basin Loop – easy level hike. Trailhead 8400 feet; 3.4 miles round trip and 620 foot elevation gain. This is a great hike for birds and wildflowers. The trail starts out in a small meadow were beavers have damned up Mill Creek and willows have filled in the area. The trial then follows the creek, which has many beautiful little cascades. The trail rises through an aspen grove and then through pines where it drops down into Mill Creek Basin.
|| Cub Lake – moderate level hike. This is our best hike for birds and wildlife. Trailhead 8080 feet: 4.6 miles round trip and 540 foot elevation gain. Cub Lake is a large lily covered pond where Ring-necked ducks nest and bears like to swim. The trail starts along Moraine Park and follows along marshy ponds before it heads up to Cub Lake.
||Upper Beaver Meadows Ute Trail – moderate level hike. This is our most difficult nature hike. Trailhead 8,440 feet; 4.3 round trip and 870 foot elevation gain to 9,310. This hike is great for birds, elk, coyotes and little critters. The trail starts out at the Upper Beaver Meadows picnic area and follows the Ute Trail to the top of the moraine with great views of Longs Peak and Moraine Park.
|| Moraine Park – very easy level hike. This is our easiest hike.
Trailhead 8080 feet: 2.5 miles round trip and 50 feet elevation gain. We begin at the Cub Lake Trailhead, following the trail for about .5 mile and then we head east along the south side of Moraine Park. This hike is great for birds, elk, coyotes and little critters.
We hike slow, but please remember that our hikes usually begin at 8,500 feet and some go as high as nearly 9,500 feet. Please read the hike descriptions carefully and sign up for a hike that best suits your abilities.
We will supply
You should bring
- Backpack for your gear
- Rain poncho
- Bug spray
- Sunscreen (for lips too)
If you have a Park pass or valid entrance receipt, please bring it along. If you do not have a pass, you will need to purchase a $20 vehicle pass at the entrance gate the day of the hike if you are driving. The pass will be good for 7 days. If you are riding in our vehicle and do not have a pass, you have an option to purchase a $10 one-time entrance pass or a regular $20 pass.
- Layered comfortable clothes.
- Be prepared for both warm and cold weather. Wind/rain pants and jacket are highly recommended, especially for full day hikes. Rain showers are likely. For hikes above 12,000, bring hat and gloves.
- Shoes: Either hiking boots or athletic shoes, as long as they are already broken in and comfortable. Hiking boots that go above your ankle are strongly recommended because they will support and protect your ankles from injury. For full day hikes, your feet and ankles will need supportive hiking boots.
Printable directions to The Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at Rocky Mountain National Park on Highway 36
Click her for Maps
Kaiyote Tours Hiking Policies
Payment and cancellation policy
Full payment is due 72 hours prior to tour. There are no refunds within 72 hours of tour. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
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