Guided Backpacking Trips Rocky Mountain National Park

Guided Backpacking Trips Rocky Mountain National Park

If you are interested in Guided Backpacking Trips Rocky Mountain National Park, come and join us at Kaiyote Tours!   

There is nothing more wonderful than waking up in the backcountry.  Mountain mornings are cool and calm.  Night skies are brilliant with stars and the air is quiet.  To awake next to a high mountain crystal clear lake or stream is an incredible experience. 

Rocky Mountain National Park is a high elevation area.  The lowest point in the park is about 8,100 feet and most backcountry campsites are located from 9,500 - 10,500 feet and some sites are located over 11,000 feet.  For this reason, we only offer private trips so your entire group will be similarly acclimated to the altitude.  We recommend that you arrive a few days early and stay in Estes Park (7,800 feet) or Grand Lake (8,300 feet) to help you acclimate.  Altitude sickness and fatigue will ruin your trip, so please Plan Ahead and Prepare (Leave No Trace principle #1). 

We recommend hiking to a location where we can set up a base camp and then day hike and explore from there.  A base camp really helps if your are not completely acclimated to the altitude. 

2024 dates available or you can request other dates and locations

These backcountry sites are located on the west side of RMNP, the Grand Lake side.  You will need to arrive at least one day prior to the trip and stay in Grand Lake, because we have a short meeting the night before.  If you live at sea level, we recommend arriving a few days before your trip to help you better acclimated to the elevation. 

August 21 - 23, 2024: East Inlet Trail, Cat’s Lair site, located at 9,200 feet, 2-nights/3 days, moderate challenge level; 4-miles each way with 810 feet elevation gain.  Day one:  hike to campsite and set up base camp for 2-nights.  Day two:  Hike (with only day packs) 3-miles each way to Lake Verna, or 4-miles each to Spirit Lake. Day Three:  Hike out. This is a private trip and up to 6 spots are available. 

August 28 - 30, 2024:  Timber Lake Trail, Jack Straw site, 2-night/3-days, moderate - difficult challenge due to site location and elevation gain.  This site is a 4-mile hike in and is located at 10,760 feet.  It is a 1,750 foot elevation gain to the site.  From the Timber Creek site, we can day hike 2 miles to Timber Lake (11,060 feet). The hike to Timber Lake and the surrounding area is as beautiful as the mountains get. The Timber Creek campsite is located in the pine forest along Timber Creek. This is a private trip for your group and up to 6 spots are available. 

September 6 - 9, 2024: Green Mountain Trail, Tonahutu Meadows site, 3-nights/4-days, moderate challenge level; 6.2 mile each way and located at 10,050 feet.  It is a 1,256 foot elevation gain to the site.  Day one:  Hike to site and set up base camp for 3-nights. Day two: Hike (with only day packs), 2.5 miles each way to Haynach Lakes (11,060 feet).  Day 3:  It is possible to hike further up the Tonahutu trail as far as you like.  The trail goes up to the continental divide and to the top of Sprague Pass at 11,709 feet.  This is a good area to see moose.  Day four:  break camp and hike out.  The Tonahutu Meadows site is located along the Tonahutu Creek in the pine forest. This is a private trip for your group and up to 6 spots are available. 

Pricing for Private over-night backpacking trips
Private Tours:  $230 per person/per day, (based on a minimum of 2-people and a maximum of 6-people), $380 per day for a private, solo traveler trip. 

Backpacking fee includes food, gear, back-country permit . 

Concerned about carrying a heavy pack at high altitude?

If you want to go backpacking and are concerned about carrying the weight, you can have your gear carried by a porter.  Our porters can carry up to 50 pounds.  One porter can carry the gear for almost two people, or one porter can lighten the load for a group.  It is best to figure on having one porter per two people.  The cost is $185 per day.  You can hire a porter for only the hike-in, if you want to carry your gear out.

Reservations:  At Rocky Mountain National Park, reservations begin on March 1st of every year.  Rocky Mountain National Park has limited backcountry sites and many sites book up on the first day.  Please make your plans early in the year for the best options. 

Click here for a List of our Favorite Places

Backpacking locations:  Because of the high altitude, for each trip we hike-in and set up a base camp and stay at the same location for every night.  From camp we day-hike each day to different lakes, trails, or summits in that area and so you will not need to carry a heavy pack every day.  This will allow for a better trip if you are not fully acclimated to the altitude.  Please contact for more details about trips. 

Call us at 970-556-6103 or email us at to book your trip!

Payment and cancellation policy:  At the time of reservation, a non-refundable fee of $20 per person per day is due.  The remaining balance is due 3 months prior to the trip and is non-refundable, but if you need to cancel, you can receive credit for a future trip for any of our domestic tours. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.

Kaiyote Tours is authorized by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park.   

Included in fees
1) Tent
2) Sleeping bag
3) Sleeping pad
4) Backpacking pack
5) Bear canister (hanging food prohibited)
6) Stove and fuel
7) Water filter
8) Food: Let us know if you require coffee/caffeine, vegetarian or anything special.    

Although we provide all the necessary gear, you can also bring your own gear. 

Not included: Transportation to and from trailhead and National Park entrance fee for your vehicle.  If you will not have a car, we can possibly make transportation arrangements for you, based on availability. 

You can read a short story about my backpacking adventures

by clicking here:  My Osprey Backpack