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.
2023 dates available or you can request other dates and locations
We are now taking reservation for the 2023 season
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, because we have a short meeting the night before. If you live a sea level, we recommend arriving a few days before your trip to help you better acclimated to the elevation.
August 17 - 18: Jack Straw at Timber Creek, 1-night/2-days, moderate - difficult challenge due elevation gain. Day 1: This site is a 4-mile hike in and is located at 10,798 feet. It is a 1,788 foot elevation gain to the site. Day 2: From the Timber Creek site, we can day hike 1.5 miles to Timber Lake (11,060 feet) and go exploring beyond the lake. Later in the afternoon, break camp and hike out. The Jack Straw site is located in the pine forest at the edge of a small meadow and along Timber Creek. This is a private trip for your group and up to 6 spots are available.
September 1 - 4: Tonahutu Meadows, 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 2-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.
September 8 -10: East Inlet Cat’s Lair, 2-nights/3 days, moderate challenge level; 4-miles each way with 810 feet elevation gain. This site is a located at 9,200 feet, Day one: hike to campsite and set up base camp for 2-nights. Day two: Hike (with only day packs) 2-miles each way to Lone Pine Lake, 3-miles each way to Lake Verna, or 4-miles each to Spirit Lake. Day Three: Hike out. This is a good area to see moose. This is a private trip for your group and up to 6 spots are available.
Or let us know what other dates work for you
Pricing for Private over-night backpacking trips
Private Tours: $265 per person/per day, (based on a minimum of 2-people and a maximum of 6-people), $465 per day for a private, solo traveler trip. Backpacking fee includes food, gear, back-country permit .
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.
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
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