Hike amidst the dramatic Rockies. Explore the magnificent backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. Raft the exciting Arkansas River. Discover the largest sand dunes in North America. Reach the top of one of Colorado’s famous 14,000-foot peaks. This two-week adventure has it all!
Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.
Arriving into the mile-high city of Denver, it will be hard not to get excited as you’re greeted by your trip leaders and meet the rest of your trip mates: students from all over the county, all thrilled to be embarking on a two-week adventure through the Colorado Rockies. After you’ve all arrived safely, you’ll depart for a local campground where you’ll learn to set up your tent, cook dinner together for the first time, and get your first glimpse of the Rocky Mountain night sky.
You’ll venture into the renowned Rocky Mountain National Park where you’ll spend three wonderful days exploring this extraordinary wilderness. Immersing yourself in the tranquility of the park’s pristine hiking trails, you’ll learn basic wilderness skills and soon appreciate the unique beauty of this environment. After several days of incredible hikes, you’ll emerge bonded as a team of fast friends for life all looking forward to the rest of your adventure. The next day, you will have a chance to shower and do laundry, and you’ll head to the grocery store to stock up on food for the next few days. You might even be lucky enough to chow down on some well-deserved ice cream!
Swapping your daypacks for paddles, you’ll head deeper into the Rockies to the Arkansas River Valley. Surrounded by the 14,000 ft mountains of the Collegiate Peaks range, the Arkansas River cuts through this magical valley, giving you and your group “postcard perfect” views from every angle. You’ll raft through Brown’s Canyon National Monument, which is the perfect place to enjoy your introductory whitewater rafting experience. You’ll further develop your teamwork and camaraderie as you paddle these exciting rapids under the careful instruction of expert local guides.
Great Sand Dunes National Park contains the tallest and most spectacular dunes in North America. Formed over thousands of years between two mountain ranges, the dunes are one of the great spectacles and recreation environments in southern Colorado. You’ll enjoy climbing and playing in this surreal environment and then take the time to enjoy a cooling dip in Medano Creek. You’ll use this valuable opportunity to learn about the geology and history of the area. After your days on the dunes, you’ll be invigorated and excited for your next adventure – heading into the stratosphere of the Colorado mountains.
You will wake in the morning and meet your trusted, expert mountaineering guides just an hour east of Aspen, Colorado in the San Isabel National Forest. Working together in rope teams, your guides will teach you everything you need to know for your exciting summit experience to come. The next day, you will hike into the backcountry, gaining altitude and proximity to your summit goal. You will enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your group after the morning of hiking, perhaps perfecting your rope skills, playing cards, or taking a dip in the nearby alpine lakes. Well-rested and prepared, you will then arise at dawn for a fantastic and inspirational climb to the summit over 14,000 feet above sea-level. Celebrating on the top, you’ll catch views of the surrounding ranges including many of the environments you will have visited over the past two weeks.
Before heading back to the Front Range of Colorado, you’ll take a day to explore Aspen’s beauty by the water. Alongside your professional river guides, you’ll take inflatable kayaks, aka “duckies,” down the Roaring Fork River.
It will be hard to believe that your days in the Colorado Rockies are coming to a close. You and your group will return to Denver and explore the historic city center and enjoy your celebratory final banquet together. The next morning, you will say tearful goodbyes and catch your departing flights home.
Everything was a bit challenging but that is how you learn new things and after every activity I felt good and I felt accomplished!
-Anna, 2019 The Rockies Student
Trip Price Includes
- Group gear
- Personal gear and clothing
- Airfare to and from the trip start and end