Summit 14,000-foot peaks
The Colorado Rockies' overwhelming natural grandeur have the power to consume the senses. Here colossal mountains, pristine lakes, abundant wildlife and wildflower-filled meadows all challenge your sense of scale. Hike some of the highest peaks in the contiguous United States, explore old mines from past eras and take in views that go on for seemingly forever. At night, relax in a charming cabin nestled in the heart of the mountains and reflect on your epic surroundings.
For those who of us who live at sea level, we know hiking at higher altitudes is a challenge that requires time for acclimatization. Our journey is strategically designed so you can maximize your experience in the Rockies. Day one is your day for travel and relaxation in your new home at 11,264 feet. Day two is a beautiful intermediate hike to Mohawk Lake, a pristine mountain lake at 12,120 feet. Day three is your first opportunity to "test" your body's adjustment to altitude as we summit Quandary Peak at 14,265 feet. Day four is a relaxing day in Breckenridge where you can go whitewater rafting, mountain biking or simply take in the charming town. Day five is our final summit challenge as we climb Mount Lincoln (14,286'), Democrat (14,155') and Bross (14,178'), all connected by a high ridge-line and obtainable in one day. While this is an effective strategy for the altitude, you always have the option of taking it easy and enjoying the mountains at a lower elevation. We will have two Discover Outdoors guides to assist with any changes in plans. Our singular goal is for you to have an amazing and safe experience.
Arrive in Denver, drive to cabin
Hike to Mohawk Lake
Summit Quadary Peak
Summit Mount Democrat, Lincoln and Bross
Final Day, fly out of Denver
Beginner-level proficiency in backpacking
Basic mountaineering skills
Leadership skills and practice working in team setting
Knowledge about alpine flora and fauna
Respect for nature and how it can be applied to respect for our community
Inspiration and curiosity
$1,695 per student
Groups range from 6 to 18 people.
- Licensed and certified Discover Outdoors guides
- Basecamp support
- Backcountry cabin accommodations
- Meals throughout trip (meals while traveling to and from Denver are not included)
- Guided hikes
- Park permit fees
- Roundtrip transportation from Denver International Airport (airfare not included)
- Transportation throughout journey
- Liability insurance
- Sleeping bag rental for 1 week: $78
- Rucksack rental for 1 week: $78
- Trekking poles rental for 1 week: $40
Guides & Lodging
As you explore the Colorado Rockies, you will be led by professional trail guides, dedicated to providing safe and educational experiences. Our guides are trained in wilderness medicine and are seasoned leaders, demonstrating good judgement, technical expertise, and environmental consciousness. Our guides are ever aware of their clients' needs and work hard to make your trip successful.
Each evening you will retire to our backcountry cabin nestled in the heart of the Rockies' dramatic peaks. The cabin, while rustic, is comfortable with room to relax and discuss the conquests of the day. Bedrooms are shared, with single beds as well as bunks. Bathrooms have indoor composting toilets and there are no showers. Amenities include a wood burning stove, sauna, full kitchen and solar-powered lights. Our water comes from a nearby stream.
Hiking the Fourteeners does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a minimum level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly on steep up and down hills, since this is much of what you will experience in the Rockies. It is an undeniable fact that those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the view from the summit! Those who engage in regular exercise before hiking at high altitude do just fine on the ascent. Give oneself adequate time—at least a couple of months—to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters and rowing machines can supplement cardiovascular training. Day hikes or other longer endeavors will help prepare one for the endurance required in the Rockies. Carrying a 20 to 30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal.
The high elevations in the Rockies have stopped otherwise fit people who did not take the time to acclimate. To help one’s body adjust to the thinner and drier air, you must first hydrate. Drinking enough water markedly improves athletic performance and helps to prevent altitude mountain sickness. Before and during your hike, aim for 4-5 quarts of fluid a day. Make sure your water is readily accessible. During the ascent, hydration systems like Camelbacks, or a water bottle on your hip will provide easy access to your water. Sport drink mixes like Gatorade are highly recommended; they promote drinking and help replenish electrolytes. Avoid too much caffeine, as these have the effect of dehydrating your body. If you have never been to high altitude before, do not worry, everyone has a first time. Keep your guide posted on any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have had trouble with altitude in the past, please let us know ahead of time and consult with your physician before you come.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The high mountain areas have extremely variable weather. The evenings can turn cold and the days can warm up substantially, even in the alpine environment. Strong winds, rain, hail, even summer snow showers may be encountered. Expect early morning starts to avoid afternoon thundershowers.
If you are unsure of what to bring, give us a call or send us an email! Our staff is happy to help ensure you are comfortably outfitted for your trip. To prepare yourself for the activities, join Discover Outdoors on any of our local day trips. Our trained guides will coach you and offer helpful tips in preparing for your big adventure. Below is a list of equipment for this trip. The specific gear considerations are designed to prepare you for all possible conditions. For questions about the gear list, please contact our office at 212-579-4568 or [email protected]
- Two water bottles or Camelback Backpack
- Hiking boots with sturdy soles
- Hiking socks, four pairs
- Gloves, two pair
- Warm hat
- Sun-blocking hat (baseball cap)
- Base top layer (wicking t-shirts)
- Heavy layer (sweater or fleece)
- Hking pants
- Hiking shorts
- Long underwear/thermals
- Waterproof jacket
- Casual wear for around the cabin
- Sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees (beds have mattresses, but no linens)
- Biodegradable soap and shampoo
- Medications, prescription and non-prescription
- Small towel and washcloth
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Binoculars for viewing wildlife