Colorado is known across the world as a snow enthusiast’s paradise, but the geography of this outdoor playground is made for exploring in every season. The Rocky Mountains slice through the center of the state from north to south forming the backbone of America and limitless possibilities for hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking. The stunning jagged peaks and pristine forests of Rocky Mountain National Park will leave you speechless.
Take a guided backpacking trip along the Continental Divide, where the rain that falls to the east feeds the plains of America’s heartland while the drops falling only feet to the west rush off towards the Pacific, perhaps joining the force of the mighty Colorado River.
Looking for something pedal-powered? Create your own Tour de Colorado, checking mountain towns and micro-brews off your to-do list or hit the dirt outside Durango for some world-class mountain biking.
“Custom” is about You
At Arizona Outback Adventures we’ve been designing adventure vacations for 20 years and custom itineraries are our specialty. All it takes is a phone call, and we do the rest. Don’t forget, all of our scheduled departures can be personalized to fit your personal vacation style!
Why AOA? : Find out more About Us
Get inspired by past custom trips in Colorado!
North Inlet – Rocky Mountain National Park – Sample Trip
3 Day Backpacking
This short backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains is perfect for a quick weekend sojourn into the wilderness. We will hike through stunning alpine valleys filled with sparkling lakes and cold mountain streams. Our campsite is comfortably set high in the Colorado backcountry, nestled amongst towering peaks. In spring and summer, even the ragged rocky outcrops around us are decorated with colorful lichen and tenacious wildflowers. And if we’re lucky, we will catch a glimpse of the creatures that make their home here, from the impressive moose and elk to the less conspicuous trout that thrive in the bubbling oxygen-rich creeks. This environment is fierce and intricate. Listen carefully and you will begin to hear the mountains’ heartbeat.
DAY 1: SUMMERLAND PARK TO NORTH INLET JUNCTION
Meet your guides and transfer to the trailhead. Today’s hike begins from the North Inlet / Tonahutu Trail Head in the western corner of Rocky Mountain National park not far from the quaint town of Grand Lake. Keep your eye out for grazing Moose in Summerland Park on our way to beautiful Cascade Falls where we will enjoy lunch. We then continue up the North Inlet Creek corridor to North Inlet Junction group campsite located on the banks of North Inlet Creek. This wonderful spot will be our base camp for the next two nights.
- Hiking: 6.5 Miles, 750’ Elevation gain
- Acommodations: Camping
DAY 2: EXPLORE THE ALPINE LAKES – LAKE NANITA TRAIL
Traveling with only light daypacks we set off for a day of exploring the high country’s alpine lakes. Our climb takes us through the sub-alpine forests to the wildflower filled alpine zone. We will spend the afternoon hiking along the Lake Nanita trail and taking in spectacular and remote Lake Nakoni & Nanita. These spectacular lakes are considered two of the Parks most picturesque alpine lakes.
- Hiking: 6.5 Miles, 2,000’ Elevation gain and loss
- Acommodations: Camping
DAY 3: BREAK DOWN CAMP, HIKE NORTH INLET CREEK TO TRAILHEAD
After a leisurely final morning in camp we will pack up and begin our hike back to civilization along the North Inlet Creek. We will return to Denver by early evening.
- Hiking: 6.5 Miles, 750’ Elevation loss
- Acommodations: On your own tonight
Thunder Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park – Sample Trip
3 Day Backpacking
Massive geology and forgotten history accompany you as you delve deep into Rocky Mountain National Park. Imagine you’re a fur trapper or perhaps an early pioneer, heading into the unknown and seemingly unending mountains of the west. This unspoiled wilderness teeters on the edge of the Continental Divide where every drop of water feeds the rivers of North America, where you can fully experience the birthplace of the mighty Colorado. Allow yourself to sink into the beauty of your surroundings, sloughing off the obligations of daily life. Feel the freedom of depending only on yourself as you carry all that you need on your back with AOA Adventures.
DAY 1: BOULDER TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Arrive in beautiful Boulder, Colorado and meet your experienced local guides. Hit the trail in the morning to get a full day of trekking through the scenic southwestern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Experience instant awe as you learn the natural history of the landscape surrounding you, including Cascade Falls and famous Thunder Lake. In the evening, establish a homey and comfortable campsite for the next two nights and get ready for the best stargazing you’ve ever experienced.
- Hiking: 7 miles – elevation gain of 2,000 feet
- Accommodations: Camping
DAY 2: EXPLORE ALPINE VALLEYS AND WATERFALLS
Time to explore! Venture out from camp with only your daypack to explore the high elevation crags and vistas of this beautifully remote paradise of wilderness. Highlights today include breathtaking panoramic views of Long’s Peak and the Never Summer Range. Let your inner child roam free as you scramble over rocks, bathe beneath War Dance Falls, and explore along the shores of ancient glacial lakes. Intrepid travelers may hike up to the Continental Divide for rugged alpine scenery.
- Hiking: 5-7 miles, elevation change of 1,500 to 2,500 feet
- Accommodations: Camping
DAY 3: FINAL TREK AND RETURN TO BOULDER
Break camp after an energizing and healthy breakfast and savor your last day in the wilderness on the hike back to the trailhead. Relish in the exhilaration of having backpacked the Rocky Mountains with your fellow adventurers as we transfer back to Boulder, we should arrive by early evening.
- Hiking: 7 miles – elevation loss of 2,000 feet
- Accommodations: On your own
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does planning a custom trip work?
A: On each adventure trip that we lead, our goal is always to provide the most memorable and personal experience for each of our guests. One way to do this is by creating a custom trip or tailoring an existing itinerary to suit your travel style. It’s simpler than you think.
Step 1: Call us!
Give us a general outline of your adventure vision, including your group size, the time of year or exact dates, the location(s) you’d like to travel, the activities that interest you, and any special requests.
Step 2: We create your personalized itinerary and estimate of costs.
Keep in mind that it is a “custom trip proposal” and you may change, modify, add, or subtract anything you wish until it suits you and your budget perfectly.
Step 3: Hit the trail!
…or singletrack, or river, or sit on your chosen lodge’s veranda with a perfectly chilled beverage, learn all about the flora, fauna and geology – let our world-class guides help you create a life-long memory.
Q: Can we reserve and customize one of your regularly scheduled dates exclusively for us?
A: Yes! As long as there are no other customers booked on that date – it is yours and we can modify it to suit you.
Q: Is there a minimum or maximum amount of people for each trip?
A: We can accommodate groups ranging in size from 2-60 people.
Q: Is it more expensive to do a private or custom trip?
A:Not necessarily – there is no additional charge for a custom or private trip. However, pricing varies greatly and is always dependent on a number of factors such as group size, activities selected, accommodations preferred, special requests, and trip duration – all of which are under your control and at your discretion.
Q: Can we alter one of the example itineraries or standard trips you offer?
A: Yes, absolutely! The itineraries listed here are only intended to inspire you and show you what is possible. We will propose your own trip just for you! All of our trips can be extended, shortened, combined or modified however you wish.
Q: Can you do a trip in a location that you don’t talk about on your website?
A: As long as we have expertise in the area you have in mind – no problem. Even if we don’t we likely can work with one of our partners to create just the experience you have in mind. Want to join your favorite AOA guide rafting in Chile? We have just the trip for you…