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The 8 Types of Guided Tours You Can Take in Rocky Mountain National Park

Guided Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park
Introduction – Welcome to America’s Alpine Playground

It’s one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado, along with being one of the most traveled.  4.5 million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park every year.  You would think with 415 square miles of land, explorers would disperse evenly.  However, whether you’re heading to the Mummy Range, Sprague Lake, Bear Lake, or up Longs Peak, you’ll be sharing your adventure with a multitude of other people.  Good news is there are ways to combat the crowds in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Take one of the many types of guided tours to make the most of sightseeing and venturing through this can’t-miss stop in the Colorado Rockies.


TOUR #1 – Jeep Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

A popular activity in Colorado is making your way up one of the many 4×4 roads to catch some views not attainable in your low clearance sedan rental car.  Jeeps haul up these rocky paths with seemingly no effort and you’ll get to enjoy an action-packed day of sightseeing with your group.  What better way to explore the park than on this adventurous activity?

The Best Time to Take this Tour

To be honest, Jeep tours can be incredible any time of the year.  If you’re interested in watching the meadows of Rocky Mountain National Park bloom with wildflowers, spring is when you should go.  Want to bask in the Colorado sunshine?  Head out on a Jeep tour in July or August.  Take full advantage of a sea of yellow fall foliage in September and October, or venture among the snowy mountains throughout the winter.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • Gets you places you wouldn’t be able to explore otherwise.
  • Unique adventure through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
  • View wildlife from the comfortable confines of a vehicle.
  • Tours are available year round so you’ll always have options for a Jeep excursion.
Rocky Mountain National Park Jeep Tours

Jeep Tours around Rocky Mountain National Park

Green Jeep Tours

Green Jeep Tours is based out of Estes Park and has a plethora of excursions for you to pick from.  Catch a glimpse of some of the incredible wildlife in the park on their Ruttin’ Around Elk Viewing tour, cruise through the park then take a quick trek to a breathtaking spot on their Waterfall Hiking tour, or take a Brewery tour through Estes Park via Jeep (yes, it’s real and it’s already on our bucket list).

Rocky Mountain Rush

It doesn’t matter which time of year or time of day you’re wanting to explore the park; Rocky Mountain Rush has 4×4 tours throughout all four seasons and from sunrise past sunset.  Your day pass into Rocky Mountain National Park is included in the price, and your journey will take you to a handful of popular places in a quick amount of time.

Jeep Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

Wildside 4×4 Tours

Informative and photography focused tours are available with Wildside 4×4 Tours, and they also are the only company within 100 miles allowed to truly take you on an off-road adventure.  Their snowy tours are equipped with hot chocolate for guests, and their excursions range from mild to wild so you can choose what kind of adventure you’re getting into in Rocky Mountain National Park.


TOUR #2 – Rocky Mountain National Park Photo Tours

One of the best aspects of Rocky Mountain National Park is how picturesque it is.  It’s almost like you’re entering a surreal world where the view you’re looking at could be an intricate wallpaper mural.  Guess what?  It’s real, and it’s better than you’ve ever imagined.  Many flock to the area to capture the parks beautiful scenes, but skip the research and let an experienced photo tour guide take you to the best places in Rocky Mountain National Park all in one day.

Rocky Mountain National Park Photography ToursLearn about photography in one of Colorado’s most beautiful places.

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Which photo are you on the hunt for?

Wildflowers

Head out in very late May to early June to watch the mountains melt into a plethora of summer colors.  However, if you’re wanting to full fledged flower gardens, try July for these shots.

Wildlife

Catch sighting of some Rocky Mountain elk during their rut in September and October.  To view moose in their natural habitat, your chances are best on the west side of the park.  For those who are fans of marmots, you’ll have to make your way up above 10,000 feet in elevation.  Set your viewfinder on a rock or open areas up high.  Though there isn’t a very large black bear population in RMNP, you still may spot them from spring to fall.

Rocky Mountain National Park Wildlife

Wildlife sighting – photo by Katie Schneider

Views

As we all already know, there’s no shortage of views in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Whether you want lake shots, longer waterfall exposures, alpenglow mountain peaks, or the vast meadows throughout the park, there’s a picture around every corner.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • Even if you’re an experienced photographer, guided tours will take you to places you’ve never considered.
  • Your guides know the area so well, you’ll get to explore multiple solid photo spots all in one day.
  • If you don’t know your way around a camera yet, you’ll learn plenty of tips and tricks along the way.
Photography Tour in Rocky Mountain National Park

RMNP Photography Tour

Thomas Mangan Photography

20 years ago, this photographer first visited Rocky Mountain National Park.  Today, he hosts customized private photography tours and can share his knowledge and experience with his guests.  Whether it’s to capture fall foliage, the snowcapped peaks, or the wildlife, Thomas knows where to go.

Yellow Wood Guiding

Yellow Wood Guiding’s Photo Safari in Rocky Mountain National Park allows everyone from beginner to advanced levels to hone in on their skills and capture some incredible pictures.  If you don’t have a camera, they can provide one and guide you in the right direction on how to properly use its settings.

Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides

Combine your driving tour with a bit of sightseeing on your feet.  Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides strives to give you the best experience possible in Rocky Mountain National Park and educate you on how to replicate your observations through a photograph.


TOUR #3 – Backpacking Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

It’s the ultimate way to venture through the backcountry of Colorado, but for those who’ve never backpacked before it can be incredibly intimidating.  Maybe you aren’t positive on what to bring, where to go, what kind of food to take, where to sleep, what to be prepared for, etc.  Or, maybe you have dozens of backpacking trips under your belt already and you’re just not familiar with the area.  Either way, having an experienced guide by your side will bring your experience to the next level and you won’t have to stress about comfort or safety.

Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park Backpacking Guided Tours

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Colorado nights are fairly cold year round, so even in the heart of summer you’ll want to pack a beanie and a high quality sleeping bag.  The temperature changes from tank top weather mid-afternoon to a brisk mid-40’s before dawn, so it’s really up to you.  Plenty spend their time backpacking in the Rocky Mountains for the majority of the year.  Our only advice is to be prepared for whatever season you’re venturing out on because any time of the year when there aren’t feet of snow covering the ground will have you on a grand adventure.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • It’s not just a day, it’s a weekend packed of exploring Rocky Mountain National Park away from the crowds.
  • Having an experienced guide will make you feel safe and you won’t have to think twice about camping gear you left behind or what to cook for dinner.
  • Immerse yourself in the backcountry of Colorado – it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

AVA Guided Backpacking Excursions

AVA’s experienced guides have spent their fair share of time in many corners of the park, so your guide knows exactly where to go to escape the crowds.  They can point out the wide variety of flora along the way, and if you’re lucky hopefully you will spot some wildlife along the way.  Not to worry about the trail you’ll be venturing out on, when you book your trip your guide will choose the best one for that time of year.  They’ll also organize all of your meals, leaving you with one less (and very critical) thing to worry about when you pack for your adventure.

24 HOURS IN THE ROCKIES

3 DAYS IN THE ROCKIES

Rocky Mountain National Park Backpacking Trips

Guided Backpacking Tours


TOUR #4 – RMNP Guided Hiking Tours

Only have a day to spend in the park?  Make the most of it with a guided hiking tour.  The knowledge your experienced guide will have on the surrounding area will set this adventure apart from any other you’ve been on.  Not only will you feel safe knowing that your guide practically knows Rocky Mountain National Park like the back of his hand, but you’ll learn loads of information about Colorado’s environment.

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Summer and fall are the most popular times to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Winter brings pounds of snow blanketing the mountain vistas and springs warmer weather hosts plenty of muddy trails due to the snow melting.  Summer mornings in Colorado can’t be beat.  Blue bird skies span miles around you and the sunshine warms the Rockies by mid morning.  More keen on cooler weather? Waltz through a sea of yellow Aspen trees come autumn.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • You’ll get the experience of a lifetime having a guide on board so you can learn along the way.
  • You’ll feel safe knowing your trusty steed has walked this trail plenty of times prior.
  • Hiking in the famous Rocky Mountain National Park is one for the books.
Rocky Mountain National Park Guided Hiking

Guided Hiking Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

AVA Guided Hiking Tours

Put your worries aside and let AVA’s guides lead you to the best places in the park.  Based out of Grand Lake, you’ll be on the west side of this Colorado hot spot and get to explore the less-seen corners of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Lunch is included in AVA’s guided hiking tours and you can expect more than just a cold-cut deli sandwich.  One thing you can be sure of when you book a guided hiking tour with AVA is that you’ll have an action-packed adventure and you’ll be talking about your day for months to come.

GUIDED DAY HIKE IN THE ROCKIES


TOUR #5 – Rocky Mountain National Park Rock Climbing Tours

Another popular hobby in Colorado is rock climbing, but it’s definitely not something you can do alone.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to try it but you don’t have the proper gear, knowledge, or a fellow climber to belay you.  Make your experience in Rocky Mountain National Park above par and book a guided rock climbing tour.  Not only will you be venturing out of your comfort zone with this intense sport, you’ll be doing it in one of the most breathtaking places in the state of Colorado.

Rock Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rock Climbing trips in Rocky Mountain National Park

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Rock climbing is a strenuous activity and not an easy feat for the first timer.  If you’re just starting to get into the idea of this sport, it’s best to go when the weather is prime in Colorado.  Book a guided rock climbing trip for the morning in July or August – you’ll most likely get to enjoy blue skies and mild temperatures for a few hours before the afternoon showers and heat roll in.  Plus, you can venture around for the rest of the day.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • Rock climbing is a taxing hobby and definitely something to feel accomplished about after completing.
  • Having a climbing guide alongside you will make a world of difference, especially for beginners.
  • For the experienced climbers, your guides know the area like the back of their hands and can direct you towards those more difficult crags.
Climbing Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

Learn all aspects of rock climbing in the beautiful RMNP.

Kent Mountain Adventure Center

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your hundredth time on the rock face, Kent Mountain Adventure Center customizes your adventure based on your group and experience levels.  Based out of Estes Park, you can try rock climbing during the summer and ice climbing come winter time on their 10-acre property nestled right next to the park.

Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides

Make your way up some of the most famous rock structures in world including Longs Peak, Sharktooth, and Spearheard with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides.  They are one of the six companies that is allowed to direct commercial climbing trips within the parks walls.


TOUR #6 – Longs Peak Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

This is one of the first mountains you’ll be able to spot in the front range of Colorado.  It’s one of the states 50+ 14ers and the only 14,000+ foot peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Routes to summit Longs Peak vary from mild to extreme but are sought after due to the exclusivity and uniqueness of this mountain.  If you’re exploring Rocky Mountain National Park already, you might as well knock a 14er off your list while you’re at it.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Catch incredible views at the top of a 14er in Colorado

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Not to worry, if you’re headed out on a guided tour they wouldn’t venture up Longs Peak if the weather wasn’t cooperating or conditions higher in elevation were bad.  Try for middle of summer and closer to fall.  Be prepared to wake up bright and early (seriously, 3:00 AM is a good time to set out for this one) and to be chilly in the morning and as you close in on the summit.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • Climbing a 14,000+ foot peak is scary, especially one as difficult as this one.  For safety measures, having a guide lead the way is a fantastic idea for anyone unfamiliar with high elevation mountaineering.
  • Stand at 14,259 feet above sea level and overlook the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of Colorado
  • Perhaps one of the most challenging hobbies in Colorado is climbing a 14er, so the accomplishment you’ll feel after Longs Peak will be an ultimate high.
Longs Peak Hiking in Colorado

Longs Peak is a great bucket list item and something you can check off with these guided tours.

Apex Ex

Venture out with the Apex Ex experienced climbers and you can choose to climb a few pitches over the course of a day or try a two-day adventure to the summit of Longs Peak.  Apex Ex welcomes all levels of climbers from beginners to advanced and with various types of climbs, everyone is sure to find an excursion perfect for them.

American Alpine Institute

This company has been mountaineering for over 40 years, so you know you’re in good hands if you book a trip with them.  Head out on a group summit climb, schedule a private lesson with an experienced guide, or try out a group instructional course all with the American Alpine Institute on Longs Peak.

Kirks Mountain Adventures

Overnight trips with Kirks Mountain Adventures include everything you need for your excursion such as a backpack, food, transportation, and a knowledgeable guide.  Ready for the ultimate day in Rocky Mountain National Park?  This companies guided day trip to summit Longs Peak sets off at 2 A.M. and includes meals.  You’ll get to experience the sunrise while breathing in the crisp mountain air along your trek.


TOUR #7 – Day Tours to RMNP from Denver

Denver Rocky Mountain National Park

Venture to Rocky Mountain National Park from the Mile High City of Denver

Staying in Denver and hoping to pass up on the traffic in the national park?  Take off from the Mile High City and spend the entire day venturing through Colorado’s greatest areas, accompanied by an experienced tour guide to point out everything that matters and answer all the questions you have about the area.  At the end of the day, you’ll be right back in Denver with a brain full of new facts about Colorado and a bit of energy left from not having to navigate the Rocky Mountain roads yourself.

The Best Time to Take this Tour

Anytime of year.  You’ll get to enjoy the sights from the comfort of a bus or vehicle, so regulating temperature in there isn’t out of question.  However, weekends and holidays throughout the summer will create plenty of crowds in the park and the roads can get dicey come winter time.  Try one of these tours during a weekday in the spring, summer, or fall.

Why It’s A Great Way to Spend Your Day

  • You’ll skip trying to figure out traffic through Denver followed by the windy roads through the mountains and be able to keep your eyes out the window and not on the road the entire drive.
  • Your starting point is Denver and so is where you’ll be dropped off at the end of the day, so you’ll get a mountain adventure without the hassle.
  • Sit back, relax, and become awestruck at the beauty of Colorado.
Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park

Gaze at the mountain vistas right outside your window.

Colorado Sightseer

Colorado Sightseer is based out of the heart of Denver and offers options for sightseeing all across the front range to the Continental Divide.  Their tours include all entry fees to the different parks and areas you’ll be visiting, plus you’ll get to pack your day full of amazing views.

Gray Line Tours

You’ll cross the Continental Divide, stop for plenty of photo opportunities, and learn from your tour guide on Gray Line’s adventures through Rocky Mountain National Park.  You’ll start out at Denver’s Union Station on their full day tour.


TOUR #8 – Driving Tours in Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re the type that insists on being your own captain, not to worry – there are plenty of people who enjoy forging their own path.  There are a multitude of incredible roads that wind their way through Rocky Mountain National Park and as long you pack the car with snacks, water, and a camera, you’re set for your day of exploring.  The best part about technology nowadays is there is an app that exists to help you navigate your way through the park.  Before you set off on your day of adventure, download GyPSy Guide to have some help along the way.

Driving through Rocky Mountain National Park

Explore RMNP solo on these great roads.


Rocky Mountain National Park is one you can’t miss when visiting the Centennial State.  Book a guided tour in this beauty to make the most of your time while you’re here.  AVA’s Guided Hiking and Backpacking trips are a great option for those who fancy venturing on their own two feet.

With a knowledgeable guide on whichever activity you choose, you’ll fully get to experience Rocky Mountain National Park without the stress or worry of getting lost, safety from wildlife, or having to push your way through a sea of people to catch that notorious view.  Disconnect for a little while, learn about Colorado’s incredible environment, and book your guided trip in Rocky Mountain National Park today.

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