Rocky Mountain Explorer

Denver, CO
HEADS UP: Our 2020 dates for this trip haven't been posted yet. Stay tuned!

Oh, Colorado! You are rich with rugged terrain, mountain views, alpine lakes, and whistling marmots. Come explore our favorite trails in Rocky Mountain National Park on our Rocky Mountain Explorer trip!

There's no better way to take in these epic landscapes than with hiking boots on your feet. We've put together an incredible itinerary that lets us explore several parts of Rocky Mountain National Park. We backpack for the first two nights, then enjoy a comfortable frontcountry camp for the final two nights.

Join us! Register today!

Matt Stan
Matt Stan, Bad Adventures founder

Is this for me?


The trip includes a 2-night medium-intensity backpacking adventure, and medium-intensity day hikes. We travel up to 7 miles per day with loaded packs. You don't need to be a professional athlete, but a little base fitness is necessary.

Previous Experience

New to backpacking? Previous experience is not required. However, this adventure isn’t designed as a “beginner’s trip,” per se. It’s important that you review the pre-trip information and stay on top of arranging your clothing and gear.

Are you an experienced pro with dialed-in systems? I think you’ll have a great time. Our itinerary is ripe with opportunities for extra lake and waterfall hikes!

Small Group

We’ll keep it to no more than 8 amazing travelers plus a guide or two.


We have two nights of incredible backcountry camping and two nights of basecamp-style frontcountry camping lined up.


Most of our meals are cooked at camp. Your guide will bend over backwards to set you up for success, but cooking is a participation activity on this adventure!

Traveling Solo?

This trip works well for couples, friends, and solo travelers. The adventures we plan seem to attract like-minded people. Odds are, you'll enjoy the company of your fellow travelers.

There’s no singles supplement fee!

Here's the plan...


And We’re Off!

Your guides will pick you up at any of the following hotels near the Denver Airport between 7:30 and 8:00 AM:

We set off for a scenic drive over Berthoud Pass to our backpacking trailhead. Upon arrival, we organize our gear, get packed, and head out on the trail!

We hike about 7 miles today, following a mountain stream through gorgeous meadows, among spruce trees, and past epic waterfalls. In the afternoon, we pitch our backcountry camp, which will serve as home for the next two nights.

Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

Hiking Up High

We leave our camp pitched and head deeper into Rocky Mountain National Park carrying light packs. We explore stunning alpine lakes and scenic views on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Grand Lake and Trail Ridge Road

After breakfast, we pack up camp and head out of the backcountry. We explore the town of Grand Lake and enjoy lunch at a restaurant. In the afternoon, we set off on Trail Ridge Road, the legendary high-altitude paved drive traversing over the Continental Divide. Come evening, we arrive at Glacier Basin, our frontcontry camp site for the remaining nights of the adventure.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Lakes Galore!

With an early start, we depart from camp and head to Bear Lake area for hearty day hiking. The morning and afternoon are spent lake hopping to some of the most photogenic lakes in all of the Rocky Mountains! Total distance for the day is 5 miles and elevation gain is about 700 feet.

We head back to camp for another delicious group-cooked dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Wild Basin or Bust!

After breakfast, we pack up camp and go explore the Wild Basin section of Rocky Mountain National Park.

All good things must come to an end! The trip finishes in the lobby of the Hyatt Place Denver Airport hotel at 5:00 PM.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

What's Included?

Services of a Guide or Two

Friendly, accommodating, fully credentialed, and always professional.

National Park Admission and All Permits

Amazing backcountry and frontcountry campsites.

4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 4 Dinners

We’re talking about meticulously planned yummy provisions.

Complimentary Loaner Gear

Tents, inflating mattress, stoves, and cookware are available - or bring your own.

Transportation in Colorado

Ride in style in a comfortable Ford Transit passenger van.

Group Gear

Medical kit, satellite phone, navigation supplies, bear canisters, and more.

Not Included:

Airfare and other travel expenses to get to and from the trip, hotel accommodations before and after the trip, lunch on day 3, your personal clothing and gear on the packing list, travel insurance, and guide gratuity.

Important Details & FAQ

  • Nope. We will all be smelly together! Consider packing bathing wipes for some personal hygiene touch up.

  • If you’re coming from outside Colorado, I suggest flying into Denver International Airport at least one day prior to the start of the trip. If you have extra time in the Denver area before the adventure, contact us for suggestions on things to do in the area.

    If you’d like to fly out on the evening of the last day of the trip, please don’t book a flight earlier than 7:30 PM. If you’re flying out that evening, your guide will be happy to drive you to Denver International Airport after dropping the other travelers at the gateway hotel.

  • It's listed in the trip info packet emailed to registered travelers, along with a booking code to access our special group rate.

    Expect a 2.5 to 3.5-star hotel that’s walking distance from an RTD A-line station. There's a free airport shuttle, quality breakfast, and competitive Bad Adventures group rate.

    There’s no requirement that you stay at our gateway hotel before or after the trip.

  • It’s very unlikely we’ll have any snow at our campsites. We may, however, encounter some snow patches on our higher elevation hikes.

  • We recommend taking out a travel insurance policy. Bad Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips and a travel insurance policy keeps you protected. See the Travel Insurance Page for more information.

  • Payment is due 60 days before the trip. Be sure to read the complete Trip and Course Policies.

  • We only advertise trips we plan to operate. Since our founding in 2013, Bad Adventures has never canceled a multi-day trip. However, we must reserve the right to do so. Be sure to review our Trip and Course Policies and purchase travel insurance.

Meet Your Guide

Hey-ya! My name is Matt Stan. I founded The Bad Adventure Company back in 2013 to share outdoor experiences, which have been so meaningful in my life, with others. I strive to guide the absolute best trips possible, while never taking myself too seriously. Over the past 15 years, I've been lucky enough to lead more than 2,000 people on backpacking, kayaking, and hiking adventures. It's my goal to always exceed expectations. I was born in Northern California, grew up in rural Central Pennsylvania, but now love calling Colorado home. Few things make me happier than a big day of adventure and a well-paired hot sauce!

Hey! I'm Natalie and I am psyched to be leading this trip! This is my first summer working with Bad Adventures. When I am not helping run outrageous trips, my full-time job is studying. This fall I will be a senior at Miami University in Ohio studying Chemical Engineering and Spanish. I love meeting new people and inspiring others to try new things. My kryptonite: dark chocolate.

Real People.
Real Reviews.

I have many adventuring experiences with Matt Stan over the years. Matt has created a team of knowledgeable and...

Posted by Megan Lundy on Saturday, June 29, 2019

Meticulously planned adventures. World class guides. Friendly people. Delicious food. Spectacular sights. Epic experiences. I could go on....

Posted by Chris Nadovich on Sunday, June 16, 2019

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