Bear Basin Packtrips, LLC
473 County Road 271
Westcliffe, CO 81252
719-783-2519 (phone)
866-244-4691 (fax)
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Details Hunting Guided


Bear Basin Pack Trips, LLC

Guided hunts in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Wet Valley or on the private land of Bear Basin Ranch – Colo. Reg. #2226


A classic western adventure in a spectacular rugged wilderness setting, this unusual hunt offers the opportunity to see and with skill and luck, bag a large bull or buck away from roads and crowds.

Bear Basin Hunting trips take place within the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Area, or on our 3,500 acre private ranch located in the heart of the Wet Mountains in south central Colorado (game areas 86 & 69). By a special use permit from the Forest Service, we reserve and hunt several drainage systems comprising more than twenty square miles of prime terrain on the migratory paths of the elk. Utilizing several camp locations, we move high or low depending upon weather conditions and the varying patterns of the herds. We primarily hunt rocky mountain elk and mule deer, but have in the past worked with our guests to put together custom packages for smaller game. We have hunted this area each year since 1976.

Each season we work with a small number of hunters, most of whom have hunted with us in past years or have found us by referral. Our carefully selected camps are limited to small groups. For guided hunts we offer round trip transportation from Colorado Springs or you can drive to our ranch, all meals from lunch on day one to lunch on the last day, and well equipped tent camps at USFS reserved sites. Our horses are experienced and gentle, and will be available for you to ride between the trailhead and the camps (we do not hunt from the horses). Pack stock for both game and personal equipment are also available to and from camp.

From many seasons in this area, we know the migratory paths, bedding areas and habits of the animals that we seek. We utilize a large area consisting of steep timbered drainages interspersed with small open meadows. We hunt from an altitude of 9,500 ft., to well over timberline at 12,000 ft. Tactics vary with changing weather and conditions each season. We hunt high or low depending on where the animals are. Early in the week we place stands in promising locations. Later, we climb high ridges and stock the hidden ledges where the big ones bed; attempting to surprise a bull or perhaps catch sight of a lone buck feeding at timberline. Occasionally, we place a bivouac overnight camp above timberline where the elk cross over. We may drive the heavy timber below with staff and guests who have already filled their tags, pushing elk or deer past those above. A guide will always be with you or if you are on a stand, nearby. After you have tagged your kill, we clean and transport it to camp, either by pack horse or if inaccessible, we de-bone the meat and backpack to a pack horse, leaving only inedible parts behind. Heads and capes are handled with care.

Our camps are comfortable but light and mobile. We use six person Eureka tents for sleeping, with a ratio of one tent per 2 clients. We have in addition, a heated large dining and cook tent to gather in for meals and relaxing. We maintain a warming campfire with a teepee windbreak to lounge beside and share the day’s adventure over the evening’s beverage. Meals are designed to satisfy and fuel you for the cold weather. Our camp meals have even been described as gourmet. We carry a compliment of high energy snacks for between meal supplements.

We believe that the hunting experience should be a true adventure conducted in a tasteful and aesthetic manner with minimal impact on the the natural environment and respect for the noble animals that we hunt. Our hunting is best suited for active, fit hunters. The terrain is steep, high country with potential adverse weather – private land hunts are less strenuous. We require strict adherence to safety and Colorado Hunting Regulations. Our experienced guides and camp staff expend every effort to insure that guests are given the best of service and opportunity. They eagerly share their extensive knowledge of game habits, horse packing, camp-craft and hunting technique.

We offer a great western adventure, a hunt that becomes a memorable, exciting vacation and a chance to bag the big one.


All the same as above except that lodging is in a rustic bunk house or a condominium unit in nearby Westcliffe and we do not use horses. We travel by 4×4 vehicle and foot around the Ranch.


Day 0: Arrive Colorado Springs airport or meet at the Ranch. We pick you up for an additional $40/person round trip fee. Overnight at Bear Basin Ranch’s rustic bunkhouse. Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 1: Breakfast in Westcliffe. Purchase elk license. Drive to trailhead. Pack horses and ride approximately 3 hours (6-8 miles) to campsite.


DAY 3-7: HUNTING – In the morning of Day 7 we pack out and return to Bear Basin Ranch. Some who were successful early, may choose to pack out on an earlier day.

* THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY. Based upon guests’ needs and experience, we have designed custom programs to offer more intensive instruction, additional days, more difficult routes, etc. We have designed programs for many groups and organizations and would be happy to work with yours. (PLEASE SEE CUSTOM TRIPS).
** Itinerary may be different on private land hunts.


Guides and camp staff, all meals from lunch day 1 to lunch day 7, tents and camp as described, saddle horse for transportaion to camp, pack horses, assistance with processing and shipping of game.


GUEST QUALIFICATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Please read the detailed information on the application form. It is vital for safety and enjoyment of this hunt that you be in good physical condition and health. We recommend a regular exercise program and physical training as you would for any sport. You must come with a positive attitude, prepared to have a good time come what may; accepting that having a great wilderness adventure is as important as taking home a trophy. We require that you follow our safety instructions and adhere strictly to Colorado hunting regulations. We are flexible and accommodating about how much and when you want to hunt. However, maximum effort increases the chances of success. Consult your Doctor about Diomox, a medication that reduces the adverse effects of high altitude, if you are arriving from sea level.

PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS: Because of rugged steep mountains, accessible only by foot or horse, this area of Colorado has a high ratio of large bull elk and mature male mule deer. Very few animals are taken by the general public. In recent years, our success ratio has varied between 100% to 50%. Bulls have varied between 4 and 6 points. We occasionally bag a buck in the 30″ spread category.

LICENSES: Licenses are unlimited for Bull Elk in the Sangre’s; purchase in Westcliffe on the way to the trailhead. A Hunter Safety Course Certificate or card is required for those born after 1948. Ask about current license costs. *Call for specifics on license draws for your species.

At the end of your trip you will be brought back to the hotel sometime between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. We recommend making prior lodging reservations if you plan to spend the night. If you must fly
out that evening, please do not schedule a flight before 8:30 p.m., to make certain you can make your flight.

Price Includes horses, guides, meals, tents, & instruction.
A 3% Forest Service Use fee will be added to the cost.

Round trip transportation from Colorado Springs – $

Phone: 719.783.2519
Winter Phone: 719.510.1766
Fax: 866.244.4691
A signed contract and a 50% deposit will reserve your hunting trip.

Should you cancel 60 days prior to your hunt, your deposit will be returned. Cancellations at 59 days or less, prior to your hunt are non-refundable. If you book your hunt early (prior to the draw) and do not draw a license, we can either refund your deposit or apply it to the following year.


  • IF WE ARE PICKING YOU UP – $60 per person
    Time: 7:30 am on the first morning of the trip
    Radisson Inn, Colorado Springs Airport – 1645 N. Newport Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80916
    Please meet in the lobby with your duffel bag, and with your day pack or saddlebags packed.
    Transportation to the Ranch: Travel to and from the Ranch in our van
    Time: 9:00 am on the first morning of the trip
    Bear Basin Ranch; 473 County Road 271; Westcliffe, CO 81252
    Please meet at the ranch with your duffel bag, and with your day pack or saddlebags packed.
    Transportation to the Ranch: Drive to the Ranch in your car

Hotel: We recommend the Radisson Inn – Colorado Springs Airport on 1645 N. Newport Rd. in Colorado Springs.
719.597.7000 or 800.333.3333
Mention you are with Bear Basin Ranch to receive the special discount rate!

Or, if you would like to stay somewhere locally in Westcliffe, we recommend the Westcliffe Inn
Phone: 719.783.9275
( or there are several other hotels and Inns if you go looking!) Westcliffe is 11 miles west on Hwy 96 from the Ranch.

Air: Most major airlines serve Colorado Springs daily.

Car: You can drive to the Radisson Inn – Colorado Springs Airport and, with prior notice, leave your car in the parking lot while on the trip. Arrangements can also be made to drive to Bear Basin Ranch outside of Westcliffe, CO. Let us know and we will send you details and a map.

Directions: Bear Basin Ranch is approximately 65 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.
Head south on Interstate 25 to the Tejon/Canon City Exit in Colorado Springs.
urn left from the exit over to Nevada Avenue (Hwy 115) and then right on Nevada heading south to Florence (about 35 miles).
In Florence turn left at the light (Carl’s Jr.) onto Hwy 67 again heading south to Wetmore.
At Wetmore turn right at the T-intersection onto Hwy 96 heading west.
Watch the mile markers. Our turn is at the 11 mile marker, turn right (north) onto County Rd 271.
Go one quarter mile to Bear Basin Ranch on the left. Check in to the office (first log cabin on the right).

** Map to Bear Basin Ranch.

Bus: Greyhound serves Colorado Springs on a daily scheduled basis.
Phone: 719.292.6111

TRAVEL INSURANCE: We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you book a trip. This can reimburse you if you need to cancel last minute due to sickness or other trip emergencies. (See AIR above).

In order to best acclimate to our higher altitude, we recommend that you begin increasing your water intake to 8 or more glasses of water per day at least 24 hours before you are due to arrive — this will help your body to adapt to the higher altitude.

___ Rifle and Ammo – Well sighted in before arrival. Please bring a soft gun case if packing in by horse (hard cases are a big pain to pack).
___ Identification – drivers license, HUNTER SAFETY CARD (proof of completion of a hunter safety course – required by Colorado Law if you were born after 1948).
___ Hunting license if in a draw area
___ CASH – to purchase a Colorado hunting license for Deer/Elk if not a draw area.
___ 2pr. long
___ 2pr. short
___ Underwear
___ Long underwear bottoms or biker shorts (to combat saddle sores)
___ 1 heavy long s
leeve (cotton is cold when wet) sweater (wool or synthetic)
___ 1 lightweight long sleeve
___ 1 short sleeve
___ 3 T-shirts or tank tops
___ Boots, medium-weight to heavy-weight and waterproof with stiff sole
___ Boots, lightweight trail hiking boots or shoes
___ Tennis shoes or tevas (for around camp)
___ Socks — 4 or 5 pairs of heavy wool, liners also help prevent chaffing
___ Bandana
___ Gaiters to keep out snow, rain etc.
___ Warm parka or jacket, windproof and waterproof
___ Windproof outer jacket/shell (optional)
___ Two piece rain suit (slicker with rain pants) NO PONCHOS PLEASE (essential!)
___ Fleece, polartec, or other brand pullover or jacket, or heavyweight sweater
___ Gloves (for warmth)
___ Hat with brim (for sun, hail, and snow protection – (must have some form of stampede string if wearing while riding)
___ Wool hat (for warmth)
___ Large daypack (to carry things during the day)
___ Warm sleeping bag (good at least to 0° F. – we can rent bags and thinsolite pads if they are reserved in advance)
___ Light foam pad or air mattress
___ Sunglasses – quality dark or glacier-type glasses
___ Pocketknife – Swiss army type
___ Flashlights – mini-maglite flashlight with headband or headlamp with extra AA batteries
___ 1 or 2 lightweight water bottles
___ Emergency kit –
Knife, compass, firestarter or candle, headlamp and extra batteries,
___ Personal medication
___ Sun block #25 or more.
___ Binoculars
___ Towel & washcloth
___ Biodegradable soap

___ Toothbrush and toothpaste
___ Sun screen – heavy duty sun block
___ Lip balm – with sunscreen
___ Mirror
___ Comb
___ Hand lotion
___ Shaving kit
___ Personal medication
___ Personal first-aid kit with Band-Aids and moleskin
___ Insect repellent
___ Ice ax or trekking pole
___ Fishing rod and gear, collapsible (a temporary Colorado license can be purchased here)
___ Candy, gum or tobacco items (we will have ample meals and high-energy trail snacks)
___ Light camera and extra film (you may wish to include a disposable waterproof camera for wet days)
___ Note pad, field guides & light field glasses
___ Cocktail liquor (place in unbreakable containers); please, no beer, it’s too heavy for packing
___ Cash for incidentals, fishing license, tips, alcohol, etc.

Pack your gear into your duffel bags and daypack. Please limit your equipment to a rifle and two duffle bags. Total weight should not exceed 65 lbs. (for the sake of the packhorses.) Your duffel bags will not be available during rides. Your daypack or saddlebags should hold rain gear, water bottle, gloves and other items you will want during the day. Your guide will show you how to best strap it to your saddle. Line the duffel and day bag with a garbage bag or ziplock. The weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for anything. Use the layer system of clothing, where items can be added or taken off with changes in temperature. On up until June and after September snow and hail are common. The most important thing to bring is your cheerful acceptance of whatever surprises the wilderness may hold in store!

Although October weather can be warm and sunny, come prepared for the worst. We have had on occasions, several feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures. If a hunt has started and we are forced to cancel due to severe weather conditions, we cannot give a refund (please see our detailed cancellation policy on the application form.) This has happened only once in our many years in the area. Fresh snow and cold temperatures frequently make for better hunting. We would only cancel if severe weather threatens the safety of guests and livestock.

Items listed on the equipment list, alcoholic beverages, and tips are excluded. Tipping is at your discretion, of course. Please direct your tip to the lead guide. Standard in the industry is 10-15% of the trip cost. We now require all guests to leave their pets at home for their safety and the safety of other guests. 

** In addition to the optional $60 round-trip transportation from Colorado Springs, a 3% National Forest User Fee will be assessed to each participant.