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

3 or 5 DAY TREKKING TRIP – Hiking with pack stock supported camps
A Mountaineering & Horse Assisted Adventure Trek For Beginners.


Our Trekking Trip is a 3 or 5 day non-technical mountaineering tour with packstock support that will take you into the remote wilds of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area and offer you the opportunity to safely climb 13,000 ft. peaks without having to rely on cumbersome ropes and harnesses. No previous climbing experience is necessary, and for larger groups, some in your party may not wish to climb at all. But for those who have climbed before, we can customize the routes we take to match your skill level and ensure each that each guest has a challenging and adventuresome experience.

On our Trekking trip, camping is safari style. Packhorses carry comfortable tents, kitchen and personal gear between spectacular wilderness camps leaving our guests free to carry only light daypacks. This trip is for healthy participants in good physical condition. Although the distances traveled are not long (the longest day we cover is about 9 miles), we do climb steep trails at high altitudes between 8,500 to 12,500 ft.


DAY 1: Meeting at the Colorado Springs Radisson at 7:30 a.m., we drive 1 1/2 hours to meet any other guests who have chosen to meet us at the ranch, so that we are all assembled by 9 a.m. We continue on to the trailhead in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area and there we organize tents, ropes, food and equipment for our high mountaineering adventure. Our guide discusses expedition planning and organization of equipment, movement and balance on rock, rope handling and safety. Instruction is supportive, designed to build confidence and alleviate anxiety. We head out along the Rainbow Trail, arriving at the first night’s camp by late afternoon. There we relax on our first night out with delicious foods and beverages around a glowing campfire.

DAY 2: Enjoy a leisurely morning, complete with cowboy coffee and a hearty breakfast — today we trek west into the nearby peaks. Traveling along a seldom-visited trail, we hike six miles along a tumbling mountain stream to a high camp near timberline, between 8,500 and 11,400 ft. Towering above us are the majestic peaks we will climb tomorrow. After another fantastic meal, you walk some distance from the campfire just to look up, and you realize that there are more stars here then you have ever seen in your life.

DAY 3: After breakfast, we depart early for an attempt on our objective, a major 13’000 ft. peak. Everyone settles into his or her own pace as we carefully pick our way up the steep summit ridge. Our guides explain technique and safety, the slow, steady, rest step, and refinements of alpine route finding. Exalting in clear, cool, high altitude air, we savor a panoramic vista of much of southern Colorado. Everyday life is remote and forgotten. Returning to camp, we enjoy a before dinner happy hour around the campfire. The guides share colorful stories of past adventure.

DAY 4: Each day more exciting and rewarding than the last, our goal today is the second summit chosen for its climatic value. This will generally be a harder climb, to satisfy those who’s legs weren’t turned to jelly from the steep ascent from the day before. Some may choose to remain in camp to enjoy the remote solitude of this peaceful hidden valley.

DAY 5: Reluctantly departing our peaceful valley, we climb out over a short pass hiking past several sparkling glacial lakes. Descending down valley on an easy trail, we soon meet the waiting van and the end of our mountain odyssey. We are back at the road too soon, and talk and reminisce about our adventure as we our horses neigh softly, awaiting transport home. We drive you back to Colorado Springs in time for late evening flights or for a restful evening in a hotel.

** 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).

* Due to factors beyond our control, we occasionally find it necessary to change the order or the route of these activities. We have many options available for different valleys and a selection of great peaks to climb within the range of our Forest Service special use permit for the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Area. The route that we select will follow the above itinerary as closely as possible. However, we make our pre-trip decision based upon weather, trail conditions and other varying factors. Travel and climbing in high mountain terrain is always contingent to favorable weather conditions.

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.

5-Day – $930 ($200 per person surcharge if only 3 people are signed up by launch date)
3-Day – $630 ($90 per person surcharge if only 3 people are signed up by launch date)
Includes horses, guides, meals, tents, & instruction.
A 3% Forest Service Use fee will be added to the cost.

Start Dates: July 15, August 5. Other dates may be available upon request.

Phone: 719.783.2519
Fax: 866.244.4691


    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.
Phone: 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.

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.

___ 2pr. long
2pr. short
___ Underwear
___ Long underwear bottoms or biker shorts (to combat saddle sores)
___ 1 heavy long sleeve (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 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 30° 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
___ 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 bag and daypack. The maximum weight allowable for your duffel bag is 40 pounds (for the sake of the packhorses.) Your duffel bag will not be available during the day. 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; it can snow even in August, so be prepared for anything. Use the layer system of clothing, where items can be added or taken off with changes in temperature. On May, June or September trips snow and hail are common. The most important thing to bring is your cheerful acceptance of whatever surprises the wilderness may hold in store!

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. 

** A 3% National Forest User Fee will be assessed to each participant.