We have had such good experiences with guided hiking tours that we searched for a guide in the Boulder area that would take us to the mountains. With only a few days in the area, we didn't have time to go searching out the best places. We are in pretty good shape, tho not used to the altitude, but really like to have someone who knows the best spots, and also can tell us about the history and animals and plants in the area. AND we wanted to get away from the crowds of Boulder and also wanted someone trained in backcountry first aid, just in case.
I found Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides through a google search. We had originally wanted a hiking trip, but John at CWRAG suggested that we might not find good hiking in March, and suggested we try snowshoeing. He asked alot of questions about our ability, experience and expectations to ensure we would have a good day.
Our guide, Nick is a former Army Ranger with years of experience in wilderness day and multi-day trips. including mountain climbing, biking. He met us in Boulder in a centrally located parking lot and drove us in his large van to RMNP. Snacks and water were already on board. We stopped in Estes Park to pick up sandwiches and drinks (included in the cost of a day trip). They will pick up at your hotel for an extra fee.
All equipment was provided, along with extra gloves, hats and sunscreen. Nick showed us how to use the equipment, and patiently got us started. We snowshoed for about five hours total, while Nick chatted and told us stories and facts about the area. We stopped at a beautiful, frozen, snow-covered lake in a huge snowy bowl for lunch.
This was exactly the kind of trip we wanted - great exercise, all inclusive day, with an interesting, experienced guide who took us to beautiful places we wouldn't have found on our own. And now we know how to snowshoe !
CWRAG has many experienced guides and also offers bike trips and hiking trips in the summer.
We were impressed with their customer orientation - they made sure we were safe and had the challenging and fun experience we wanted to have for our day.