Colorado Adventure Tours

If you yearn to explore the Colorado outdoors, but are hesitant to wander the wide blue yonder on your own, consider hiring an adventure guide to show you the way.


Find more Colorado adventure tours.

By: Staff Writer
Updated: July 12, 2024

Here we’ve gathered a list of popular expeditions offered by Colorado adventure guides for beginner to intermediate travelers to get you started on your journey, whether you're looking for family-friendly trips or vigorous exercise and adventure.


There’s no better way to explore Colorado’s wild backcountry than under the wing of a trained guide who not only knows the ins and outs of trails, but can also give you insight on the area’s history — and feed you after a long day of high-altitude mountaineering. Meals and equipment are usually included in the cost of the excursion, and trips can be customized to your ability or to help you reach a personal goal.

Alpine Lakes Traverse by San Juan Mountain Guides

Level: Experienced hikers in excellent physical shape (Can you carry a 35-pound pack for up to 7 miles per day?)
Duration: Six days
Included: Guides/trip leaders, water-purification system and group camping and cooking equipment
The Trip: Explore some of the state's most beautiful alpine lakes in the Weminuche Wilderness near Ouray. Highlights include the deep sapphire Balsam Lake, the stunning robin's-egg-blue of Leviathan Lake and the high-elevation gem that is Ruby Lake. You can even tag Turret Peak, a 13,000-foot peak that rewards with expansive views.

Rocky Mountain Backpacking — East Inlet by REI Adventures

Level: Moderate Plus (Participants must be able to carry backpacks weighing 35 to 40 pounds for 5 to 10 miles daily.)
Duration: Four days
Included: Professional instruction and guiding, all meals as noted in the itinerary, snacks, group cooking gear, bear canister, group first-aid kit, water filter, transportation from host hotel to store meeting place (upon request), transportation from host hotel to trailheads and campsite and permit fees
The Trip: Start on the western border of Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Grand Lake and hop on the Continental Divide Trail. You’ll intersect flower and wildlife-freckled meadows, tumbling waterfalls and clear alpine lakes — all surrounded by a sea of peaks and the comfort of a seasoned guide, who fill you in on little-known secrets about the area.

Whitewater Rafting Trips in Colorado

If the typical half-day rafting trip doesn’t leave you with enough time on the water, spend multiple days riding Colorado’s rivers with the pros. From slow floats to Class V white water levels, rafting guides coordinate trips for all types of paddlers and provide perks like freshly prepared meals and campfires. 

Colorado River — Little Gore Canyon by Dvorak Expeditions

Level: Intermediate
Duration: Four days
Included: All equipment and gear, four days of rafting, splash jackets and pants, and lunch
The Trip: Dvorak Expeditions hosts a variety of fishing and whitewater rafting excursions. This trip takes crews for 23 to 65 miles among Class II-III rapids on the Colorado River. Alpine scenery, historic points and milder whitewaters make the Little Gore Canyon expedition ideal for families.

River Rafting Through Dinosaur National Monument by OARS

Level: Moderate
Duration: Four to five days
Included: Rafting, meals and all the equipment you'll need (from helmets to camp chairs)
The Trip: In addition to rafting among Class III-IV rapids through majestic Dinosaur National Monument, guides take adventurers on multiple hikes and offer insight into the area’s rich geology and Native American history.

Upper Animas Whitewater Adventure by Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trails Tours

Level: Extreme
Duration: Two days
Included: Rafting, meals and campsite
The Trip: Spend two days challenging Class II, III, IV and V rapids in the Upper Animas River Canyon between Durango and Silverton in the stunningly scenic Weminuche Wilderness. As a bonus, your mode of transport in and out of the canyon is none other than the historical Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Gold Pass Package by Royal Gorge Rafting

Level: Thrill seekers
Duration: One day
Included: Half-day rafting trip, zipline tour  and lunch at White Water Bar & Grill
The Trip: This one-day activities package will get your adrenaline pumping and introduce you to the breathtaking beauty of the Cañon City area. Conquer rapids on the Arkansas River below the Royal Gorge, the iconic 1,200-foot canyon; and view the landscape from new heights on ziplining excursions.

View complete listings for Colorado rafting guides.

Rock Climbing

Colorado has hundreds of rewarding rock climbs. Multi-day trips offer an introduction to the vertical world for beginners and excursions customized to your skill level (be honest!). Gear is usually included, and guides/instructors help you build a solid foundation of skills to become capable rock climber.

Two-Day Climb & Camp by Paragon Guides

Level: Beginner to Advanced
Duration: Two days
Included: Professional guide/personal instruction, lodging pickup and drop off, climbing gear (harness, helmet, rope and belay device), camping gear, dinner and breakfast
The Trip: Reconnect with family members or friends while you refine or acquire new rock-climbing skills and immerse yourselves in the Vail-area backcountry. Understand how protection systems work, learn the dynamics of rope handling and develop a sense for moving comfortably on the rocks. Top-roped climbing for beginners and lead-climbing instruction is also available. 

Colorado Rock Climbing by Apex Mountain School

Level: Beginner to Advanced
Duration: One day
Included: Equipment and private guide
The Trip: Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced climber, Apex Mountain School has full-day programs for every age, ability and fitness level. Select a climbing area in Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Boulder’s Flatirons, or select a course that focuses on skills like multi-pitch climbing or rappelling. 

Find more rock climbing guides in Colorado.

Colorado Bike Tours 

If you prefer to embark on two-wheeled adventures, Colorado bike tour guides have invaluable knowledge of trails and their surroundings to provide you with a less stressful and more in-depth riding experience. Additionally, guides are trained to evaluate trail and weather conditions as well as rider ability to ensure riders avoid accidents for the safest ride possible.

Sightseer Multi Day Tour by Pikes Peak Bike Tours

Level: Intermediate (able to bike three to five hours daily)
Duration: Three days
Included: Custom-fitted mountain bike, all meals save dinner (but including snacks!), bottled water and lights
The Trip: Experience the best the Pikes Peak Region and Colorado Springs has to offer on this action-packed tour. Adventures include shuttling to the 14,107-foot summit of Pikes Peak to soak up soaring views as you cruise back down, a mountain-biking introduction followed by a shred session on historical roads, and then some chill e-biking through the sculptural outcroppings of Garden of the Gods.

Rocky Mountain National Park Descent by Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides

Level: Easy
Duration: One day
Included: Guide and transportation to Trail Ridge Road
The Trip: You don’t have to be an adept biker to have a National Geographic-caliber cycling experience. Try this 19-mile, all-downhill excursion from Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park. After that, you hop back on the shuttle where you're transported to Switzerland Trail, where another 22 miles of descent takes you straight into Boulder

View complete listings for mountain biking guides in Colorado.

Options for Families

Adventures don’t have to be associated with vigorous physical activity. There are plenty of guided excursions among all the outfitters listed for families who are seeking an out-of-the box getaway or a way to help their kids learn to love the outdoors at an early age. A few to consider:

Take a Colo-Road Trip 

Duration: Two to three days
The Trip: Explore Colorado with these family-friendly road-trip itineraries, which give you the freedom to pick the activities that best suit your brood: 

Find more Colo-Road Trips.

Arkansas River Valley Multi Sport Expedition by Dvorak Expeditions

Level: Beginner to advanced
Duration: Two to five days
Included: Some meals, equipment for each activity, some fishing upgrades
The Trip: Dvorak Expeditions will coordinate a Arkansas River Valley activity to please every member of your family. Sign up for activities such as horseback riding, hiking, rafting, fly-fishing, rock climbing or fourteener climbs in the Collegiate Mountain Range. 

Custom Trips by Blazing Adventures

Level: You pick
Duration: As long as you choose
The Trip: Work with trusted guides to gain an intimate taste of the central Rocky Mountains by partaking in quintessential Colorado activities, like Jeepiing, whitewater rafting and more. The sky's the limit with these adventures. 

Colorado Fourteeners

Climbing one of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners earns you true bragging rights, but the achievement does not come without careful preparation. Take the guesswork out of your journey by following a guide, who will help you predict storms and changing mountain weather. Guides can also chart the best trail up a peak for your abilities and help keep you hydrated and in tune with difficulties that come with high-altitude exertion. 

Longs Peak Guided Hike by Kirk’s Mountain Adventures

Level: Experienced hikers fit enough to handle more than 5,000 feet of elevation gain
Duration: Two days
Included: Guide, overnight stay at the Boulderfield campground, backpacking equipment, all food and transportation
The Trip: Conquer one of Colorado’s most famous fourteeners, Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Your adventure starts in the early morning, where you’ll catch glimpses of twinkling city lights on your way to the campground. On your second day, you’ll summit Longs to be met with sweeping views of the park and surrounding valley — truly breathtaking when admired from 14,256 feet.

14ers & Alpine Ascents by Paragon Guides

Level: Experienced Hikers Seeking New Challenges 
Duration: Eight to 12 hours
Included: Transportation, lunch, snacks, water-purification equipment and hiking poles
The Trip: These all-day guided adventures call for an early morning start and involve off-trail hiking in uneven and rocky terrain. Summit the 14,005-foot Mount of the Holy Cross, a peak in Sawatch Range named for the distinctive cross-shaped snowfield on its northeast face. You can also choose a smaller 12,000-foot-plus climb such as Grand Traverse Peak, Homestake Peak or Mount Jackson. 

Guided Winter Adventures in Colorado

While backcountry slopes can stimulate dreams of pristine, untouched powder and tranquil landscapes, navigating off-the-grid territory can be daunting. During these guided winter excursions, experts provide avalanche gear and training and help you navigate Colorado’s best backcountry routes for skiing and snowboarding.

Backcountry Hut Skiing by Paragon Guides

Level: Intermediate
Duration: One to three days
Included: Professional guides, all meals, all group gear (including first-aid and repair kits)
The Trip: Paragon Guides utilizes 16 huts in the 10th Mountain Division Hut System and skiing routes between AspenEagleVail and Leadville. You can design your getaway around routes that allow you to stay in a single hut for one to three nights, or ski/snowboard from hut to hut (mileage between huts varies from 3 to 9 miles) for a more extensive trip. 

Multi-Day Backcountry Hut-to-Hut Trip by Aspen Expeditions

Level: Intermediate to expert alpine or telemark skiers (backcountry experience not required)
Duration: Two to five days
Included: Trained/certified ski guide, avalanche rescue equipment, hut fees, food, sleeping bag and transportation to trailhead
The Trip: Set off on a ski tour in the Elk Mountains outside with an out-of-the-way hut as your base. Huts are equipped with solar power, wood stoves, grub and sleeping bags, so all you have to do is ski in and enjoy. 

Read more about Colorado hut trips for cross-country skiing & snowshoeing.

Ski the Peaks by San Juan Mountain Guides

Level: Must feel comfortable and competent on black-rated runs at ski resorts
Duration: One day
Included: Certified/trained guide and avalanche equipment (probe, shovel and beacon)
The Trip: Hike up a peak in the San Juan Mountains to experience the reward of an unforgettable 3,000- to 5,000-foot descent down the mountain on your skis. Possible peaks include North Twilight Peak, The Grand Turk, Sultan Mountain, Bear Mountain, Kendall Mountain, North and South Lookout peaks, The Battleship, Mount Sneffels and Chicago Basin fourteeners. 

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Find more Colorado adventure tours