hiking, hikemasters, guided hikes
Guided Hiking Program
April 13, 2021
Did you know that YMCA of the Rockies offers free guided hikes to all guests and members?
Guided Hikes at YMCA of the Rockies
Did you know that YMCA of the Rockies offers free guided hikes to all guests and members? In addition to the on-property hiking trails that guests can explore on their own, during the summer season, our expert Hikemasters lead hikes of varying difficulty to many different locations in the area. From strolling around the “Y” grounds to climbing peaks and trekking around beautiful alpine lakes, there are hikes available for everyone. Each week’s hikes are listed in the Activity Guide and on our Activity and Program Registration site.
Do you have a group of 6 or more or want to go to a destination that is not listed on our schedule? Register for a private guided hike for just your group with one of our hikemasters. For a fee, we will take you to the destination of your choice.
For questions about our guided hikes or to register for private hikes, please call x1311 or visit us in the Boone Family Mountain Center.
Start off on your own adventure, view a detailed YMCA trail map.
Planning Your Hikes
Do you see a difficult hike on our schedule that you really want to do? Through careful planning, you can qualify to sign- up for our hardest hikes, even Long’s Peak. The YMCA hiking program has a H-A difficulty rating system.
• H- G are the easiest and consists of 1-5 mile nature walks.
• F level hikes are great for children under the age of 12.
• E level hikes are the most challenging hikes you can do without ever hiking with us before.
• D and C hikes are very challenging and often take you to remote off trial destinations that you may not visit without a guide.
• A and B hikes are the hardest and includes Long’s Peak. In order to qualify for a Long’s Peak hike, you must complete the prerequisite on one of our hikemaster- led hikes.
So what hikes do you need to do to hike Long’s Peak with us? Within 3 months of the Long’s Peak hike, you must do an E level hike, followed by the C level hike.
Things to Know
What to Bring
• Water – one liter for every 5 miles
• Food & snacks
• Rain gear
• Hiking Boots or sturdy footwear
• Layers of clothing
• Park pass or money for fees
• Gas money
Our hiking program depends upon guest volunteers to drive to the trailheads. Without volunteer drivers, the hike will either be cancelled or altered drastically. If you have a vehicle and can drive to the trailhead, please let us know along with the number of seatbelts in your car. If you do not drive, please be considerate and show your gratitude by chipping in for gas.
There are entrance fees for entering Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. There are several fee options available. Non-members who do not stay at the YMCA in a cabin or lodge room may participate in a Y-hike by purchasing a $25 per person day pass at the Boone Family Mountain Center the night before the hike.
Hikes may be requested with at least four week’s advanced notice; although, the earlier the better because we take requests on a first-come-first-serve basis as we are limited by permits and staff. You must have successfully completed the prerequisite for a hike graded A- D, but you are also free to request a prerequisite. Request hikes are still subject to cancellation due to lack of participation, lack of drivers, or to unsafe conditions. We automatically place those who request a hike first on the sign-up list. Only by requesting a destination or an activity can an individual or a group reserve their place ahead of time. Note: Requests are NOT guaranteed; they are simply requests that we will try to work into the schedule. If you have hike requests, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a group that is lodging at the YMCA and would like a Hikemaster to lead them on a guided hike, we can take a ratio of 9:1 for on-trail hikes and 5:1 for off-trail hikes. *Ratio= Hikers to Hikemasters Fees: $25 per hour of the scheduled hike.
Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent. Kids who like hiking can accomplish surprising feats [six-year-olds have climbed Longs Peak!] but most kindergartners would find an F hike like Mills Lake or The Loch a challenging enough day. We welcome kids on Y-hikes and encourage them to grow up into great hikers and even Hikemasters! Most Hikemasters fondly recall their hiking experiences from when they were young. Due to safety concerns, children face greater restrictions and require our extra attention. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Please ask at the Hiking Desk for more information.
Join YMCA of the Rockies Hiking Club! We keep track of the mileage you cover on Y-hikes and give you recognition for your hard work. It only costs $15 to become a member. With each milestone you hit, you will receive a patch documenting your accomplishment. Checkpoints include:
• 100 Mile
• 250 Mile
• 500 Mile
• 750 Mile
• 1,000 Mile
• 1,500 Mile
• 2,000 Mile (coming soon!)
Register and log your hikes at the Boone Family Mountain Center after each Y-hike you complete. Hikemasters will sign off on your miles sheet and we’ll take care of the rest! Call for more information, 970-586-3341 ext. 1311.