Y Hikes - What you need to know - Estes Park Center
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YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park Center
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Y Hikes – What you need to know


  • Water – one liter for every 5 miles or for every 2-3 hours
  • Food & snacks
  • Rain gear
  • Hiking Boots or sturdy footwear
  • Layers of clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect Repellent
  • Park pass or money for fees
  • Gas money
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (for early morning or night hikes)


Hikemasters are not permitted to provide transportation to the trailheads due the YMCA’s insurance policy, so we depend on volunteer drivers. Without volunteer drivers, the hike will either be cancelled or altered drastically. If you do not drive, please be considerate and show your gratitude by chipping in for gas. When signing up for your hike, please indicate on the sheet if you can be a driver. If you answer yes, then please also provide your license plate number and number of passengers you can accommodate.


There are entrance fees for entering Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The Park requires that each unrelated individual over 16 or group of related individuals in a vehicle must be able to pay a $10 charge, have a park pass and a photo I.D., or have the money to purchase a park pass. There are several passes available. National Park Pass Fees: 

  • Family Week Pass: $35
  • Daily Pass: $25
  • Golden Eagle (+62 yrs, senior) Pass: $80
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Annual Pass: $70
  • America The Beautiful (All Parks) Pass: $80

Y-hikes are the least expensive guided hikes available in Estes Park and count as one of the many exclusive benefits available to YMCA members. Members of the YMCA hike with us at no extra charge, and temporary membership is included in the room charge of guests who are not YMCA members. Contact your local YMCA for an annual membership for you and your family or call the YMCA of the Rockies at 970-586-3341 or click here: https://ymcarockies.org/about-us/membership . Non-members who do not stay at the YMCA may participate in a Y-hike with the purchase of a $20 day pass per person, available at Sweet Memorial Building.


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 acarroll@ymcarockies.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: Up to 2 hrs = $50.00 Up to 4 hrs = $80.00 Over 4 hrs = $150.00 *Group Requests depend on a variety of factors. Please contact the Hiking Supervisor at 970-586-3341 x1129.


Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent. Children through the age of 12 are asked not to hike more than four (4) total miles. 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. It is important to keep children under control on the trail because of inherent dangers in the wilderness. Predators see children as easy prey. The trail can be lined with appetizing but poisonous berries, flowers, and mushrooms, and the terrain of a well marked trail can become fatal for an unsupervised child. 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. Many parents find it convenient to go on Y-hikes while their children attend day camp at the YMCA. Be sure to let your Hikemaster know if you need to be back at the Y at a certain time to pick up your child from day camp. If you have questions regarding day camp, please call 970-586-3341 ext.1280 or Register for Camp by clicking here:  Day camp Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, approved family member (18+), approved adult, or family friend on any YMCA of the Rockies program hike. If the child is being accompanied by an approved family member or an approved family friend, this approved family member or approved family friend must be approved IN Writing by the parent or legal guardian at least 24 hours in advance of the hike and within the same hiking season. Young adults grades 10-12 are permitted on hikes without a parent at the discretion of the Hikemaster and with advance approval of the Hikemaster no later than 6 pm the day before the hike. Please ask at the Hiking Desk for more information. In order to minimize risk of all the members of the hiking party, the inability to control the behavior (staying with the group, listening to and following the instructions of the Hikemaster, staying on the designated trail, etc.) of children preschool to 9th grade by the parent, legal guardian, approved family member, or approved family friend on the hike will be grounds for the hiking supervisor to deny participation on future hikes.

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