Easy & Easiest (Grades G & H) thoroughly enjoyable and informational. Perfect for grandchildren and grandparents, these walks get you out and about in this amazing place.
Moderate (Grade E & F) – Moderate in their difficulty, these Y-hikes provide spectacular views, points of interest, and serene settings which will keep you busy majority of the day but usually have back with time to spare before dinner. Many of them make for enjoyable nature walks, rambles, or sunrise, moonlight, or dinner hikes. Given the hikemaster’s consent, children often do well on these hikes.
Hard (Grades C & D) – Those who take these more challenging treks will be hiking up to 12 miles, may go above tree line, and gain altitude of up to 3,500 feet. C-grade hikes are good conditioning for the most difficult hikes the Y offers.
Most Difficult & Challenging (Grades A & B) – These hikes face greater exposure, greater mileage, more difficult terrain, and higher altitudes, which makes weather a potential danger. Lightning storms may arise, and rain, hail, and snow may make difficult terrain treacherous. Even in the summer we must be prepared to fight off hypothermia and frostbite at high altitudes, and hydration becomes an even higher priority.
THE ABC’s OF Y-HIKES:
A and B HIKES: Two hikemasters are required on all A- and B-level hikes. The minimum number of guest hikers on an A or B hike is two or three, depending on hikemaster discretion. The maximum number of hikers is determined by Rocky Mountain National Park and the United State Forest Service. At times, a Y hike may not take the maximum number of hikers allowed; this is up to the discretion of the two hikemasters leading the hike. Their decision is based on the difficulty of the specific hike, the skill level of the guests based on their performance on prerequisite hikes, the weather outlook and possible other factors
C, D, E and F HIKES: One hikemaster is required; two hikemasters is optional. The decision is based on hikemaster availability, hike difficulty and hike popularity. The minimum number of hikers is four, including the hikemaster(s).
G and, H HIKES: A maximum of nine hikers per one hikemaster is allowed on G and H hikes into RMNP. The minimum number of guests is two, the maximum is 18 with two hikemasters. For hikes that don’t leave the Y grounds, the limit is 13 hikers to one hikemaster.
Prerequisites: To meet the prerequisite for an A, B, C and D hike, a hiker must have completed without difficulty a YMCA of the Rockies (hikemaster-led) hike of no more than two grades lower within three months prior to the hike. This means a C hike is the prerequisite for an A hike (some A hikes may require additional hiker scrutiny due to their high level of physical demand); a D hike is the prerequisite for a B hike, etc.