Surf and Turf Getaway

Colorado USA: (RTCO02)

Colorado USA
A Fantastic Combo: Three days riding high country trails, followed by two days rafting the wild Arkansas River! Groups meet in Colorado Springs each Sunday for an overnight at a hotel. Leaving the flatlands behind on Monday, we drive high into the heart of the Rockies. The sawtooth back bone of the massive Sangre de Cristo Range dominates the western horizon as we reach our trail head. Learning to saddle and care for our mounts while pack horses are loaded, we climb anxiously into the saddle.

Snaking our way up switch back and canyon we reach a remote meadow where we pitch camp among the pines and wild flowers. From this comfortable bivouac we spend our time riding and exploring the ridges, lakes and forests of an unspoiled alpine wilderness. With the helpful assistance of knowledgeable, experienced guides, you learn to saddle, feed and care for your horse. After three adventurous days, it is reluctantly back to civilization where a hot shower, sit-down dinner, and soft bed await. The next morning, it's on to the Arkansas River for a thrilling paddle through the churning waters of Brown's Canyon, followed the next day by a memorable trip along Colorado's best stretch of white water through world renown Royal Gorge. For young or less intrepid guests we arrange a less demanding alternative. We combine horses, wilderness camping, and white water fun with two nights of comfortable lodging. A Friday evening return allows weekend exploration of historic Colorado Springs. No previous riding experience necessary. We teach the basics as we ride. Camps are placed between 9000-10,000 feet with day rides going as high as 13,000 or more feet in elevation. For the river portion, no prior experience is necessary. However, there is an age limit of 18 and over for the Royal Gorge section which we raft the second day. Kids 18-13 years will be rafting Brown's Canyon both days. There is some flexibility depending on water level. If a child under 13 years wishes to participate in this trip prior approval must be arranged. For all activities, guests should be in good health and moderately good physical condition.


This is a progressive ride where nights are spent at different locations.

The first night is spent at a hotel and the remaining 4 nights are spent camping.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Radisson Inn Colorado Springs Airport
Night 2 & 3: Camping
Night 4 & 5: accommodation in Salida

Radisson Inn Colorado Springs Airport
This hotel provides a free transfer service to the airport as well as free Wi-Fi and a hot breakfast buffet.
The rooms are modern and include a flat-screen TV, microwave, min-fridge and a private bathroom. You can also relax in the hot tub, sun terrace or indoor pool.
If you need an extra night in Colorado Springs on Day 6- please let Hidden Trails know and we will be happy to book this for you.

Guests stay in a dome tent (4-man tent). Clients should bring sleeping bags with a little foam pad. There are no showers.
The wranglers cook and take care of the horses. If you want to help, you are more than welcome to. 

We can supply: saddlebags, sleeping bags, ground mats, and duffel on request for additional fee. Please inquire at time of booking.

Room Occupancy
Single tents can be requested at no extra fee but a single supplement applies for the first night at a Colorado Springs hotel.

All meals are included (from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on last day) except in Colorado Springs. Meals on the first day are not included but we offer 20% off for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant in Colorado Springs.

Dietary Restrictions
We have experience with and are happy to accommodate special dietary needs such as Kosher, vegetarian, and lactose-free. Just let us know when you make your reservations of your special needs.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


The ranch owns 60 head of Appaloosa and Paint horses. The horses are sure-footed, no nonsense and willing. We will assign you your own horse and teach you how to saddle, picket and care for it.

Riding Experience
Our trip begin with hands-on instruction on saddling and care of your mount. At the same time, our program allows for diversity to accommodate and challenge the advanced rider as well. Our philosophy is simple; the more you know about your horse and equipment, the more you will enjoy your vacation.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Please, note that we may alter the itinerary due to weather, trail conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Arrival in Colorado Springs and transfer (shuttle) to the Hotel near the airport. Dinner is not included, but the hotel offers a 20% discount for our guests.
Overnight at Hotel in Colorado Springs

Day 2 (Monday): First Ride
Early morning full hot breakfast at the hotel (starting at 6 AM). At 7:30 AM, our transfer will pick you up from the hotel lobby and take you 2-hours drive to the trailhead on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As the pack string is carefully loaded with duffels and supplies, one of the two colorful wrangler/guides picked for the adventure, gives detailed instructions on riding, saddling and care of your mount. Setting out around mid day, we wind up through aspen groves, gamble oak and lodge pole pine, up and into a long glaciated valley. The trail is almost lost as we work around downfall Engle Mann spruce, fording the tumbling stream that gurgles down toward the Arkansas river and eventually the Mississippi. A black tuff eared squirrel chatters indignantly as we pass. Higher up, a cow elk with ungainly calf in tow ambles across a meadow lush with purple larkspur and yellow composites. We set camp near a meadow surrounded by high ridges and glacier chiseled summits towering skyward above. The horses are picketed out. The tents are up in carefully selected flat areas well away from each other and the small campfire is glowing cheerfully as we sip hot drinks while awaiting dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride across the mountains
The aroma of brewing coffee and the fluttering of Canada Jays signals the start of the day. Some will be up to greet the rising sun, others enjoy the leisure of a no stress morning, awaiting the enticing smell of a traditional cowboy breakfast to tempt them from the warm comfort of bedroll and tent. Following the second pot of coffee, we saddle up for a day of exploration. Leaving camp and pack horses behind we ride up valley in search of the emerald green lake above or perhaps, press on over a barren high pass, beyond the last wind-twisted Brislecone pine for a breathtaking view of the great San Luis valley to the west.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping

Day 4 (Wednesday): Ride back to Trailhead
Up early, we help break camp, catch the horses, pack loads. Now a seasoned, trained outfit, we are soon moving across the meadow and down the valley. Thunder clouds threaten so we hasten along, stopping only to check chinches and loads. Dropping into the heavily timbered low country, we hurry along as the high ridges erupt in claps of rolling thunder and electric display. We are too soon, back at the road and waiting transport to our lodging near the Arkansas River. Hot showers and sheets await.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at accommodation in Salida

Day 5 (Thursday): Rafting on the Arkansas River
After an early meal we drive to Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River for a wild ride down one of the state's premier whitewater runs. Working together you'll master the art of paddling through the rapids. Guides in each boat make sure safety comes first. During the day you'll conquer rapids such as Zoom Flume, Raft Ripper, Widow Maker and Slidell's Suckhole. You'll have lunch along the river and after the trip everyone will be transported back to our comfortable retreat for drinks and dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at accommodation in Salida

Day 6 (Friday): Rafting through Royal Gorge and departure
Again, we head out early to another wild section of the Arkansas. Now that everyone has rafting experience, we challenge the best continuous section of whitewater in Colorado. This 20-mile trip runs right through the famous Royal Gorge. Rapids named Sunshine, The Wall, Sledgehammer, Squeeze Box and Corner pocket will leave you hollering for more. After a full day, we'll meet the van with everyone's gear and travel back to Colorado Springs. At the end of your trip you will be brought back to the Colorado Springs sometime between 5:00 and 8:00pm. We recommend making prior lodging reservations if you plan to spend the night on Day 6. If you must fly out that evening, please do not schedule a flight before 8:30pm, to make certain you can make your flight.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Rates and Dates for Surf and Turf Getaway

Rates include:

Accommodations, Meals from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on last day, 3 riding days, 2 rafting days & Transfers
Saddle bags provided
Sleeping bags, ground mats, and duffel can be provided on request for additional fee ($35US per item)

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20246 days rafting and riding (high)$2375
    • Single supplement for the first night at hotel$110
      Extra night at hotel, double occ., per night, (incl. 10.2% tax)$245
      Extra night at hotel, single occ., per night, (incl. 10.2% tax)$230
  • B
    20246 days rafting and riding (low)$2340
    • Single supplement for the first night at hotel$80
      Extra night at hotel, double occ., per night, (incl. 10.2% tax)$180
      Extra night at hotel, single occ., per night (incl. 10.2% tax)$170

Tax 1: 3 % * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Tax: 3 %  

Transfer and Other Charges:

2024 Transfer from Colorado Springs Airport is included by hotel $0
2024 Sleeping bag and mat rental -- please inquire
- to be paid locally
2024 Small group supplement (1 or 2 pax only), pp $335

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2024 06/02 - 06/07 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/09 - 06/14 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/16 - 06/21 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/23 - 06/28 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 06/30 - 07/05 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 07/07 - 07/12 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 07/14 - 07/19 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 07/21 - 07/26 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 07/28 - 08/02 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 08/04 - 08/09 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 08/11 - 08/16 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 08/18 - 08/23 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2024 08/25 - 08/30 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (h... 3 /8 Reserve
B 2024 09/01 - 09/06 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (l... 3 /8 Reserve
B 2024 09/08 - 09/13 6d / 5n 6 days rafting and riding (l... 3 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Meals on first day (20% off for dinner at the hotel restaurant), Gratuities & Taxes

Other Info
Meeting: Colorado Springs
Airport: Colorado Springs
Transfer: Colorado Springs hotel at 7:30 am on Day 2.

                                            Westcliffe area














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Source: NOAA

The weather is quite unpredictable; it can snow even in August, so be prepared for anything! Use the layer system of clothing, where items can be added or taken off with changes in temperature. On May, June or September trips snow and hail are common. The most important thing to bring is your cheerful acceptance of whatever surprises the wilderness may hold in store!

Colorado has 4 distinct seasons. Autumn brings unpredictable snowstorms, generally beginning in September, before relatively mild winters create a heaven for outdoor enthusiast. March is often the snowiest month, though the weather is notoriously undependable.

Summertime sees the temperature increasing, but it never gets too hot. It is usually dry at that time of the year; however, thunderstorms can happen anytime.

What To Bring:

___ Swimsuit
___ 2 pr. long
___ 2 pr. shorts
___ 1 heavy long sleeve (cotton is cold when wet) sweater (wool or synthetic)
___ 1 lightweight long sleeve
___ 1 short sleeve
___ 3 T-shirts or tank tops
___ Underwear
___ Long underwear bottoms or biker shorts (to combat saddle sores)
___ Boots for riding (lightweight narrower hiking boots are more versatile)
___ Tennis shoes or something similar for around camp
___ Socks -- 4 or 5 pairs of heavy cotton or wool
___ Bandana
___ Warm parka or jacket
___ Windproof outer jacket (optional)
___ Two piece rain suit (slicker with rain pants) NO PONCHOS PLEASE (essential!)
___ Gloves (for warmth)
___ Hat with brim for sun, hail, and snow protection (must have some form of stampede string if wearing while riding)
___ Wool hat (for warmth)
___ Clothes to wear for two casual evenings out to dinner

RIVER Normally you would wear a swimsuit and nylon or synthetic shorts. You will be provided with a water resistant spray jacket and life jacket. Have a wool or synthetic sweater available and warm wool or synthetic socks to wear with tennis shoes or tevas that can get wet. Polypropylene or fleece is perfect water wear to keep you warm. Do not wear long cotton pants or cotton shorts as they are cold when wet. If the weather is stormy, wetsuits and neoprene bootieswill be provided for you. A semidry storage bag accompanies each raft for storing extra clothing, or clothing can be left in a bag at the take-out.

Other Items:
___ Duffel bag or sea bag (to pack items onto packhorses -- must be soft-sided)
___ Day pack or saddle bags (to carry things during the day- we have some to borrow, but please ask ahead of time)
___ Warm sleeping bag (good at least to 30° F. - we can rent bags if reserved in advance)
___ Foam pad or air mattress (such as a CampRest or ThermoRest)
___ Sunglasses (all glasses must have string/elastic strap)
___ Pocket knife
___ Flashlight
___ Canteen or plastic water bottle

___ Towel & washcloth
___ Biodegradable soap
___ Toothbrush and paste
___ Sun screen
___ Lip balm
___ Mirror
___ Comb
___ Hand lotion
___ Shaving kit
___ Personal medication
___ Insect repellent (few bugs at the ranch but sometimes at the river)

___ Candy, gum or tobacco items
___ Camera and extra film (you may wish to include a disposable waterproof camera for river/rainy days)
___ Note pad, guides & field glasses
___ Cocktail liquor (placed in unbreakable containers)
___ Cash for incidentals, tips, alcohol, etc.
___ Fishing gear (collapsible rod is best)

Pack your gear into your duffel bag and day pack, and a third bag, if you so choose, for the rafting portion of your trip. The maximum weight allowable for your duffel bag is 40 pounds (for the sake of the pack horses.) Your duffel bag will not be available during the day. Your day pack or saddlebags should hold rain gear, water bottle, gloves and other items you will want during the day. Your guide will show you how to best strap it to your saddle. Line the duffel and day bag with a garbage bag or zip lock. Any gear that you do not take on the pack trip but wish to take with you for the rafting portion of your trip, you can leave safely at the Ranch. Pack this gear in a separate bag marked with your name.

We are able to sleeping bags, ground mats, and duffel on request for additional fee ($35US per item). Please inquire.