Hike, cross country ski, mountain bike or llama trek hut-to-hut in Colorado’s Vail backcountry

Paragon Guides

colorado huts
Hut-to-hut backcountry skiing in Colorado

Paragon Guides has its headquarters in Edwards, Colorado, only 15 minutes west of Vail. They operate predominately in the Vail backcountry. Guided year-round backcountry skiing, hiking, and mountain biking using the 10th Mountain Division Colorado huts system are popular activities. Guests can snowshoe on half- and full-day trips or llama trek for three to six days on wilderness camping adventures or along the 10th Mountain Colorado huts system. Ascend alpine peaks, rock climb on full-day and two-day climbs, fly-fish for brookies, browns, and cutthroat trout, cross-country ski, or train in avalanche survival. There is a guided tour for every taste year-round.

Hiking in Colorado Backcountry

Hike half or full days to destinations in the Holy Cross or Eagle’s Nest Wilderness areas. All-day lake hikes include Missouri Lakes, Fancy Lake, Booth Lake, Pitkin Lake, Piney Lake and the Seven Sisters Lakes. The Panorama Ridge hike looks into the Gorge and Sawatch ranges from an alpine ridge. Meadow, stream and wildflower hikes follow streams and explore alpine forests and wildflower meadows.

Backcountry skiing in White River National Forest

Backcountry ski on untracked powder from Vail Pass to Chicago Ridge in the White River National Forest. Learn or practice uphill techniques, transitions and backcountry travel. Skiers experience the rewards of backcountry skiing on their own terms.

Llama Trekking from the Arrowhead Ski Area

“Take a Llama to lunch.” If you have small children you can experience an interactive introduction to these unique pack animals before taking a short hike and returning for lunch. Experienced hikers with older children hike longer distances through aspen groves and evergreen forests before a picnic lunch on the trail. Every llama outing is custom tailored to meet the individual needs and experience levels and ages of children. Experienced hikers and backpackers may “lease a llama” in order to lighten the load that each backpacker must carry and add a new dimension to their hiking experience. The llama lease program is not a guided trip. Hikers are on their own with the animals. Those who have never hiked with llamas before are required to take a 4-hour training session to learn the skills necessary for safe and enjoyable llama trekking.

Mountain Biking Using Colorado Huts and other Routes

Mountain bike Colorado huts in the 10th Mountain Division hut-to-hut system accompanied by a support vehicle carrying gear, bike tools and food to lighten the load of bikers. The “Holy Cross 100” is a backcountry mountain bike trip that can cover up to 100 miles from Eagle, Colorado, to the historic mining town of Leadville, including crossing the Continental Divide at 12,000 feet. Other half and full-day mountain biking experiences include Colorado Trail to Camp Hale, Vail Pass to Red Cliff, Colorado River Road, and the Red Sandstone Area. Mountain bikes are not furnished but rentals of full-suspension bikes and helmets can be arranged.

Snowshoeing in and around the Vail, Colorado

Explore the Colorado winter landscape on snowshoes. Half-day and full-day tours are available on beginner and advanced routes. Colorado huts system works for snowshoeing in the 10th Mountain Division hut-to-hut network.

Camping in the Holy Cross or Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Areas

Hike through alpine forests, wildflower meadows and amphitheater-like valleys formed by glacial erosion to remote campsites. Hike with or without llamas. Three-to-six-day trip options are available. Set up one base camp or camp in different locations. Backpacking trips can be custom tailored to suit individual preferences and experience levels.

Rock Climbing Basics in Colorado High Country

Rock climbing programs are designed especially for families with children 5 years old and up. Learn the fundamentals of climbing, safety, and gear. Learn the basics of belaying and rappelling. Rock climbing programs are tailored to the interest and experience levels of individual families or groups.

Avalanche Survival Training

Earn The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Level I certification with a hands-on introduction to avalanche awareness, avoidance, and rescue. The course combines classroom and field time. Learn decision making through proper planning and observation; terrain recognition and travel techniques; companion rescue including beacon use; snowpit construction and analysis. Participants receive an AIARE field book, course materials and AIARE certification which never expires.

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