Buena Vista, Colorado
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Colorado Teen Trip

Kayak Climb Colorado

14 Days of Adventure: Rock Climbing, Whitewater Kayaking and Hiking in the soaring Colorado Rocky Mountains.




2018 Dates

June 30 - July 13
July 16 - July 29
August 1 - August 14


14 days



Trip Highlights

  • 3-day Rock Climbing School
  • 5-day River Kayak Course
  • Wilderness & Camping Skills
  • Hike the Famous Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
  • Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
  • Community Service: 6 Hours




Our kayak instruction begins in a lake and heated pool where we learn to wet exit, roll, and paddle. Next, we continue to the Arkansas River, where professional guides teach us to ferry, read rapids and surf waves! We spend the next three days camping alongside the river and running rapids like “Tin Can”, “Pinball” and “Oil Derrick.” The scenery is awesome and the challenge great as we use our newfound skills to blast through the swirling eddies and exhilarating rapids of this world-renowned river. Full of adventure, leadership, and fun, this is not your average Colorado teen trip!


Our Rocky Mountain expedition culminates in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness outside of Leadville, Colorado. We will spend the day surrounded by towering mountains hiking to pristine alpine lakes. Working with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, we grab hard hats and pickaxes to reinforce trails on some of the most heavily-impacted sections of the mountain. After giving back, we head back to Denver to celebrate two amazing weeks in the wilderness of Colorado!


Central Colorado’s Sawatch Range is home to world-famous rock climbing and the perfect setting for our three-day climbing school. Professional instructors outfit the group with harnesses, helmets and climbing shoes. Guides create a safe and challenging environment and give campers one-on-one attention while teaching us the essentials of belaying, rappelling, sport-climbing and on-rock technique. After full days on the rocks, we relax at the scenic Mt. Princeton Hot Springs to celebrate the success of our Colorado adventure.
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Day 1
Welcome to Colorado
You will be met upon arrival at the Denver International Airport by your experienced Bold Earth trip leaders. We load up our Bold Earth van and head for the mountains! We drive to our campsite outside of Buena Vista, CO, to prepare for our first adventure, rock climbing! During group orientation, we get to know each other and learn what to expect in the days ahead. Before dinner, we hike a short distance to watch the sunset over the Rocky Mountains! On the first night, trip leaders cook dinner, but starting tomorrow, the campers will be in cook teams to prepare meals.
Day 2
Rock Climbing
We gear up for 3 days of adrenaline-pumping rock climbing! Our professional instructors from Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center lead us in a skills-oriented climbing tutorial throughout central Colorado. Instruction includes proper equipment use and essential safety techniques, as well as belaying, rappelling and climbing skills. Today, we waste no time hitting the rock, as we try our hand at this awesome sport in Big Horn Sheep Canyon. Participants will only climb pitches appropriate to their ability. This is a fun, focused activity which builds group spirit and gives everyone a great sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Day 3
Castle Rock Climbing
As we get the hang of one of Colorado's favorite pastimes, we continue with more top rope climbing in Castle Rock Canyon, just east of Buena Vista. Top roping is a style of climbing in which the rope runs from the belayer at the foot of the route, through a carabiner connected to an anchor at the top of the route, and back down to the climber. This system ensures that the climber will not fall. This is a great, safe way to learn the sport and continue to perfect our skills. In the morning, we learn more in-depth technical skills like belaying, rappelling, smearing, jamming and stemming. The afternoon is a chance for us to conquer the rock and take in the beautiful views of the Arkansas River from the top, as we look for eagles, deer and bighorn sheep. After a tough day on the rock, we relax and unwind in the healing waters of the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.
Day 4
Team Climb
For our final day of climbing, we break into smaller groups for technical and non-technical ascents appropriate to our ability. Today's climbs are designed as team challenges that allow us to put into practice all that we have learned and let everyone walk away successful and inspired. We then move camp south toward Salida, CO, our base camp for our next wilderness challenge ... whitewater kayaking!
Day 5
Kayak Instruction
The gorgeous mountain town of Salida is our base for five wild days of whitewater kayaking. Our professional kayaking guides give us a safety and skills orientation to introduce us to the sport. First, we will cover the essentials (PFD, skirt, boat, and paddle). Then we will load the gear and head to a local pool. Here, we will practice and perfect the wet exit. We will also spend time on building our comfort, stroke work, balancing and edging. In the afternoon we may head to the river to discuss river hydrology, river safety and talk about eddy turns and ferries.
Day 6-7
Into the River
For the next 2 days, we take to the river to get a feel for the currents and practice and perfect our roll, peel outs and ins, strokes, balance and looking cool on class I and II whitewater! We also test our river navigation skills in "duckies", inflatable kayaks that allow us to tackle some bigger and better rapids. Our goal is to build our skills and comfort level in preparation for our overnight river trip on the Almighty-Arkansas!
Day 8-9
Whitewater Kayaking
We launch our kayaks and set out on a true Colorado adventure upon the world-renowned Arkansas River! We practice our paddling skills on a multi-day section of the river. We will spend two days kayaking beneath towering Rocky Mountain peaks, and spend the night under the stars on the banks of the river. Our multi-day trips are self-contained (accompanied by equipment/gear boats), allowing us to camp at a very scenic, peaceful, and remote site within the canyon. Our overnight trip requires us to utilize our new river scouting techniques as we shoot the rapids using the skills we've been perfecting all week.
Day 10
Grays Peak
We finally get a well-deserved break from the action, as we rest, relax and resupply. After picking up essential gear and groceries to last the rest of the trip, we travel northeast to our new camp at the base of Grays Peak. We meet up with our service project leaders and are briefed on the details of tomorrow's project.
Day 11
CFI Service Project
The Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) is a partnership among nonprofit organizations, individual volunteers, and public agencies to protect and preserve the natural integrity of Colorado's high-country peaks and the quality of the recreational opportunities they provide. As members of FDRD's "Trail Crew", we volunteer for a day of conservation work on Grays Peak, one of Colorado's most popular and accessible high peaks. Work includes maintaining the standard hiking routes, repairing structures that have deteriorated, and restoring new impacts as they develop. Our positive attitudes and commitment to a day of hard work make this a worthwhile environmental "give back" for everyone.
Day 12
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Colorado boasts a veritable wonderland of towering peaks, alpine lakes, and high-country meadows. The Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, outside of Leadville, is among the most densely concentrated backcountry areas in terms of varied terrain and stunning scenery. We spend our last day in the high country exploring beautiful lakes surrounded by incredible snow-capped peaks.
Day 13
Cherry Creek State Park
After relaxing and recovering from our alpine exploration and cleaning our group and personal gear, we set up our final camp of the summer at Cherry Creek State Park in Denver. We have an unforgettable last evening out, including a wonderful dinner to celebrate our new skills, new tans, new friends and the best summer ever!
Day 14
Headed Home
We drive to the Denver airport bright and early, say goodbye and begin planning our adventures with Bold Earth for next summer!

What's the BIG PICTURE of Kayak Climb Colorado?

Learn to whitewater kayak and rock climb in Colorado! Bold Earth’s hard-skills based trip is perfect for campers looking to experience the outdoors of Colorado and gain professional instruction!

Some SWEET Highlights:

• Whitewater Kayak: 5-Days professional instruction • Rock Climb: 3-Days professional instruction • Explore Colorado’s pristine alpine backcountry

Kayak Climb Colorado offers the perfect combination of adrenaline sport, professional instruction, and community service. Kayak Climb Colorado is quite simply the classic Colorado adventure!

Is this trip for me?

What could be better than 14 days of rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and hiking throughout Colorado in the summer? Absolutely nothing! Kayak Climb Colorado is an adventure filled two-weeks designed for active and FUN teens! NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED! Bold Earth leaders and professional instructors will teach campers everything they need to know. Students will learn how to set up a multi-pitch climb and how to roll a kayak! Roaring rapids and monolith rock walls await in the distance for us to tackle together in this unforgettable experience.

Along the way, we will partner with the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District and their Trail Crew program. During this environmental service project, teenagers will give back to the community by maintaining and updating trails climbed by outdoor enthusiasts every year. This unique way of service through adventure is specific to Bold Earth Teen Adventures, and we are proud of our 41 years of incorporating community service into every program.

What kind of experience is required for this trip?

NONE! Whether this is your first time kayaking, or you are an expert rock climber, Kayak Climb Colorado is designed for all skill levels. Fun, learning, leadership and friendship are the goals. Bold Earth is not a competitive environment – we encourage growth, leadership, support, teamwork, and FUN!

We hire the best leaders in the business to make sure you reach your maximum potential this summer. Our professional guides not only offer us incredible hands-on lessons, but are fun, friendly, and LOVE Bold Earth campers. Bold Earth hires the most qualified and experienced outdoor leadership guides in the industry. In addition, we work hand-in-hand with the constant instruction of world-class outfitters from the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center. This is a highly supervised trip with two Bold Earth leaders (male & female) at all times + professional kayak and rock climb instructors.

Colorado’s diverse terrain is the perfect landscape for adrenaline-pumping activities – It is the adventure capital of the world!

What makes this trip a Colorado classic?

Colorado is home to Bold Earth. Bold Earth was started out of a passion for adventure – A passion that developed right here in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Our local knowledge and expertise allows us to skillfully guide you through the multitude of wonders offered by our amazing state.

Colorado is noted for its dynamic landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers, desert lands — and on a good year — the Denver Broncos! The state was named after the Colorado River, which Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. With more than half the state located in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is in the middle of all the action. Tourism and recreation make up a majority of Colorado’s economy, along with oil, mining, and agriculture.

Colorado was originally inhabited by Native Americans for more than 13,000 years. The eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains was a major migration route that was important to the spread of early peoples throughout the Americas. The Ancient Pueblo Peoples lived in the valleys and mesas of the Colorado Plateau. The Ute Nation inhabited the mountain valleys of the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Western Rocky Mountains, even as far east as the Front Range (Denver) of present-day. The Apache and the Comanche inhabited the Eastern and Southeastern portions of the state as well. The Arapaho Nation and the Cheyenne Nation moved west to hunt across the High Plains at times as well.

More recent Colorado history grew out of the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. An estimated 100,000 gold seekers flocked to the region during the 1850s, populating much of the state and developing most of Colorado’s infrastructure. Farming and other agricultural elements played into the design of the current Colorado landscape as well.

Today, Colorado is a blend of cultures and people. Because of its landscape, Colorado is widely known as being an adventure-capitol dedicated to recreation and outdoor adventures. Whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and snow sports are incredibly popular and regularly practiced. Among the many activities, Colorado is famous for is its world-class ski resorts such as Vail and Aspen. If you cannot get enough of the mountains and the wilderness, Colorado is where you come to live and play.

Where do we stay?

With 300 days of sunshine a year, summer is the perfect time to explore Colorado! Many of our campers do not have extensive camping experience, let alone having slept in a tent or under the stars for thirteen consecutive nights. Kayak Climb Colorado is designed to develop campers’ sense of adventure and love of camping. We will stay in a combination of both wilderness and developed sites. Bold Earth provides tents – YES, they are comfortable and gender separated. Campers will share a tent with 2 or 3 other campers. This is a fun and special way of getting to know each other!

Yes, we stay clean, comfortable, wash up every day and campers have access to showers every 2-3 days. We stay in Colorado state park Campgrounds amidst stunning natural settings. Whether camping with beneath Rocky Mountain peaks, alongside high-country streams, or within walking distance of snow-fed lakes, Kayak Climb Colorado enjoys the best camping, biggest views and sweetest adventures.

Why camping? Because we take you on an adventure which feels GREAT! You are probably not exactly sure about camping but what about: • Sitting around a bonfire with a group of friends for life? • Counting shooting stars? • Hearing the river as you fall asleep? • Taking a sunrise run? YES!

We will teach you everything you need to know to enjoy Kayak Climb Colorado. Speak to an Alumni from your area and they will tell you the camping was amazing!

What is the food like?

Bold Earth food is awesome! YES, the food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Bold Earth campers LOVE to eat and we understand that playing hard all day requires the right nutrition. YES, we will enthusiastically accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free, kosher, allergies, and most special diets.

Cooking on Kayak Climb Colorado is a combination of planning, preparing and enjoying our own food and eating out. Approximately twice during your trip, you and two other campers will have the chance to make a meal for the group. Most campers find this to be incredibly fun and rewarding. Your leaders help you as much or as little as necessary and of course everything is included. We eat out locally once a week to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a night out in between adventures.

How does the community service work?

Community Service is a rooting value for Bold Earth. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging and inspiring! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 5 Hours

Project: The Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) is a partnership among nonprofit organizations, individual volunteers, and public agencies to protect and preserve the natural integrity of the backcountry surrounding Leadville, CO, and the quality of the recreational opportunities the area provides. As members of FDRD’s “Trail Crew” program, Bold Earth campers put in one day of conservation work in this pristine wilderness area. Work includes maintaining the standard hiking routes, repairing structures that have deteriorated, and restoring new impacts as they develop. We will also be camping in the region, with a dramatic culmination on the day after our project when we explore the high-country wilderness via foot! For more information, visit Friends of Dillon Ranger District website.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

How do I know what to pack?

Over the last 30+ years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Kayak Climb Colorado Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: Kayak Climb Colorado Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On Airport Day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Campers should either bring a credit card or enough cash to check their bags home.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor Team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

Why are your groups limited to 13 campers?

Small group size = SUCCESS!

• Maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers • 2 adult trip leaders (one male and one female)

Especially on an outdoor adventure trip – group size is incredibly important. Bold Earth would not be permitted to visit the natural wonders we see with a bigger group. Consider yourself one of the lucky – only 13 campers at a time!

Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility, and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success – especially on Kayak Climb Colorado. Our guide to camper ratio is very small – therefore each camper receives individualized instruction and lots of encouragement.

Leadership is a planned part of every day. Everyone has a chance to be Leader of the Day (LOD) and will have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and help run the trip! The challenges and rewards of Kayak Climb Colorado bring the unity and bonding of the group together

Is CRR a real Colorado experience?

Bold Earth is based in Colorado. This is what we do.

Bold Earth has spent years perfecting the minute-by-minute details of Kayak Climb Colorado. Every activity has been reviewed and selected to ensure the best and most balanced experience possible. Whether whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, doing community service or hiking into the backcountry, Bold Earth explores Colorado to the fullest.

This is not a teen tour. This trip is FUN and ADVENTUROUS. Year after year campers come back from Colorado with new found passions in their hearts – for wilderness, for camping, and for adventure.

How do we get around Colorado?

We travel by 15 passenger vans, with a roof-rack for all of our personal gear. The van will be driven by your experienced and thoroughly screened leaders. All travel is carefully planned to minimize time spent in the van (we try to never drive for more than three hours) and maximize the trip experience for active adventure. YES, we stop frequently to throw the frisbee, use the bathrooms, or engage in impromptu roadside dance parties!

What is Colorado's weather like in the summer?

Sunny with a chance of beautiful! With 300 days of annual sunshine, summer is the perfect time to come to Colorado.

The weather in Colorado during summer months is beautiful. Sunshine, blue skies, clear night skies, 80’s during the day and 60’s at night.

Can I combine CRR with another trip?

Yes! Kayak Climb Colorado and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined to make a 4 or 8-week Bold Earth summer. For example, A popular combination is Kayak Climb Colorado and Bike Hike Raft and/or Colorado Bold. If you are interested contact our Colorado office at 303-526-0806 for more information! A Bold Earth Director will handle all the arrangements to help you create the ultimate Rocky Mountain adventure!

Can you put me in touch with references?

Over 17,000 students from all 50 US states and over 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like. We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose us and our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic. To receive a list of references call the Bold Earth office at 303-526-0806 or email  info@boldearth.com!

Additional FAQ: Click Here

Kayak Climb Colorado

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximize coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. We are happy to help you arrange an incredible summer combining multiple trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information!

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Arkansas River, Colorado
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Definitely a very exciting program for an energetic teenager. Angie enjoyed every minute of it. The leaders did exactly what was communicated to me from the office. Excellent! Thank you!

- Parents: Jianping & Alan

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