Continental Divide Ride
Available Dates: August 1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29 and 31. Booked Dates: August 4
The Continental Divide Ride is for outdoor enthusiasts seeking high-energy adventure in the Colorado Rockies. This historic ride takes you from the East side of the continent to the West in one day as you travel 26 miles of Rocky Mountain high country along the same route the Ute tribe used over a century ago. Terrain changes as the sun rises in the sky while you climb higher and higher through Rocky Mountain National Park.
You’ll experience dramatic landscape variations, from gentle meadows to steep switchback mountain trails, from barren tundra to thickly wooded forests. Join a select few who can say they’ve ridden across the United States Continental Divide. The first step in your journey to the top of the world is to make advance reservations. Due to extreme conditions, this excursion is only offered in the month of August (snow blocks the trails at the higher elevations during the rest of the year). Since dates are limited, please plan early and make sure that you properly prepare for this adventure.The Continental Divide Ride is physically demanding due to the high altitude, long hours in the saddle and extreme changes in weather. If you plan accordingly, this will be one of the highlights of your life.
This high altitude adventure is done in one day, beginning at 6 a.m. from Glacier Creek Stables in Rocky Mountain National Park and finishing at Grand Lake on the western slope at about 4 p.m. We pick you up from the west slope and drive you back to where you started. (Park at Glacier Creek stables that morning as a regular person and get dropped back at your car that evening as a changed person after completing an epic journey.)
Get plenty of rest the day before because you’ll need to be at Glacier Creek Stables before dawn. Group size is limited for this exciting 10-12 hour ride and you’ll gather at 5:30 a.m. in preparation for the 6 a.m. departure. An early start is important in order to get ahead of the hikers who may be on the same trail and in order to get up and over the mountain before afternoon thunderstorms. We want to avoid being above treeline in the event of thunder, lightning, rain, snow or sleet.
You’ll climb over 4,000 feet within two hours as the mountains wrap around you and you push to the summit of Flattop Mountain above the clouds. Going from an elevation of 8,200 feet to 12,300 feet can mean a dramatic change in temperature. It’s possible you may experience a temperature drop of 30 to 40 degrees so we recommend you dress in layers and bring a warm jacket (we provide rain jackets). Wind can be chilling in the high open tundra areas and the sun can be hot at lower elevations. This is certainly a land of extremes!
There were will be 2 to 3 rest stops along the trail so make sure that you bring ample food and water for the day. Because of the high altitude it’s recommended that you drink more water than usual. Your supplies can be packed into the saddle bags that we provide.
Your guides on the Continental Divide Ride will be experienced mountain horsemen who are well acquainted with mountain trails and will make sure that your group has a memorable and safe day. They will provide you with as much information as you would like about the area and Rocky Mountain National Park, and can tell you before the ride starts what to expect on the route. If you have any questions before you start on the ride, you should consult your guide. He will be able to answer questions regarding the extremes that you will meet, both in weather and trail conditions.
You should bring your camera for fantastic photo opportunities along the trail!
This is an experience that you’ll long remember; a once-in-a-lifetime event during which you’ll form a bond with those who ride with you. You will travel on the same trails that have been used for thousands of years. Ute and Arapahoe Indians once crossed these mountain passes seeking elk and deer. Later came mountain men, trappers and prospectors. You’ll have a feeling that you’ve stepped back into the past on this timeless ride. Upon completion of the 26-mile journey, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. You also have a renewed respect for Mother Nature and deep appreciation for this nation’s most beautiful national park.
Cost is $325 per person and includes saddle horse, guide, use of a raincoat, incredible views and lasting memories.
Some tips on preparing for the Continental Divide Ride:
- Spend a couple of days getting acclimated to the higher elevation and allow your body to adjust to the altitude.
- Though you do not have to be a skilled rider, you do need to be comfortable riding. Before attempting the Continental Divide Ride, go on a 4, 6 or 8-hour ride in preparation.
- Wear layered clothing and bring a warm jacket, a hat that will not blow off in the wind, and gloves. Rain pants and chaps are a good idea as well. We provide rain jackets.
- Sunscreen is recommended.
- Pack enough food and water for the 10-12 hour ride (no glass containers, please); we provide saddle bags.
- Camera and film.
- Make sure you are in good physical condition.
- Plan early and contact us to make a reservation. This ride is offered only in the month of August and reservations are necessary. Cost is $325 per person.
Any outdoor activity in the Rocky Mountain National Park can create problems due to the terrain, altitude, weather and wildlife. We take these potential problems very seriously and over the years have continually revised our employee training to emphasize safety, including emergency procedures for both rider and horse. All of our guides are required to have First Aid and CPR training. We send only our most experienced guides on the Continental Divide Ride. We must have confidence in their judgment and training precisely because it is unwise to rely only on technology in this environment.
E-mail us at: email@example.com
From Late May – September call the Glacier Creek Stable directly:
(970) 586-3244(970) 586-3244
During Winter call the Estes Park Stable:
(970) 577-6818(970) 577-6818
Sombrero Ranches, Inc. (Business Office Only)
911 Kimbark Street • Longmont, CO 80501
Fax: (303) 442-0380