The Walter Tishma Way

Estes Park, Colorado.

The Walter Tishma Way is a s self-guided trip with a great perk: Everything is done for you. I often say, “Just do the next thing.”  Yet, even with all this planning, your trip is your own. You walk your own pace and spend time with your own group. All trips are offered from the mid-May through mid-October.

 

  • A 42-mile inn-to-inn route with world-class Rocky Mountain scenery
  • Self-guided trips available May through early October
  • Hike 7-11 miles per day
  • Luggage is transferred so that you’ll only carry a day pack
  • A unique adventure with good food and wine!
  • We have 18 years of experience!
  • Your trip is your own.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the inn-to-inn Walter Tishma Way hiking trip. Each day starts with a great breakfast, a sack lunch for the trail, shuttle to the trailhead, a route guide and pointers about the trail and route to your next lodging. The hikes were just challenging enough to give a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day…” Client from Houston, TX

How to get there:

From DIA – Denver International Airport:

  • Arrive by Estes Park Shuttle – will drop you in Estes Park and pick you up at Seven Keys or in Allenspark.  Can be booked at www.estesparkshuttle.com
  • Arrive by car. Cars parked at first lodge or Estes Park Parking Garage with overnight permit
  • We will return you to your car at the end of your trip

Reservations:

Have the following info ready

  • Preferred length of trip (there are four offerings)
  • Preferred dates – is there any flexibility with the dates?
  • How many people • How many rooms – how many beds per room
  • A $300 deposit per room is due once trip is booked
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to your trip date.
  • Once paid, you’ll receive a full packet with your route guide, maps, gear guide, park information etc.
  • Upon arrival you’ll receive another packet with your luggage tags, car voucher and park pass (if needed). 

Overview:

  • Arrival day: We will make contact about a week prior to your trip to confirm your arrival plans.  You can arrive by shuttle or by car.  We will meet you at your first lodge.  We try very hard to make your arrival easy and well-planned.
  • Hiking days: The WTW route is a continuous route, but over the years we’ve taken out sections that made the day too long or difficult.  This required a morning shuttle.  The shuttle was a great idea and has become a signature of our style of trip.  Shuttlers are like coaches or managers and keep everyone on track.  This makes the trip run much smoother.
  • Last day of hiking: Your last day of hiking will take you to your last lodge.  After breakfast the following morning, you’re done.
  • Be sure to make your flight reservation to allow for enough time for your transfer back to DIA. If taking the shuttle, a 10:00 pick-up at Seven Keys or in Allenspark is perfect.
  • We do have a luggage limitation of one carry-on size per person to be transported.  If you’re traveling further, we will keep additional luggage for you and deliver it to you at the end of your trip.  We realize that airlines limit the number of pieces so we suggest you bring a packable duffle for the trip and let us store the bigger piece.  If you have any questions or needs concerning this, please just email.

Cow Creek

This day begins in the foothills east of Estes Park, an area of large rock formations and green forests. The highlight of the day is the arrival at little Gem Lake where just beyond, the view stretches across the Estes Valley. In the distance are the high Rocky Mountains and your next four days of hiking. Your route will take you right into Estes Park.

  • Distance: 9- 12 miles 
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft.
  • High Point: 8830 ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Aspen Glen Meadows Day

We love this day!  It is the easiest option beginning from the Aspen Glen (first day unless on a 6night/5day trip). The route begins at the northern end of the park near the Aspen Glen Campground, then winds its way south through three beautiful meadows: Little Horseshoe Park, Beaver Meadows and Moraine Park. Not only is the day fairly easy, you’ll have most of it to yourself.

  • Distance: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft.
  • High Point: 8802 ft.
  • Difficulty: Easy Moderate

Deer Mountain

Deer Mountain Summit and the Deer Mountain Circular are two more moderate options also beginning near the Aspen Glen Campground.  The Summit Trail follows a lovely set of switchback to the top of Deer Mountain with views of the Front Range to the southwest and Estes Park to the east. Walkers will enjoy the quiet solitude of descending on the North Deer Mt Trail which seldom sees much traffic.

The Deer Mountain Circular is a bit easier than the summit as it circles the mountain before climbing a final ridge and descending on the lower flanks of the North Deer Mt Trail.  Lots of solitude and beautiful views.

  • Summit Distance: 10 miles,  Circular: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,444 ft.
  • High Point: 10,013 ft.
  • Summit Difficulty: More Difficult, Circular: Moderate

Storm Pass/ Estes Cone

On this day the WTW leaves the Estes Valley and makes its way south over Storm Pass to the higher elevations of the Tahosa Valley. Elevation gain for the day is just over 2600 feet in 9 miles so taking it slow and steady is important. If you’ve got plenty of steam, there’s an opportunity to climb Estes Cone from the Pass which will add an additional 700 feet of elevation gain. Views, views, views. The trail then descends to Lily Lake and Seven Keys Lodge.

  • Distance: 10.5 miles with Estes Cone, 9 miles over the pass
  • Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft to the Pass, 3,300 ft. to the Cone
  • High Point: 10,300 ft. at the Pass, 11,006 ft. at the Cone
  • Difficulty: More Difficult

Twin Sisters

If you’re ready to see forever you’ll love this hike.  The trail rises gradually with switchback upon switchback to treeline.   The last 1/2 mile is open, rocky tundra.  From the top, Longs Peak looms large to the west and the Colorado plains stretch out to Kansas to the east.  Return at your own pace to Seven Keys Lodge.

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,338 ft.
  • High Point: 11,428 ft.
  • Difficulty: More Difficult

Wild Basin

This is a splendid day with a great system of trails and over-the-top rewards awaiting your arrival in Allenspark. The trail follows a rushing torrent to beautiful Calypso Cascade. At this point walkers have the option of a side-trip to Ouzel Falls. Then it’s one more uphill climb out of the basin and over the ridge before dropping into Allenspark. As you make this final assent don’t forget to turn around and soak in some of the best views in the world.

  • Distance: 7.9 (shorter and longer available)
  • Elevation Gain: 1.800 ft.
  • High Point: 9,472 ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Inn-to-inn hiking is not just about the hiking, the lodging should be fun, diverse and representative of the area. It’s like a smorgasbord with every night being a little different.

A normal 5night/4day trip goes as follows.

Arrival Day:

Welcome to Estes Park- Your first lodge is the Blue Door Inn in Estes Park.  We love this lodge.  It’s clean, spaceous, efficient and within walking distance of town and the Lake Estes Trail.  This is a good place to start.

First Day from Aspen Glen 

There are three hike options that begin at Aspen Glen Campground.  The Aspen Glen hike is the easiest day of the trip and ends at  Eagle Cliff House B&B Nancy has been serving our guests since we started 18 years ago and she is a favorite for sure.  Eagle Cliff House is an intimate B&B with two rooms adjoining a living room and kitchen.  It’s perfect for one or two couples. 

The other two options are Deer Mountain Summit (more difficult) or Deer Mountain Circular (moderate) both ending at  Alpine Trail Ridge Inn.  This simple motel-style lodge is perfect for walkers.  It has a pool, hot-tub and fantastic staff, but now it’s even better with newly renovated rooms.  You’re also right on the shuttle route if you want to visit Park Headquarters or go into town.

*If you’re staying at Alpine Trail Ridge and you prefer an easier day, you can choose the Aspen Glen Day and we’ll pick you up at the end.

Second Day from Storm Pass/Estes Cone

This is your hardest day of hiking and nothing beats arriving at the warmth of Seven Keys Lodge, formally the Baldpate Inn. This old historical lodge oozes with Colorado rustic charm. There are new owners this year and we are very excited as revonations begin.  You’ll be here for two nights and have a choice of private cabin or a lodge room.  Don’t be afraid of the lodge rooms with bathrooms down that hall- we’ve done this for years.  AND, all rooms and bathrooms will be renovated this year.  This place is fun.

Third Day from Twin Sisters

Your third day of hiking will give you the opportunity for another wonderful summit.  Twin Sisters sits to the east of the Tahosa Valley.  To the west is the looming eastface of Longs Peak, the highest peak in RMNP.  To the east are the smaller foothills looking toward the plains.  The summit is broad and beautiful.  Your day will return you to Seven Keys Lodge.  

Fourth from Wild Basin

What a great way to finish.  Wild Basin has lots of water, forest, and a quiet ending in the village of Allenspark and the Allenspark Lodge. This is another historical lodge and a WTW favorite. There’s a hot-tub and two living spaces to relax in before heading to Rock Creek Tavern or having dinner at the Lodge.  Save room.  Juanita’s breakfast is huge.  The Allenspark Lodge is another lodge with a few rooms having bathrooms down the hall.

To book the Walter Tishma Way contact us with your preferred dates and let us see if we can accommodate you. Let us know the number of people and whether they are double or single occupancy.

If booking a double occupancy room let us know whether you prefer a room with one or two beds. Older lodges have some double beds if you’re booking a room with one bed.  If you’re tall, large or snore, you might want two beds.  Please let me know this at the BEGINNING before I start booking.  Seven Keys Lodge is an old historical lodge and will have some bathrooms down the hall in the lodge.  Allenspark Lodge might be the same.  This may be part of your “roughing it” adventure but don’t be deterred- these lodges are fun.

If you have any other questions concerning the trip, you can submit your questions here

If you’re ready to book, please fill out our booking form.

BOOK YOUR TRIP

PRICING

5 Nights / 4 Days– this trip has two nights at Seven Keys Lodge in lodge rooms or a private cabin.

PRICE:

With Lodge Rooms at Seven Keys Lodge
• Double occupancy: $990 pp
• Single Occupancy: $1390 pp

With Cabin at Seven Keys Lodge
• Double occupancy: $1090 pp
• Single Occupancy: $1590 pp

INCLUDES:
• lodging with breakfast
• sack lunches on hiking days
• luggage transfer
• trekking poles during trip
• map and route guide
• Rocky Mountain National Park Pass (if needed)
• GPS waypoints (for fun, not needed)
• shuttling within trip and return to Estes Park if needed

DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• evening meals
• alcoholic beverages
• trip Insurance
• transportation outside of trip

ARRIVAL DAYS:
• Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

HIKING DAYS;
• Aspen Glen or Deer Mountain, Storm Pass/Estes Cone,  Twin Sisters, Wild Basin

4 Nights/3 Days

PRICE:
• Double occupancy: $890 pp
• Single Occupancy: $1290 pp

BEST ARRIVAL DAYS:
• Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

HIKING DAYS:
• Aspen Glen Meadows, Storm Pass/Estes Cone, Wild Basin

Other Options:

3 Nights/2 Days

The perfect “short” trip to include in your vacation. This trip begins in Estes Park and finishes at Seven Keys Lodge.

PRICE:
• Double occupancy: $690 pp
• Single Occupancy: $890 pp

BEST ARRIVAL DAYS:
•Any day

HIKING DAYS:
• Aspen Glen Meadows Day or Deer Mountain, Storm Pass/Estes Cone

6 Nights/5 Days

We are still offering this trip which will add Cow Creek hiking day to the front.  Lodging must be customized and we have several options so please contact us.

ARRIVAL DAYS:
• Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

HIKING DAYS:
• Cow Creek, Aspen Glen Meadows Day or Deer Mountain, Storm Pass/Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Wild Basin