Colorado Rocky Mountain Trip For Older Teens Overview
Join us to explore one of our country’s most beloved states — Colorful Colorado! There are so many adventures to embark on in this special Rocky Mountain state, and we plan to do it all. Discover Colorado in the best way possible, with a mini road trip through the breathtaking landscapes while discovering the National Parks, charming mountain towns, bubbling hot springs, and starry night skies along the way.
Choose your own adventures as we hike, soak, swim, paddleboard, sandboard, whitewater raft, and climb your way through this remarkable destination in our own backyard!
This is the perfect trip for travelers looking to explore the great outdoors with a small group of like-minded peers.
This program limits exposure to outside groups and the majority of our time will be spent outdoors where we can easily social distance and ensure the health and safety of our participants.
During this program, you will…
- Sand-board & sunbathe in Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Hike amongst the wildflowers in the San Juan Mountains
- Soak in natural hot springs in a charming mountain town
- Ride the alpine slide at Breckenridge’s adventure park
- Trek through wild Rocky Mountain National Park
- Paddleboard in crystal clear alpine lakes
- Shop beneath the towering Flatirons in Boulder
- Explore Denver’s world-class street art
DAY 1-2: ARRIVE IN DENVER
Welcome to Colorado! After our group arrives, we’ll grab lunch in one of Denver’s beautiful parks while we get to know one another before embarking on our adventure. Then we will hit the road to make our way to our first National Park — Great Sand Dunes — where we will spend the evening playing games and dreaming of the next day’s events.
DAY 2-3: GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK & PAGOSA SPRINGS
Spend the morning discovering one of America’s coolest National Parks — the Great Sand Dunes are an incredibly unique place and a true natural phenomenon! Trek up the golden waves for an incredible view of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, test your skills sand boarding the glittering dunes, or relax on the sandy edges of the creek known as “Colorado’s Natural Beach.” This magical place is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced!
Once we’ve had our fill of our first National Park of the trip, we’ll make our way towards Pagosa Springs for the night! Soak in the natural hot springs around town or visit a waterfall before heading west!
DAY 3-5: OURAY
It’s truly all about the journey today –Pagosa Springs to Ouray is one of our country’s most spectacular drives. Wind through the stunning San Juan Mountains down the Million Dollar Highway and arrive at our home for two nights, Ouray. Ouray is known as the “Switzerland of America” and we’ll enjoy everything this fairytale town has to offer. Soak in the natural hot springs, go for a hike to an alpine lake, and peruse the shops before hitting the road again.
DAY 5-6: BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK & BUENA VISTA TO BRECKENRIDGE
The beautiful drive continues as we make our way to another National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the small town of Buena Vista which lies on the storied Arkansas River. Explore the quaint town and fill up on a delicious dinner to ready for tomorrow’s adrenaline-pumping day.
Rise and shine, and gear up to hit the Arkansas River on an incredible whitewater rafting trip! After a fun-filled day navigating the rapids and enjoying a picnic lunch we’ll make our way through more breathtaking landscapes to famous Breckenridge. Spend the afternoon & evening strolling the magical village, riding the alpine slide at the adventure park, shopping in the local boutiques, and catching the sunset from the gondola.
DAY 6-8: BRECKENRIDGE
Spend your first afternoon & evening in Breck strolling the magical village, riding the alpine slide at the adventure park, shopping in the local boutiques, and catching 360 views of this mountain town from the gondola. In the morning, we’ll head over to Lake Dillion for a paddleboard session in the Colorado summer sun. Enjoy the afternoon from the top of a horse and experience a taste of the Wild West!
DAY 8-10: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
DAY 8-10: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Head to Colorado’s greatest National Park named for its iconic range: Rocky Mountain! Hike to pristine alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, and drive the Trail Ridge Road. Enjoy your time on Grand Lake, one of the most beautiful towns in all of Colorado.
DAY 10-11: BOULDER
We’ll head to the frontrange to eclectic Boulder to explore lively Pearl Street, grab souvenirs, enjoy our final dinner together, and watch the sunset from the iconic Flatirons!
DAY 7: RETURN HOME
We’ll head back to Denver after an incredible seven days exploring the best of Colorado!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 11 and 12 and approximately 16 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
All accommodations on this trip have been selected to ensure quality while still maintaining character of the places we are visiting.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included in cost (this not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; visas and visa application fees; lunches; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food is an integral aspect of the travel experience, and we make an effort to eat at authentic establishments whenever possible. There is no better way to immerse ourselves in the culture of a place than through sampling the local delicacies. We stray away from westernized restaurants and chains that cater to tourists, because every true traveler knows the best food is found where the locals are eating!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.