Gore Range, Colorado: Backpacking & Rafting - July 20-25
With its impressive and imposing craggy spires, the Gore Range has mesmerized travelers and explorers for centuries. This expedition begins with a gear check and orientation at KSS campus before taking the short trip over to the trailhead where we begin our backpacking adventure. We will carry our clothes, food, and gear on our backs as we explore the hidden forests and striking tundra. After backpacking, it’s time to trade our packs for lifejackets and end the week with an exciting and well-deserved rafting trip.
The environment of this expedition may prove demanding with exposure to weather and off-trail travel. We encourage students to come with a foundational fitness level to carry a backpack, weighing around 45 pounds, over uneven terrain for multiple hours.
Students with any experience level, aged 12-13, will find growth and challenge in this program. The duration and focus on traveling in the backcountry provides an opportunity to be exposed to foundational outdoor living skills while learning how leadership can be applied to their life beyond this expedition. Mentorship is an important aspect of an expedition. Every student will be provided individual coaching to further their skills.
Gore Range, Colorado
Located in the Keystone Science School’s backyard, the Gore Range— which is part of Rocky Mountains— runs 60 miles from the northwest to the southeast. While the mountains may sound (and look) quite imposing, the range was named, albeit haphazardly, for Lord St. George Gore, an Irish Baronet who passed through the region in the 1800s on a hunting expedition. The Gore Range is made up of many 12 and 13,000 ft. peaks and we know all the best trails, vistas, and hidden gems. We will channel our inner mountain goats, which dot the surrounding peaks, as we learn hiking, backpacking, map and compass, and transferable leadership skills to traverse and climb the mountains of the Gore Range.
Backpacking involves carrying everything needed on your back— including clothes, tent & sleeping bag, and food-- to thrive for multiple days in the wilderness. The challenge is felt literally on your shoulders, while the reward of cooking in the backcountry with your friends, sleeping in your tent with the sounds of nature, and getting away from modern amenities is immeasurable. Learn packing technique, navigation skills, and backcountry cooking. The wilderness produces unique opportunities for leadership development. Whether it’s managing the group’s navigation, taking initiative helping someone with the weight of their pack, or helping to cut vegetables for the night’s meal, the social skills we develop on the trail transfer to school, sports, and future careers.
The thrill of exploration can be felt as the group paddles the river together. With the help and direction of a guide, a group navigates the moving water in an inflatable raft— usually around 6 to a group. Depending on the age of the participants and amount of spring runoff, we will choose different sections of river that allow for both excitement and safety. We have over 40 years of experience working with rafting companies and running Colorado rivers, and we monitor the river levels on a daily basis.
Arrival & Departure Options
KSS Drop-off and Pick-Up
- Drop Off: 10am
- Pick Up: 1pm (Expedition Farewell)
Morrison Drop-off and Pick-Up
Meet Keystone Science School counselors at the T-Rex Park and Ride in Morrison. Be sure to select the Morrison Drop-Off and Pick-Up within the registration options.
- Fee: $45 (Each Way)
- Drop Off: 10:00am-10:30am
- Pick Up: 1pm-1:30pm
DEN Airport Arrival and Departure
Travel by plane to Denver International Airport. We’ll be sure they are greeted by a KSS Counselor when they get off the plane. We send our counselors behind the TSA security checkpoints to greet each child directly at the airline gate. Be sure to check the arrival or departure option within the registration and book your camper’s travel to arrive and depart within the specified time windows.
- Fee: $80 (Each Way)
- Arrival: DEN between 7:00am-9:00am
- Departure: DEN between 2:00pm-4:00pm
Keystone Science School is American Camp Association Accredited