I jog down the stairs, daypack flopping on my back, and trot into the lobby of the St. Julien Hotel & Spa. My guide, Bennett Barthelemy of Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, is waiting. He asks where I'd like to hike this morning.
"To one of one the mountains I can see from my room window," I answer.
Bennett gives an I-know-just-the-place kind of nod, and I follow him outside. The next thing I know, I'm hiking past the First, Second and Third Flatirons, huffing cool, springtime air on a perfectly pitched 3-mile hump to Royal Arch, an iconic feature of the Boulder Flatirons that I've somehow never visited before this morning.
Based in Boulder and Estes Park, Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides will take you on any mountain-based activity you can think of. From picking you up and taking you on a simple day hike, fly-fishing, or rock climbing session—to leading you and your family on a multi-day backcountry adventure, these guys will make it happen.