Wednesday Activity Options

You can choose one of several great Colorado adventures on Wednesday at YXL West. Almost everything else you do during the week will be with your leadership team, but Wednesday is your choice.

Some activities have an additional cost. Others are free.

If you are unable to participate in any of these activities for some reason, let us know and we will do our best to provide an alternative option for you.

Whitewater Rafting Browns Canyon with Noah’s Ark ($87)

Raft Buena Vista Colorado’s Arkansas River through BROWNS CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT and experience the fun and excitement of rafting several Class III-III+ whitewater rapids such as Pinball, Zoom Flume, and Raft Ripper. Learn more at the Noah’s Ark website.

Mount Yale Hike (14er) with Noah’s Ark ($115)

This is an epic day hike to the summit of Mount Yale, one of Colorado’s 58 14ers. Climbing Mt. Yale is a strenuous 9.5 mile out and back hike, gaining 4,286 ft to a summit elevation of 14,196 ft. Anyone who is physically active and accustomed to walking or running several miles at a time, or playing a sport that involves a lot of running, should be able to handle this hike. However this is not a good option for beginning hikers. If you do not think you are ready for a hike like this, please consider one of our other activity options. Mt. Yale hikers will be asked to complete a written assessment to ensure fitness for this very strenuous climb.

Read more about Mt. Yale hike:

Poplar Gulch Hike (Free)

LevelModerate to Difficult
Distance9.25 miles
Beginning Elevation10,000 ft
Highest Elevation13,078
Total Elevation Gain3,078
Water sources?Multiple creek crossings
Shade or Sun?Mix

Poplar Gulch lies just outside historic Saint Elmo, a photogenic ghost town with many original buildings. The trail begins in St. Elmo and winds through pine and aspen forests before switchbacking up the mountain. It climbs along a rushing mountain creek to a flowery meadow with incredible views of the mountains and the headwaters of Chalk Creek. We reach a saddle at 12,297 feet with grand views of Mt. Yale to the north and a variety of other 13ers and 14ers in the distance.  Then we make our way up to the summit of an unnamed 13er (13,078’) directly to the east of the pass, with a breathtaking 360 panorama of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Absolutely spectacular.

Read more about Poplar Gulch hike:

Ptarmigan Lake Hike (Free)

LevelEasy to Moderate
Distance6.8 miles
Beginning Elevation10,680 ft
Highest Elevation12,300 ft
Total Elevation Gain1,620 ft
Water sources?Creek crossing near lake
Shade or Sun?Mix

This popular, scenic half day hike ascends on moderate grades to beautiful Ptarmigan Lake (12,150-ft.), cradled at the base of Jones Mountain (13,218-ft.). The first 2.4 miles of the trail climbs through trees with intermittent views of the Turner Peak (13,237-ft.) and the Gladstone Ridge (13,208-ft.).

As the trees thin the trail passes a pretty lake and pond with good campsites nearby. Soon the trees give way to beautiful meadows renowned for their spectacular wildflower displays. Great views, which improve as you gain elevation, open to the Jones Mountains (13,218-ft.) and Mount Yale (14,196-ft.).

At 3.1 miles pretty Ptarmigan Lake Spring into view. Continue along the trail as it skirts the lake’s eastern shore. At the south end of the lake a panorama of high peaks, including Turner Peak and Mount Yale, fills the skyline to the north.

Extend the hike by climbing the short, steep trail to a saddle between Gladstone Ridge and Jones Mountain with stunning views of the peaks to the north and bird’s-eye view of Ptarmigan Lake below. To the south the high peaks along the South Cottonwood drainage dominate the view.

Read more about Ptarmigan Lake hike: