July 8-10, 2022: Intro to Backpacking Flat Tops Wilderness
About this Trip
Come backpack through the beautiful Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado with Creatio this summer! This will offer a great opportunity for less experienced backpackers to the learn necessary skills in order to confidently explore the backcountry.
Creatio’s experienced guides will lead you on this adventure in nature and in spirit. We will provide meals, group gear, and itinerary so all you have to do is meet us here!
The captivating Flat Tops Wilderness is right at our fingertips, come explore them with us!
This backpacking adventure is 15 miles round trip with about 3,600 feet in elevation gain so expect to be challenged!
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- Creatio guides
- Group Gear
- Ground transportation
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner every day
- Opportunities for spiritual talks, reflection and backpack through the Flat Tops Wilderness!
- Travel expenses to and from Denver
- Personal Gear
The Flat Tops Wilderness Area lies deep in the mountains of Colorado and encompasses over 235,000 acres of land! We will be backpacking a 15 mile loop (about 5 miles per day) that takes us along the Sweetwater Creek, past Rim Lake and down the Shingle Peak Trail. This wilderness area offers wide open skies, aspen forests, and gentle running streams that all combine to make for an unforgettable outdoor experience!
Creatio’s spirituality is focused on strengthening the four relationships: relationship with self, with one another, with nature and with God. We encourage all of our participants to be open to experience a deepening of these relationships while on our experiences. We go out into nature and beauty and hope that along the journey, we encounter the depth of ourselves and those around us.
Friendship and Community
“Community,” “deep conversation,” “friendship.” Many missionaries chose these words when asked to describe their Creatio Adventure experiences in one phrase. Of course, backpacking through the outdoors is a great opportunity for silence, personal reflection, and soul-searching. But we are made for community, made for an encounter, and much of that soul-searching happens in communion with others. Those conversations that happen while preparing dinner, marveling at a mountain top view, or helping someone with their blisters (yes, they’re real) may be the ones that help change our lives. Come prepared to live out the beauty of Community!
*This itinerary is subject to change
Day 1- Friday, July 8
7:00 am: Meet at St. Joseph’s Parking Lot. Meet other participants, small breakfast and rundown on plans for the weekend.
NOTE* (For those who are flying into Denver from another location: Please try to arrive by 9 pm Thursday so that we can get a good night’s sleep. You will be able to stay at a Creatio Guide’s house for free.)
8:00 am: From St. Joseph we will drive to Flat Tops Wilderness and begin backpacking!
11:30 am: Arrive at Trailhead and hike roughly 4 miles (lunch along trail) to a dispersed campsite along the Rim Lake Trail. Set up camp, eat dinner and hang out!
Includes: Transportation to Flat Tops, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Day 2- Saturday, July 9
8:00 am: Wake up, have breakfast, pack up camp.
Hike 6 miles (lunch along trail) to next dispersed campsite along Shingle Peak Trail.
Set up camp, have dinner, hang out/ evening reflections
Includes: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, guided hikes & ground transportation.
Day 3- Sunday, July 10
6:00 am: Wake up, breakfast, pack up camp
Hike 7 miles back to cars at the trailhead. Lunch will be along the trail.
Drive back to Denver for evening Mass! Have Dinner together.
If you took a flight to Denver from another location, please schedule your flight home for Monday, July 11 so that we will not be racing back to the airport Sunday evening.
Health & Safety Information
We recommend you and your group undergo a medical check-up before traveling to make sure you don’t have any kind of medical condition that could obstruct your participation in the backpacking adventure.
This backpacking adventure will be at a high altitude. We will hike 15 miles in 3 days and gain roughly 3,600 feet in elevation. The highest altitude we will reach is about 11,000 ft above sea level so you must make sure to stay hydrated and not overexert yourself!
Water Purification: Do not drink straight from the streams and lakes we will be crossing! Make sure that you always use water purification systems (will be provided by Creatio) when filling up your water bottle while backpacking.
Wildlife Safety: The Flat Tops Wilderness Area is full of wildlife, including bears. Make sure that you do NOT keep any food in your tent or on your person while sleeping. We will utilize bear canisters to prevent any unwanted visitors to our campsite.
This list is subject to change.
Weather change from night to day is more drastic in the mountains. Expect the day time to be hot and sunny. Nighttime and early morning will be chilly so pack extra layers and knit hat.
RECOMMENDED: 40L- 50L Backpack
- 40L – 50L Backpack
- Sleeping bag (packable, rated to 30F)
- Sleeping pad
- Water bottles or Camelbak (Recommend 3 nalgene bottles because it will be hot and you’ll need to hydrate! If you do bring a Camelback, also bring a water bottle to use in the evenings).
- Hiking clothes
- 3 shirts – base layer, we will only need a t-shirt most of the day
- 1 long sleeve/light outer layer jacket for chilly mornings
- 2 pairs of pants or hiking shorts
- 2-3 pair non-cotton socks
- Light outer shell raincoat
- 1 set of light sleeping clothes – t-shirt and shorts
- Good walking/hiking shoes
- Sandals – Chacos, Tevas or Keens or the like
- Camping plate/bowl and utensils (spork)
- Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, travel size items or share)
- Prescribed and non-prescribed medications
- Rosary or other spiritual items
- Blister care – safety pins (2), needle, thread, band-aids, first aid tape, Vaseline, moleskin. Creatio will provide some. You can also buy these things along the way if you need them.
- Wrist watch