Dream Lake Sunrise on Estesl Park Tour

Estes Park Tours
Rocky Mountain National Park Tours
Photo & Wildlife Tours

Yellow Wood Guiding offers private Estes Park Guided Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado.


Yellow Wood Guiding's private Estes Park Tours include Wildlife Tours, Photo Tours, naturalist led Best of Rocky Tours, guided Hiking Tours and winter Snowshoeing Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park. See and learn more, avoid the crowds, and get the most from your Estes Park vacation by touring Rocky Mountain National Park with an expert Naturalist and Professional Photographer with decades of experience. Our clients routinely tell us they learned and experienced more on a private guided tour than they could have ever imagined on their own.

Yellow Wood Guiding's Rocky Mountain National Park Tours are Private, Customized for you, strictly Limited to 4 guests, provide world-class binoculars, professional camera gear, and hiking gear, and are designed for Adults and older kids - must be 12 & up.

Guided Tours do not require Timed Entry Permits, so booking your Yellow Wood Guiding Tour gives you full access to Rocky Mountain National Park without the hassle of getting a limited permit from May through October.


Rocky Mountain National Park Tours from Estes Park


Summer Tours | May - Early Oct

Wildlife Tours  Photo Tours  Best of Rocky Tours  Hiking Tours


Special Fall Tours | Sept - Early Oct

Elk Rut Tours  Fall Photo Tours


Winter Tours | Mid Oct - April

Wildlife Tours  Photo Tours  Best of Rocky Tours  Snowshoeing


Estes Park Wildlife Tour Bull Elk Shadow

What to Expect on Our Estes Park Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park

Our Estes Park Tours start in the morning before sunrise, and evening tours end after sunset. This way we see the best animals, avoid the summer crowds, and get the best light and views. We pick you up from your Estes Park hotel or lodging in our Plug-In Hybrid Electric SUV with a panoramic moonroof and heated seats so you stay warm exploring in comfort. We'll work to find what you want to see and point out things you never even thought to look for. Each tour is like having your own personal ranger show you the national park and its secrets that are often right out in the open but few ever notice. Our private Estes Park Tours are for people who believe learning is fun and love to be amazed by nature.

Yellow Wood Guiding is the longest serving Naturalist, Wildlife & Photo Guide offering year-round private Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park Tours since 2007, serving 10,000+ clients. How can we make your Rocky Mountain National Park Tour one to remember?

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Best Time to Visit Rocky Mountain National Park & Estes Park

Click for a detailed outline of the Best Times to Tour Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park Weather, and the Pros and Cons of visiting Estes Park each month.

Plan Your Perfect Estes Park Tour


Why Book a Private Estes Park Tour?

Card image cap
World-class Binoculars
Camera & Hiking Gear
Bighorn Sheep Rams 5 full curl strolling through grass
Say WOW! More &
Avoid The Crowds
Sprague Lake Sunrise reflections August
20 Years Experience
Professional Guide

Summer Estes Park Tours | May - Early October

Moose bull with velvet antlers on a Estes Park Wildlife Tour

Wildlife Tours

Estes Park Wildlife Tours explore Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road to experience wildlife close and far including Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Yellow-bellied Marmots, American Pika, and more. Learn about their biology, ecology, and behaviors. Each Guest is provided world-class 10x Swarovski Binoculars for excellent views, and for the most distant sightings we set up 30-60x Kowa Spotting Scopes.

4 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Rock Cut Sunset Rocky Mountain National Park Tours

Photo Tours

Photo Tours capture Rocky Mountain National Park's beauty. Customized to your interest and ability, beginners to pros. Roadside and hiking locations. We will guide you to the right spot at the right time in the best light. Learn settings, composition, and if needed provide you with Professional Nikon Z9 camera, lenses from 14mm - 840mm, and tripods so you head home with the best shots.

4, 6 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Trail Ridge Road Alpine Sunflowers Estes Park Tours

Best of Rocky Tours

Naturalist led Rocky Mountain National Park Tours that adventure the park's roadways and trails for the best views and nature. Visit Bear Lake and Trail Ridge Road. Learn about Ecology, History, Biology, and more through Rocky Mountain's glacial valleys, subalpine lakes, and alpine tundra.

4 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Lake Haiyaha blue milky water Rocky Mountain National Park Tour

Hiking Tours

Early Morning Guided Hiking Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park's front country, back country, and summit trails. Ranging from easy difficulty 2 mile Subalpine Lake nature hikes, to 8-12 hour 10-15 mile very hard summit or lake hikes to Rocky's back country. Experience the mountains, flowers and amazing views on foot.

4, 6 or 8 hours + | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Special Fall Rocky Mountain Tours | September - Early October

Elk Bulls sparring in Rocky Mountain National Park

Elk Rut Wildlife Tours

The Elk Rut in Estes Park is one of the great wildlife spectacles of Colorado. Select national park meadows and even Estes Park golf courses fill with Elk in the mornings and evenings; bugling, maintaning herds, and on rare great moments fighting for dominace. We'll give you the play by play, and dive deep into their biology and behavior. Each Guest is provided world-class 10x Swarovski Binoculars, and for the most distant sightings we set up 30-60x Kowa Spotting Scopes.

4 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Bear Lake Fall Sunset on an Estes Park Tour in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall Photo Tours

Fall Rocky Mountain National Park Photo Tours have the potential for you to take the best photo of the year, every day of the season. Sunrise and Sunset tours for the best light, and make sure we get limited parking. Some locations are easy walks, others are harder short climbs. We can customize a Photo Tour for you and your abilities, and help guide you to a great experience. We will be following the Aspen color all season and guide you to the best shots Rocky has to offer.

4, 6 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $325

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Winter Estes Park Tours | Mid October - April

Mule Deer buck in the snowy bushes. Estes Park Winter Wildlife Tour

Winter Wildlife Tours

Winter Wildlife Estes Park Tours explore the Estes Park region's roadways to encounter wildlife close and far including Elk, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Turkey, Bald Eagle, and more. Learn about their biology, ecology, and behaviors. Each guest is provided world-class 10x Swarovski Binoculars, and for the most distant sightings we set up 30-70x Kowa Spotting Scopes.

3.5, 6 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $245

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Dream Lake Sunrise reflection with snow and blue sky, Rocky Mountain National Park Photo Tours

Winter Photo Tours

Capture Rocky Mountain National Park's winter photo beauty. Customized to your interest and ability, beginners to pros. We will guide you to the right spot at the right time in the best light. Learn settings, composition, and if needed we provide you with Professional Nikon Z9 camera and lenses from 14mm - 840mm so you head home with the best winter Rocky Mountain photos.

3.5, 6 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $245

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Longs Peak Sunset from Bear Lake, Winter Estes Park Tours

Winter Best of Rocky Tours

Naturalist led Winter Estes Park Tours to the best snow-capped mountain views, frozen lakes, and foothill canyons. Road based experience with optional short walks that are likely snowy and icy. Learn how nature survives in this winter paradise, including its Ecology, Geology, Biology, and History.

3.5 or 6 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $245

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Notchtop Mountain and rippled snow on an Estes Park Snowshoeing Tour

Snowshoeing / Winter Hiking Tours

Guided Estes Park Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park. Snowshoes, Hiking Poles, Gaiters, and Ice Cleats included. First time 3.5 hour Snowshoeing 2 mile tour to Dream Lake, or experienced 6 & 8 hour back country hikes available. Trail conditions determine if we snowshoe or winter hike.

3.5, 6 or 8 hours | 1- 4 guests | Starting at $245

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Which of our Estes Park Tours is right for you?

Click the white tour titles below to expand for more details

Wildlife Tours Main Goal: See as much Rocky Mountain Wildlife as we can, and learn more about the wildlife of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Have you always wanted to see a Bighorn Sheep in the winter or Moose in the summer? On a Rocky Mountain National Park Wildlife Tour we can guide you to the best wildlife sightings, teach you their behaviors and give you a view into their lives. Rocky Mountain wildlife we often see include American Elk, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Moose, Yellow-bellied Marmots, American Pika, Coyotes and birds like Steller's Jays, Mountain Bluebirds, Black-billed Magpies, Common Raven, Bald Eagle and so many more.

Wildlife Tours involve a good bit of driving throughout the park, a number of stops, and generally only a few minor walks as we explore Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park for animal encounters. When we find wildlife, we will generally park the vehicle and get out if its safe. Some sightings are very close, others may be so far we can only see them through the spotting scope.

Most large animals, especially Elk and Moose, are most active near dawn or dusk, so morning tours will start before sunrise, and evening tours finish after dark. Start times account for the drive time so we get amazing animal sightings.

Summer Tours starting in late May, we will likely drive over Trail Ridge Road, to 12,183 ft and back to find wildlife.

Spring and Fall Wildlife Tours follow the animals as they migrate through the Estes Park region and may spend less time in the National Park.

Winter Wildlife Tours will spend about half of the tour in Rocky Mountain National Park where Bull Elk, Mule Deer, and Coyote roam the wintering grounds. The other half of the tour we will explore the Estes Park region, some days including Devils Gulch and Dry Gulch for more elk, the Big Thompson Canyon for Bighorn Sheep, and the foothills for Prairie Dogs and birds of prey.

**Everyone will be provided a pair of world class Swarovski Binoculars, and on more distant mountain views Kowa Spotting Scopes will be set up so you get closer animals sightings than you could ever imagine.**

Photo Tours Main Goal: Take the best Photos in Rocky Mountain National Park, and improve your photography skills.

Learn how and where to take great pictures in Rocky Mountain National Park on one of our Photography Tours. Our guide has over 20 years of experience teaching Beginners how to use and understand their camera and composition, and guiding seasoned professionals and Advanced Photographers on Private Photo Workshops to help you get the best Rocky Mountains photos the Estes Park area can offer. **Included with the tour fee you have access to our professional Nikon mirrorless Z9 camera, pro f2.8 and f4 lenses from 14mm to 850mm, tripods, and filters.**

Be sure to check on the seasonal highlights to see examples of locations and subjects we can photograph. Let us know if you have major interest in any particular photographic target. Over the years, some folks have shared more interest in water over mountains, or a love of moose, pika, and wildflowers. Your guide will read the weather, time of year, and current conditions to recommend the best locations and animals for your Estes Park vacation.

Summer Photo Tours are likely to experience the common summer weather pattern of clear blue skies with some minor chance of eastern clouds. Mid morning there is a building cloud layer and by mid day the entire sky is cloudy as the afternoon thunderstorms build. Usually by 4:30 to 6pm those storms pass and more than half of the time evenings clear just before golden hour offering great light and less crowds after the storm.

Winter Photo Tours are more likely to have a risk of clouds blocking the peaks and grand views on roughly half of winter days from November until April. If we plan for grand views and the weather doesn't cooperate we can target either winter wildlife or intimate landscape scenes of snow covered trees and the like.

Best of Rocky Tours Main Goal: If you are looking for a Rocky Mountain National Park Tour to see and experience more than just wildlife, but also the amazing Rocky Mountain landscapes and nature, subalpine lakes and forests, Alpine Tundra, waterfalls and more, then one of our customized and private Naturalist led Best of Rocky Tours is for you.

Summer Best of Rocky Tours: On a Best of Rocky Tour we have the whole park to explore from the lowest 8,000 foot elevation glacial valleys, to the highest continunusly paved highway in the continential United States, Trail Ridge Road, driving over 12,183 feet.

There are two Naturalist led Nature Tour types: our Best of Rocky Tours, and our Nature Tours.

Best of Rocky Tours focus on an overview of Rocky Mountain National Park and visiting the best views and special ecosystems of the park. We'll visit locations including Bear Lake, and travel Trail Ridge Road.

Nature Tours focus more on "Nature Walks", diving deep into the science of the national park and relying on your particular interests in the natural world. This is a highly customized tour, so be sure to share your general interest topics and our guide can recommend a customized nature tour just for you.

Winter Best of Rocky Tours travel both in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the surrounding Estes Park region. If we have poor weather, with heavy clouds blocking the views of the high peaks, we can often find better views at lower elevations. But maybe you are interested in getting out on to a frozen subalpine lake in the middle of winter to be blasted by the wind for the experience. We can almost always customize a great experience for you.

Hiking Tours Main Goal: Experience the grandure of Rocky Mountain National Park on foot.

Summer Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Tours: Our most heart pumping Rocky Mountain National Park Tours are Hiking Tours. We depart Estes Park in the early morning to avoid crowds and thunderstorms. We can explore glacial valleys and lakes on an easy 2 mile round trip hike to Dream Lake and Nymph Lake, to very hard all-day 10 to 15 mile hiking tours to Rocky Mountain National Park's more remote lakes and summits like Flattop Mountain. Guided Hikes provide access and timing so you have a great time without having to worry about getting a parking spot and keeping the trail. Along the way we will point out great features of geology, ecology, and nature.

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing Tours often have variable conditions day to day. Ice packed trails one day where snowshoes would be dangerous to use, and the next day it can snow making snowshoes a must. In the last few years Winter Hiking with Ice Cleats and Hiking Poles, starts in late October going through early December when the snow starts to really pile up. Snowshoeing season, with it's lovely soft powdery snow, runs from December until February. Once it starts to warm again in March we transition back to Winter Hiking to stay safe as wet heavy snow will cling to Snowshoes making travel hard and dangerous.

Please let us know when booking in the winter if you would only be interested in Snowshoeing.

Winter Weather is always unpredictable in the Estes Park Region, often with heavy clouds blocking all of the high mountain views. Snowshoeing in soft snow can be great fun regardless of views. Winter Hiking is often less fun without grand views to strive for on the icy trails. Be sure to check out the Winter Weather Info page I wrote to help you understand what to expect in the Rocky Mountain winter months.

Winter Weather Info




Estes Park Tours - Seasonal Photo Highlights

Click the season you are planning your Rocky Mountain National Park Tour to see what you can experience that time of year.

Spring   Summer   Fall   Winter



Estes Park Tours | Details


Tours are limited to only 4 guests so you get personal attention. We only have 4 seats, and 4 sets of excellent gear. All tours are private so the only guests will be the people you invite. Yellow Wood Guiding strives to provide quality experiences for all of our guests.

Tours are designed for adults and have a strict age 12 and up policy. Kids 14 and over enjoy the experience most due to the science being presented at a high school and college level. If your kids are under 16 please read the Safari FAQ to make sure this tour is for your family.

All tours start and end in Estes Park, Colorado. We will pick you up at your Estes Park hotel or meet at a central Estes Park location if you are renting a private home. So if you are staying outside of Estes Park you will need your own transporation to Estes Park from Denver, Boulder, or the ski towns. It is always best to rent a car.

Each guest has access to the best gear available from Swarovski binoculars, Kowa spotting scopes, Black Diamond hiking poles, hand warmers, to professional Nikon camera gear to make the most of your Rocky Mountain experience.


Reviews of our Estes Park Tours

Yellow Wood Guiding has over 550 Excellent Reviews across Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews. Tripadvisor / Viator no longer provides the great service it used to. Currently the best place to share your reviews is Google. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and supporting Yellow Wood Guiding.



Yellow Wood Guiding is Authorized by the National Park Service, Department of Interior to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park. Fees for service are strictly for educational nature experiences and photography instruction, not transportation.


YWGuiding.com Est. 2007