Bighorn Sheep Rams on Trail Ridge Road

Book Your Tour
& Tour FAQ's (Below)

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

 Book Your Tour  Tour FAQ's

How to Book Your Tour

Step 1

To Book your tour, confirm the date is available on our online schedule by clicking Check Availability. Check the month you plan to vist. White and Bright Green Dates have availability, Red dates are booked. If the date is open and no one has emailed for the date prior it's yours. Once confirmed the date is available, email the information requested below.

Since every tour is customized we do not have an automated booking system.

You can only book a tour by emailing the details requested below to: We need to tailor each trip just for you, from the start time, meeting location, and what tour type best fits your interests. Because of this, you can only book a tour via Email to make sure you have an excellent experience. We use email so we both have a copy of your confirmation, reduce errors, and avoid the challenges of poor cell signal in the mountains.

When you send the complete info and questions answered I will send you a confirmation email. If you have not yet received a confirmation email, your tour is not yet booked. Be sure to contact us if that is the case as some emails get sent to junk or do not get delivered due to our mountain communications sometimes.

If you have any questions be sure to read the FAQ's below and if you don't find the info on the tour pages or FAQ section please email.

Step 2

To book your tour email us the following details:

  • What date and part of the day, morning or evening, would you like to book?

  • What kind of Tour you would like to book? Wildlife, Photo, Best of Rocky, or Hiking Tour. See the home page Which Tour is Right for You section and click the links below to read through the tour descriptions to make sure you book the best tour for you.

  • What sights or wildlife are you most interested in seeing, learning and/or photographing?

  • How long of a tour you would like: 4 hour (3.5 hour Winter), 6 hour, or 8 hour tour?

  • What Estes Park Hotel or Resort you are staying? Or are you staying at an AirBnB or VRBO?

  • I will recommend a early morning or evening start time once I know what kind of tour you wish. Please Confirm that time will work for you.

  • What are the first names and age of each guest that will be on the tour?

  • A cell phone number to reach you during your trip?

  • What Estes Park website or search engine did you learn about Yellow Wood Guiding?

(If clicking the button doesn't open your email, copy and paste or type the email address into your TO: section on your email)

Read over the details of the tour one last time to make sure you picked the best tour for you. Remeber all tours either start before Sunrise or end after Sunset so you have the best experience, best weather, and the least crowds.

Summer Tours | May - Early Oct

Wildlife Tours  Photo Tours  Best of Rocky Tours  Hiking Tours

Winter Tours | Mid Oct - April

Wildlife Tours  Photo Tours  Best of Rocky Tours  Snowshoeing

Read over our Best Time to Visit Estes Park page for what to expect each month you may visit Best Time to Visit

Gore Range Overlook on Trail Ridge Road on an Estes Park Tour

Estes Park Tour FAQ's

Click on the white questions in the green boxes to expand

No, Yellow Wood Guiding tours are very detail oriented with information at a high school and college level. Often children under 16 get bored due to the level of information and the pace as there can be a good bit of driving. There is a strict 12 and up age limit. We are often standing very close to the highway or 75 feet from potentially dangerous wildlife if you are not calm.  If your kids are not extremely into nature and science a Yellow Wood Guiding tour may not be for your family. A good test to see if a tour is right for your kids is have them watch the linked video. If they think its cool, they would probably think a tour would be too: Yellow Guiding Tour Video

No, In the summer months I get about 1 cancellation per month and its almost always extremely last minute. I do not keep a cancellation list. Check the schedule to see if there are openings, if it's marked as booked it's booked. If you are planning a trip within 30 days, openings will not generally show up. Be sure to plan your summer trip at least 2 or 3 months out to have a good chance of booking your tour. Fall trips might need to be booked as early as February. Sometimes multiple people email for the same day, whomever completes the requested information first will get the reservation.

No, all tours are private and customized. Only the people you invite will come along.

Yes, all tours are limited to only 4 guests! There are 4 seat bealts, 4 sets of top of the line binoculars, and 4 sets of hiking poles. No exceptions and we do not allow cars the follow along as folks in the other car miss out on nearly the entire tour experience, and there is limited places to park on the private type of tours Yellow Wood Guiding offers.

The vehicle we use is a mid-size SUV Hyundai Santa Fe Plug In Hybrid, so three people would be in the back seat on a 4 person tour. For some plus sized people this makes for a very tight fit. Our average tour is two people so using a giant SUV or van for most tours is not economically or environmentally friendly. Be sure you are going to be comfortable.

Yellow Wood Guiding uses a civilized super fuel efficent Hybrid Plug In SUV, 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. Enjoy the panoramic sunroof, leather heated seats, great music, and when we needed extra heat or A/C.
Yellow Wood Guiding is a CUA Permitted guide in Rocky Mountain National Park. Guided Tours do not require Timed Entry Permits, but you will need a Day, Week, Annual or Lifetime National Park Pass which if needed can be purchased at the Park Gate during the start of our tour. If you plan on entering the park on your own you may need a Timed Entry Permit, CLICK HERE for details.
The Timed Entry Permit system is a bit complicated so I wrote up a entire page to help explain it CLICK HERE. Unless you plan on a morning hike in the Bear Lake Road area you do not really need Timed Entry Permits to visit the National Park as long as you enter before 9am or after 2pm. The Bear Lake Road Corridor opens to guests without a permit at 6pm.
During the summer months, we will travel over excellent paved roads. Route 34 and 36 are federal highways. A few of the side roads and Fall River Road are dirt and can be bumpy in a few locations. In the winter months roads can be snow covered, but are generally always plowed and treated by 8am. Trail Ridge Road is generally closed from Early October until the Friday before Memorial Day.
Yes, all tours are only in English. If you do not speak English fluently you will probably not enjoy the level of detail and information provided on a Yellow Wood Guiding tour.
That depends on you, if you didn't book a Hiking Tour, we won't walk far. We've had great tours with folks in wheel chairs. Best of Rocky Tours can go up to a few miles or just a short walk, Wildlife Tours involve much more driving so we may go a few hundred yards at time, or some folks only want to take short walks. This tour is customized for you.
That again depends on what kind of tour you would like. Wildlife are most common and visible at sunrise or in the evening, so starting as early as possible or a few hours before sunset in the summer months is best. When you email I will recommend a time based on the type of tour your looking for. Photo Safaris can start as early as an hour and a half before sunrise so we can travel and hike to some amazing locations.
If you are staying inside Estes Park at a hotel (within a 10 minute drive of Estes) we'll pick you up outside the office of the hotel or lodge your staying. Folks staying at AirBnB and VRBO or if you are staying outside of Estes Park we'll pick you up at the Estes Park Visitors Center by the flag poles, located at 500 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 (across the street from McDonalds and Starbucks). We do not offer pick ups outside of Estes Park.
Please pay by Check, Travelers Check, Cash, or Venmo at the end of the tour. No need for a Credit Card to hold your reservation. Credit Cards can be accepted through after the tour but a 3% fee will be added to the total.
In the summer time be prepared for temps between 30-70 degrees F, yes 30! Don't wear shorts, and always bring a jacket. If you booked a Hiking Tour, a backpack, rain gear, and hiking boots are highly recommended. Also be sure to drink plenty of water both in the days before your trip to Colorado and while your here (4 bottles a day), and for morning tours eat breakfast to prevent altitude sickness. Bring along water and a snack, we will have extra water and granola bars for you as well.
In the fall and the spring anything can happen between 70's and sun, or a blizzard. Be prepared for temps between 15-60 degrees F. In the winter time be prepared for temps between -15 to 40 degrees F. Layers are your friend, and avoid cotton socks and jeans in the snow as they soak up water and do not dry. Also be sure to drink plenty of water both in the days before your trip to Colorado and during, and eat breakfast to prevent altitude sickness. Bring along water and a snack.
During the summer months nearly everyday has a 10%-30% chance of thunderstorms generally in the mid-afternoon. On most long range forecasts this looks like nothing but storms all week long. Fret not, most storms either never develop, or pass quickly.
Here in the Rocky Mountains we get very few days of constant rain, be prepared for a random shower during the warmer months, but we will avoid getting wet. However, some of the best wildlife viewing is during the rain as it keeps the daytime temps lower and more comfortable for all our furry friends.
If it snows just an inch or two, the park roads will be well maintained and open. Fresh snow gives us the chance to see fresh tracks. In the event of a larger snow fall we will play it by ear. This is your tour after all, so we can go if you want to go. Yellow Wood Guiding will never put its clients in a dangerous situation. If we feel its not safe to be out we will not go out.

With two decades of guiding experience I've come to find miscommunication and human error are very rare, but about once a year bound to happen. I want to offer excellent service to all guests and I have strived to avoid and correct any scheduling errors but about once a year a date will get double booked or cancelled by mistake. Bookings are only via email so we can keep a copy and double check to reduce miscommunication.

If the guide doesn't arrive in 5 minutes of your scheduled time, please Text and Email. In the mountains signal is very spotty so calls rarely work. After 10 minutes it is safe to assume we had a scheduling error, in that extremely rare case I would highly recommend heading into the national park on your own, enter on Highway 34 Fall River Entrance, exploring the low valleys of Horseshoe Park and Moraine Park year round, and Trail Ridge Road in the summer months. If you can't contact me via text or email within 5 minutes I am likely outside of signal range. Average Human Error rate is about 4%, my error rate is about 0.27% , and I will do everything I can to make sure you have a great experience.

Yes, traveling often has its unforeseen happenings. If you need to cancel your reservation just email and let us know. If you want to reschedule, review the  Schedule, if the date is open it's yours. Generally rescheduling is only available in the winter months when we're not booked solid more than a month out.
Make sure you read each tour page completely, after nearly two decades of offering tours our website has been refined to answer just about every common question we get. If you still don't find your answer, please email us at

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. Est. 2007