Basecamp Trip Booking Instructions

Whether this is your first Basecamp trip with Noah's Ark or you have done many trips with us, we look forward to working with you to plan an unforgettable Colorado adventure!

Below is everything you need to request your trip.  Please review it all so you understand the guidelines.  We can't wait to hear from you!

Step 1: Decide what kind of a trip you want for your group. Backpacking or Basecamp
Step 2: Submit the Pre-Registration. (Not necessary if you've pre-registered by phone.)
Step 3: Noah's will call you to finalize your dates, itinerary and price. Upcoming season's pricing may not be available until November.
Step 4: After you receive your confirmation, turn in your deposit and contract within two weeks .

Booking Schedule

To recognize the relationship with groups that use Noah's year after year, we try to make this info available year round, although pricing may not be completely set until November.  Prior to that, we can pencil in your dates.  Until your deposit is due, you are not obligated to the reservation in any way, nor is the reservation confirmed.  We'll start sending out confirmations in November, but you can still get the ball rolling by letting us know the framework of your plans.

We will keep in contact with you mainly through emails and phone calls as your trip planning progresses. If you have any questions or changes in your plans, we want to hear from you! Please keep us informed as you see the logistics and dynamics of your trip taking shape. The information you provide through your calls and questionnaires will help us to know how we can best serve your group.

Booking Guidelines:

How many spots to reserve

Backpacking Trips are booked in increments of 13 participants because the US Forest Service issues us permits which allow us to take a max of 13 guests on a single trail. Minimum group size is 10, so you will have some flexibility in your number of participants.  For one trail trip, you will have 10-13, for two trail trips you will have 20-26, and so on.

Basecamp Trips must start with a minimum of 10 participants.  You will have some flexibility to lower your number based on the number of spots you reserve.  Increasing your number depends upon availability, but is usually not a problem. 
Sorry, we don't have open enrollment backpacking or basecamp trips. You need to have a group of 10 or more(back to guidelines)

Adult Leaders

Backpacking Trips must have a minimum of 2 adult leaders for every trail trip.  So if you are reserving one trip, you will have 2 adult leaders and 8 to 11 students; for two trail trips, you will have 4 adult leaders and 16 to 22 students, and so on.
Basecamp Trips should have an overall adult to youth ratio of 1:5 as well.  
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Backpacking Trip Length

As a general rule, longer trips in the backcountry provide better experiences.  Based on our 35+ years of experience in wilderness programming, we find longer trail trips provide more relational interaction, more time for content, teaching and ministry opportunities, and more time to accomplish your goals as a group, such as attempting a peak climb.  We recommend that you plan on 4 to 5 days or more on the trail.  We do offer a 3-day trip if this is your only option. 
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How many tents will I get when we are on the campground?

Backpacking and Basecamp Trips:  You might be spending a night or two on the campground before you head into the backcountry, or for your entire Basecamp trip .  We have large weatherport tents that hold up to 15 (one holds 25) and we give you space according to your number.  If we have extra, we can try to give you extra room, but expect to have one weatherport for every 15 participants.  We can give you a divider if you have a co-ed group that needs to share space.   (back to guidelines)

Number of Backpacking Trips

We apply for our US Forest Service permit based on the number of guests that our group leaders reserve.  Since we are accountable to be accurate, we ask our group leaders to try and be as accurate as possible, too.  Cancellations and drops in group sizes jeopardize our future permits.  This is why we must hold firm to our group size parameters and cancellation policies.  We encourage you to be realistic and conservative, especially if this is your first visit to Noah's Ark.  While we want you to be optimistic, we want to avoid putting you in a position of paying extra fees for reducing your group size unexpectedly or cancelling.   At the same time, we want to make sure you have enough space reserved for your whole group.  Think about the amount of historic interest you've gotten on other trips your organization has put together to help you decide.
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Changes in Number of Participants

Adding to your group depends upon available space, but is almost always possible. Give us as much notice as you can. Final number changes should be done no later that two weeks before your trip.  By this time, we have assigned and scheduled your guides, purchased food, and possibly turned away other groups. ANY DROPS WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF YOUR ARRIVAL ARE FULL PRICE, even if you are above your minimum requirement. Up to 2 weeks before your trip, you have flexibility to lower your group number according to the guidelines below: 

Drop Policies

Backpacking Trips
Number of Trips Starting Number Minimum Number
One trip 13 10
Two trips  26 20
Three trips 39 30
Four trips 52 40
Five trips 65 53
Any more than five trips are allowed to drop by 12 spots overall.

Basecamp Trips
Starting Number Number of "Free" Drops
 10-19 spots 2
 20-29 spots 4
 30-39 spots 6
40-49 spots 8
50-59 spots 10
Groups of 60+ will continue to receive two "free" drops per 10 participants.
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Cancellation Policy

Because we have set aside resources and likely turned away other groups to hold your spots, cancellations have a strong impact on our planning. If you have to cancel your trip completely, you forfeit deposits according to this schedule:

The deposit for a Backpacking trip is $100/person.
  1. Cancellation up to February 1st, $30.00 per person held.
  2. Cancellation after February 1st, $100.00 per person held (loss of entire deposit).
  3. Cancellation less than 2 weeks before trip, FULL TRIP PAYMENT AND DEPOSIT held.
The deposit for a Basecamp trip is $75/person. 
  1. Cancellation up to February 1st, $30.00 per person held.
  2. Cancellation after February 1st, $75.00 per person held (loss of entire deposit).
  3. Cancellation less than 2 weeks before trip, FULL TRIP PAYMENT AND DEPOSIT held.
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Payment Schedule

Deposit due by check 2 weeks from confirming your trip: Backpacking $100/person  |  Basecamp  $75/person
Final payment due 2 weeks before your arrival.  Please pay by check.

Adventure Activities

For your Basecamp or Backpacking adventure, you can incorporate a number of fun, rewarding and challenging activities through Noah's Ark.  These are included in many of our packaged trips and discounted based on the trip. 
Other fun things that you can add to your experience:
  • Horseback Riding
  • Leadville Train Ride
  • Hot Springs Passes
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Final pricing will be available by November.  From season to season, we may see a necessary increase of up to 10% on our adventure packages.  To estimate your trip cost before November, you can refer to the Backpacking or Basecamp trips on our site, and factor in a slight increase.
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If you are reserving after May 1st, deposit is due immediately upon reserving. You are welcome to adjust your number of participants up to two weeks before your trip according to the
Drop Policies above .  Drops in number after that time are charged full price.
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Promoting the trip!

Our best advice?  Promote your trip early and often!  Start as soon as you confirm your dates. 
  • Mention the trip at all your weekly gatherings. 
  • If you have 'alumni' from other trips, invite them to share their impressions of how it affected their lives. 
  • Hold an informational meeting for parents and use the video links provided! 
  • Create a display, with pictures from your previous Noah's Ark trips.  We will mail you a poster to display at your gathering place.
  • Consider fundraisers, have participants tell their friends, spread the word!
  • Visit the Noah's Ark YouTube Channel for all of our current videos. These videos will help you promote the significance of your adventure among your youth, parents and ministry team.

Other advice?

  • Collect deposits right away, along with sign-ups.  As you know, getting financial commitment from participants is stronger than a simple sign-up sheet or a verbal commitment. 
  • Encourage participants and parents to browse our website.  Our Parents' Page will answer a lot of questions that may come up.
  • Call or email us whenever you have questions!
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These other general reminders apply to Backpacking and Basecamp trips
  • The minimum age guideline for Backpacking is 12. We can do some trips for younger participants, based on the group.
  • Rock climbs cannot be done in the rain.  Due to the preparation involved, there are no refunds for this activity.  We will do our best to reschedule or offer alternative activities if your rock climb gets rained out.
  • When you receive your confirmation, you will get a link to your Group Leader Page, which will give you access to release forms, health history consent forms, equipment lists and other information to distribute to your participants. 
  • Medical Precaution and Food Allergies:  If any of your participants have medical conditions which may affect their ability to participate in Noah's Ark activities, it is your responsibility to let us know.  Our activities are strenuous; please ensure that all group members are physically fit.  Due to the nature of our group menus, we cannot guarantee special requests for food.  Individuals with food allergies should bring their own food to supplement our menu. 
  • We require you to confirm your final number and make full payment two weeks prior to the start of your trip.
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We are excited to share a Noah's Ark experience with you this summer! 
Thank you, and please contact us with any questions you have!

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Noah's Ark is an equal opportunity provider and is operated under special use permit with the Pike, San Isabel, and Gunnison National Forests.
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