- Llama Leasing
- Drop Camps
- Trip Planning
- Gear Rental
- Shuttle Services
Are you an experienced backpacker in search of a new, do-it-yourself adventure? Lease a pair of llamas and explore the vast backcountry on a self-guided trip. That bottle of wine you always wanted to carry into an alpine lake? Bring it.
How it works
When you lease llamas (two is typically the minimum), you’re investing in an unforgettable experience that requires a bit of time and money. Our leasing costs break down into three categories:
- Llamas and equipment Llamas are $60 each, per day (2 llama minimum) How many llamas do you need? This includes saddles, panniers and rain covers, lead ropes, pickets, and grain
- Llama Orientation training $100. See below for more information.
- Transportation – Based on distance traveled. See below for more information.
- See our FAQ section for a cost summary on a 3-day trip.
Before you hit the trail: Llama Orientation Training:
First time llama handlers spend time with a seasoned Paragon Guide learning the skills needed to safely and effectively move through the backcountry with llamas.
- The training will cover saddling, loading and balancing panniers, knots, picketing, area impact, feed and browsing, and navigating obstacles.
- Training can happen at our backcountry center or at the trailhead
- Cost for the training session is $150.00 for your DIY adventure.
- “Brush up” course for return clients and people with llama experience is $50.00.
Getting to and from the trail: Transportation
We recommend using trails close to the Vail valley so you can keep your transportation costs to a minimum. Our fee for transportation is based on miles traveled to and from the trailhead (this translates into two round trips)
- $2.00 per mile for paved road
- $4.00 per mile for gravel and unimproved road
- $25.00 per hour for driver/wrangler
How many llamas do I need?
Each Llama can carry 6080 pounds (including top load articles) depending on the type of load, trail difficulty (steep, rocky, streams) and distances traveled. Most everyone in the group should be expected to carry a small to medium pack. A general “rule of thumb” is one llama for two people. So the total number of llamas you need depends on group size and whether you’re camping or using a hut (kitchen gear is provided at huts).
How much gear and food should I pack?
We recommend that you follow basic backpacking concepts and be mindful about the amount of food and gear you pack. It’s better to spend your time on the trail enjoying your surroundings than to spend a chunk of your day preparing, packing, and unpacking your load.
How much does a 3day trip cost?
Depends on your trailhead location(s) and the number of llamas you lease, which depends on group size. The base price for two llamas on a threeday trip, including the pretrip orientation, is $480. The final cost depends on transportation fees. But let’s say we log 140 miles during two round trips (with 80 of those on pavement and 60 on dirt road).
- Pretrip orientation = $150
- Transportation total = $340
- Trip Total = $820
What is your cancellation fee?
Nonrefundable cancellation fee within 48 hours.
When you don’t have the time or energy to haul your gear into the backcountry and set up camp, the Paragon Guides “Drop Camp” program may be just for you.
- Hunting Camps, Wilderness Base Camps, Fishing Camps, Game Transport
- Hire Paragon Guides to deliver your gear to a predetermined campsite or hut.
- We use a minimum of two llamas to establish a drop camp. Each llama can carry 6080 pounds including top load articles.
- Typically one guide will travel into your site with llamas and gear and leave after making sure that your gear is secure or you have arrived. Some distances and trail conditions require that a second staff person assist the guide.
Our rates are based on vehicle travel distance to/from trailheads and number of llamas used. Therefore, drop camp costs can vary considerably. Our cost breakdown follows this summary.
- $55.00 per llama, per day
- Llama transportation: $2.00 per mile for paved road; $3.00$5.00 per mile for gravel and unimproved road.
- Paragon Guide/Wrangle wage $225
- Deposit: 50% booking fee Nonrefundable cancellation fee within 48 hours
There are several advantages to outsourcing the trip planning for your next backcountry adventure in central Colorado.
From season to season the landscape changes: fires and tree fall shut down trails, roads can be closed for special projects, and a deep snowpack may take weeks to melt out. Planning your own adventure can involve a lot of guess work. Paragon Guides has to keep a constant eye on these and other barriers that can impact trip design and travel.
How in the world do you decide where to go on your next backpacking or huttohut adventure? The options are endless. While no trail is a bad choice, not every trail offers the same views, terrain, distance, connectivity, or accessibility. With more than 30 years experience leading trips into the backcountry surrounding Vail, Paragon Guides has the knowledge to help you plan a trip that will meet all your needs.
We can spend time with you discussing:
- Trip design: route choices, possible campsites, duration, etc.
- Gear and equipment choices. etc.
- Daily activities daily hikes, ridge or peak climbs, fishing, etc.
We can also can provide information on routes, campsites, USFS rules and regulations. Leave No Trace ethics and a variety of backcountry knowledge.
Paragon Guides can supply you with the essential gear and equipment needed for backpacking, llama trekking, and huttohut trips: tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, hiking poles, and much more. Quality gear is available on a per day / per item cost.
- Equipment rental cost sheet
- Conditions and Terms:
Simplify your winter or summer adventure by outsourcing your transportation logistics. We shuttle cars, people, bikes, packs, and luggage throughout the Vail valley, to and from trailheads, between mountain resorts, and beyond.
- Price depends on distance traveled.
Vehicles & People
- Have your car waiting for you at the end of your adventure
- Perfect for huttohut trips and pointtopoint backpacking, hiking, or mountain biking
- Trailhead dropoff and pickup
- Road and mountain bike shuttles
- Support Vehicle, SagWagon, supply drop of
- Connect Vail to Aspen, Vail to Leadville, Vail to Summit county and beyond