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Private Tours

Rocky Mountain National Park

From Grand Lake, CO

Embark on an intimate journey through the hidden gems of Rocky Mountain National Park with Dave Lively, your personal guide to its lesser-known stories and sites. This exclusive experience offers not just a tour, but a passage through time, unveiling the rich tapestry of history, nature, and adventure that awaits in the park’s western expanse.


Exclusive Guided Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park

Join us for a private or semi-private tour of Rocky Mountain National Park’s west side, customized to your interests. Certified tour guide, celebrated historian, expert storyteller and long-time Grand Lake local, Dave Lively, will steer you away from the crowds and navigate to off-the-beaten-path landmarks that most would miss on their own in the comfort of a fully enclosed 4WD vehicle. Along the way, you’ll hear animated stories of the unique characters and hidden narratives that helped shape the early development of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Your group of no more than four passengers will travel through the stunning Kawuneeche Valley and up to the breathtaking overlook at Farview Curve, with opportunities for guests to request stops and take memorable photos along the way. We will stretch our legs with short walks to visit obscure historic sites such as the Harbison meadow Arapaho horse racetrack, “He Who Warms Himself” creek and the locations of the long lost lodges of Rocky.

These special private tours of Rocky Mountain National Park from Grand Lake will leave you with unforgettable memories and inspire you to encourage your children and grandchildren to preserve the wilderness, wildlife and wonder of the majestic Rocky Mountains far into the future.

Tour Details


4 Hours

Capacity Options

Adults Package: Maximum of 4
Family Package: Up to 5 Members
Includes 2 adults and up to 3 children, with at least 2 children under 13 years old.


Rocky Mountain National Park


$145 per person
$130 under 13

Continue Planning Your Adventure


From Your Guide, Dave Lively…

I simply can’t imagine a better way to immerse yourself into the hidden narratives of a region, to explore quiet corners and appreciate the benefits and enormous satisfaction of traveling in a small group with your own tour guide. These are the experiences you cannot have behind the wheel of a car, or a train, or a tour bus. Participating in a Guided Tour with Lively Tours and Talks is, at its heart, a way of connecting more authentically with the nature and settings of a national park. Sure, Lively Tours and Talks provides access to historic photos and opportunities you could never arrange on your own. But all of our comprehensive planning and support is aimed at something far simpler; bringing you the immediate, highly personal satisfaction of discovering the past on your own terms.


Why should I choose Lively Tours and Talks?

Ten reasons to tour with us:

  1. We share our passion with you
  2. We know the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park inside and out
  3. We believe in connecting you with the people and cultures of the area
  4. Our guests come back to us again and send us their families and friends because of their exceptional experiences with us
  5. Dave is a well-known local expert and historian
  6. We offer tours no one else can
  7. We guarantee departures and do not cancel tours
  8. We are insured and stand behind our tours
  9. Dave is a Certified Tour Guide by the International Guide Academy with CPR and first aid training
  10. We operate under all required permits

For more information about Dave and Lively Tours and Talks please visit About 

How can I reach Lively Tours and Talks?

Call 970-531-1211

Dave@LivelyToursandTalks.com or visit our Contact Page

How long has Lively Tours and Talks been in business and who owns the company?

Lively Tours and Talks LLC was established in 2016. We are a family business owned by Dave Lively. Dave will be your CEO (Chief Experience Officer) and has enjoyed presenting the Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake area to a wide variety of audiences since 2006. For more information please visit the About Page.

What do your tour prices include?

Your tour includes transportation, Rocky Mountain National Park entry fees, bottled water and light snacks, maps, binoculars to share, engaging stories, glorious scenery, and memorable experiences.

Do you charge any additional taxes or entrance fees?

There are no additional taxes or fees. Your entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is included in the tour price.

How large will my group be? What if I am traveling alone?

Our minimum guest is you. Our tours are designed for 4 or fewer guests. We provide tours into Rocky Mountain National Park in a 4-door pickup truck. The group will always be small with a maximum of 4 guests. Our small group size and personalized service allow you to enjoy the beauty, culture, flavor, and excitement of a new land not far from the well-trodden tourist track, but from the perspective of an insider.

Do you have permits to operate guided tours within Rocky Mountain National Park?

Yes, Lively Tours and Talks operates under a Rocky Mountain National Park Commercial Use Authorization permit and its insurance requirements. The National Park Service is undergoing a multi-year revision of its fees and permits. You can rest assured that Lively Tours and Talks knows and will always be in compliance with current requirements.

How far in advance do I need to reserve my guided tour?

You are welcome to reserve your tour 6 months in advance. You may reserve you tour up to 4:00 PM on the day prior to the day of departure, if there are openings available.

Are children welcome on Lively Tours and Talks guided tours?

We welcome all families aboard, with a limitation of 4 guests age 14 and over. We are unable to accept reservations for children under the age of 14 for our tours. Guests between ages 14 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Families with children under 14 and larger groups can enjoy the Lively Tours and Talks experience by contacting Dave directly through our Contact Page and booking a Family Experience. These experiences feature family-friendly pricing and activities.

Can we stop for photos?

Definitely. We have several planned stops, and we are prepared to stop on request or if we see wildlife.

Can I bring my luggage?

Our tours are in a 4-door pickup truck; unfortunately we don’t have room for your luggage to be safely transported.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

Plans change, and we understand that. If life throws you a curveball, we won’t throw back a penalty. Please refer to our Cancellation Policy Page for details.

What should I bring on the tour?

Itineraries may consist of walking on uneven terrain or walking through the forest without an improved trail at times. Bring along sunglasses, rain jacket and/or coat, camera, memory cards, batteries, sunscreen, hat, and closed-toe sturdy walking shoes or boots. We suggest you bring a daypack and selfie stick. There is device charging available in the vehicle if you bring the necessary cord.

Walking sticks are not mandatory, but they do offer a level of stability on uneven surfaces such as the trails we will be walking. We recommend you dress in layers to be prepared for the sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions common at high altitude.

You are welcome to bring beverages and snacks, but please leave the alcohol, tobacco and marijuana behind.

What happens if there is less than Colorado blue-sky weather?

The tour is “on” rain or shine. Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park varies from moment to moment sometimes. Please be prepared for bright sunshine, partly cloudy days, light rain that may last only a few minutes to rain that may pour for hours on end. Snow is possible any day of the year. Please see the listing of What to Bring on your tour.

What kind of shape do I need to be in to enjoy my tour?

Our tours are active but not strenuous for those in average condition. Our tours are 4 hours of mixed driving, talking and walking. The walks vary from ¼ to 1 mile. We pride ourselves on bringing travelers the very best experiences our destination offers. Itineraries may consist of walking on uneven terrain or walking through the forest without an improved trail at times. Some of the most unique sightseeing can mean accessing locations that restrict vehicle travel, especially in historic areas.

How do you accommodate people of varying abilities?

Our small group size of 4 or fewer allows us to tailor our tours to your abilities and interests. Itineraries may consist of walking on uneven terrain or walking through the forest without an improved trail at times and may not be suitable for those with some disabilities.

What do I do with my electronics and valuables when I’m on the tour?

It’s best to leave valuables at home, please understand that the items you bring are 100% your responsibility. You will want to have with you the What to Bring list of items, and the vehicle will be locked while parked. Please be aware there is very limited cell service within Rocky Mountain National Park. We suggest you put your phone in aviation mode to save your battery and allow you to take pictures.

What about the altitude? I’ve heard of altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness can be a problem, especially for people coming to the mountains from sea level. To prevent altitude sickness, stay hydrated by drinking extra amounts of water, and stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Altitude sickness can be serious, you may experience an upset stomach, headache, dizziness or shortness of breath – please inform your guide so he is aware of your symptoms and can begin treatment as soon as possible. There will be water, and oxygen available in the vehicle if needed.

What other risks should I be concerned about?

At Lively Tours and Talks your safety is paramount. Dave is trained not only to keep you safe in the wilderness, but also to be ready for the unexpected – whether it be high water, a lightning storm or those off-itinerary events you weren’t expecting. When considering your tour options, it is important to inquire about safety records and current trainings. Ours, we are proud to say, are impeccable and always up-to-date.

What time and where do the tours start?

We will meet you at the Grand Lake Center at 301 Marina Dr. at the corner of Marina Dr. and Center Dr. There is a map available here, please call Dave 970-531-1211 if you have any questions. The morning tour leaves at 8:30 AM and the afternoon tour leaves at 1:30 PM. Please arrive 10 minutes before departure.

Is there parking at the Grand Lake Center?

Yes, there is ample free parking.

Are tips included in the tour price?

Tips are not included because we believe that recognizing excellent service is a personal matter. At the end of your trip, although not compulsory, if you felt your CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is encouraged – and welcomed. The amount is entirely a personal preference, many people follow restaurant guidelines of 15-25%.

I am having a family reunion, do you offer campfire programs?

Contact Dave directly at 970-531-1211 or dave@livelytoursandtalks.com to find the program that appeals to your family. 


If you like history, from someone that knows and has the family pictures to back it up, take Dave’s tour, 4 hours flies by and you can’t stop talking about it the next day!”

Winter Park, CO


Dave’s tour was fabulous. I learned so much about the history, the people and the special points of interest. Book Dave’s tour today and enjoy this popular and wonderful tour of RMNP.”

Grand Lake, CO