Welcome to the virtual home of Timberline Llamas. Our llama ranch is located on Colorado's western slope, where we live within a few hours of the stunning high country of the Rocky Mountains. Please use the tabs above to learn more about us, llama packing and equipment, and sustainable outdoor recreation. Contact information is located below and we are happy to respond to your inquiries.


Timberline Llamas

2227 CR 214, Silt, Colorado  81652
970-379-8193


http://www.timberlinellamas.com

About Timberline Llamas

Timberline Llamas was founded in 1984 with 3 llamas that we bought to take backpacking with us in the Colorado mountains. We soon had many more, including several females. Our orignial stud, Groucho, produced dozens of beautiful babies for us. Many of these offspring, and grandbabies, joined our pack string as we began to lead commercial llama pack trips into the high country of Colorado and Wyoming. Over about 20 years, many people from all parts of the country enjoyed seeing the wild parts of these mountains with our llamas. We have supported the Rocky Mountain Llama & Alpaca Association, Llamas of Central Colorado, and trails organizations promoting ecologically sustainable outdoor recreation (such as llama trekking). See Links for more information on these resources.

Since those early days, our headquarters has moved to the western slope, outside the small town of Silt. The llamas made the adjustment to a hotter summer and less-snowy winter, sagebrush instead of pine forest, and sandstone instead of schist. They now eat the hay grown right on the ranch, eliminating most of the transportation and effort involved in feeding them and thus greatly reducing their carbon footprint!

About Llamas

Llamas are members of the Camelid family, which includes their close relatives the alpaca, vicuña, and guanaco, all of South America, and the camels of the Middle East and Asia. They have been domestic beasts of burden in the Andes for over 3500 years. Fossil evidence shows that their ancient ancestors roamed the plains of what is now the American Southwest. Although these prehistoric relatives disappeared thousands of years ago, modern camelids have been re-introduced to North America as domestic animals during the 20th century.

In the United States, pack llamas are almost always the males, usually weighing 300-400 lbs. The normal pack load for an adult male is 60-80 lbs. Their disposition is calm and somewhat aloof, rather like a cat. They are willing and sure footed packers, and silent companions on the trail. A llama can go anywhere a person can, on or off the trail, across deep rivers and even on snowfields. They are quite intelligent about navigating difficult terrain, and will follow a person willingly, but the human leader must use good judgement to avoid dangers, such as boulder fields or talus slopes where the llama may cut their soft foot pads or injure a leg. With proper care, a llama's packing career may last ten years or more.


http://www.timberlinellamas.com

llamas in camp in Missouri Basin

Llama Packing in the Rockies

We no longer offer guided pack trips or llama leasing, but we are happy to address questions you may have about llama packing or the areas in which we have worked. This page is maintained for informational purposes only. Thank you!

Several of our favorite trips are represented below with a brief description and a photograph. We encourage minimum impact camping and hope that you will remember your trips to these alpine areas longer than they will remember you! Browse the trip descriptions below, or use the map and the table to jump to a trip with a destination, length, or range of difficulty that interests you.

National Forest index maps: Colorado | Wyoming

Trip Vicinity # Days Miles per Day Total Miles Difficulty
 1 Eisenhower Tunnel Vicinity 2-3 3-4 7-12 moderate
 2 Winfield to Lake Ann or Harrison Flat 2-3 5 10 easy to moderate
 3 Vicksburg to Missouri Basin (Collegiate Peaks Wilderness) 2-3 4-7 9-17 strenuous
 4 Kenosha Pass - Lost Creek Trails 2-4 4-6 10-25 easy to moderate
 5 Shingle Lake (Flattops Wilderness) 3 3/5/7 15 moderate
 6 Continental Divide, La Garita Wilderness 4-5 5-8 28 moderate to strenuous
 7 Continental Divide, San Juan Mountains 4 or 7 5-9 30 or 56 moderate to strenuous
 8 Wind River Range, Wyoming 7 4-10 37 moderate

 

Eisenhower Tunnel Vicinity

The trip begins on the east side of the Eisenhower Tunnel along a ski area access road. After climbing 1500 vertical feet to the Continental Divide, turn east and traverse a series of cirques above timberline, generally around 12,000 ft above sea level. At Herman Lake, you can choose to walk down Herman Gulch to conclude a two day trip, or continue along the Divide and finish your trek at either Butler Gulch or Berthoud Falls campground (each a three day trip). In every case, you will be surrounded by rugged peaks and spectacular views.
More information: Arapaho National Forest


Winfield to Lake Ann or Harrison Flat

The trip begins at Winfield and proceeds south along a jeep road in the San Isabel National Forest. Following the South Fork of Clear Creek, you soon are surrounded by towering peaks over 13,000 feet tall - Huron Peak tops out at 14,003! The trail continues through heavy timber and passes by a series of falls before reaching either Lake Ann or Harrison Flat five miles in. Both sites are above timberline and are excellent base camps from which to day hike on a layover day.
More information: Pike-San Isabel National Forest & Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Vicksburg to Missouri Basin / Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

From the town of Vicksburg, nestled at the base of the Collegiate Peaks, the trail climbs steadily through pine, aspen, and tundra to Elkhead Pass at 13,200 feet above sea level. The view is fantastic as you descend into Missouri Basin and traverse to the site of base camp about a mile away. You may choose to hike back the next day or spend a day climbing one of the three nearby fourteeners. Please be aware of your condition and ability if you opt to scale one of these majestic peaks.
More information: Pike-San Isabel National Forest & Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Kenosha Pass - Lost Creek Trails

This trip leads you through meadows, aspen, pine, and across clear streams - a trek especially beautiful during "aspen time" at the end of September. The trail winds through the Pike National Forest generally between 9000 and 11,000 feet above sea level. Many alternative routes, and trip scenarios, are possible.

More information: Pike-San Isabel National Forest


Shingle Lake - Flattops Wilderness

From the Sweetwater Lake trailhead, the trail climbs into the White River National Forest, passing through aspen groves and meadows to the first campsite. The second day, you will reach the top of the Flattops and can walk across rolling terrain to Shingle Lake for a second night's camp. On the third day, the loop is completed - downhill all the way through aspen high above surrounding valleys.

More information: White River National Forest


La Garita Wilderness - Continental Divide

The trek begins in the lush valley of Cochetopa Creek in the Gunnison National Forest and follows the Continental Divide Trail to timberline. On the way, you may wish to climb San Luis Peak, one of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks. From there, the trail traverses rolling tundra along the Continental Divide and offers panoramic views - you may even spot a herd of elk or bighorn sheep!

More information: Gunnison National Forest & Rio Grande National Forest


San Juan Mountains - Continental Divide

This week-long trek through Colorado's most breathtaking mountains begins at Spring Creek Pass and heads west along the Continental Divide. Rolling tundra gives way to views of jagged peaks; walk through the nineteenth century mining districts of Carson and Beartown and over mountains and passes well over 12,000 feet above sea level. At Cataract Lake, you may turn south to make the trip just 4 1/2 days, or continue around the great bend of the Divide to the Lost Trail campground. Long-distance and high-altitude experience is recommended.

More information: Rio Grande National Forest


Wind River Range, Wyoming

The Wind Rivers are so striking that it would be fairly impossible to spend less than a week there... So we suggest a week-long trek through lush meadows and craggy, glaciated peaks that allows you to sample some of the wild lands of Wyoming. Plan a layover day as an opportunity for dayhiking, photography, and fishing. You'll cross several large rivers en route to the Cirque of the Towers, an amphitheater of granite with a quiet, sparkling lake in its center. The hike out provides one last look at this magnificent site before dropping down into the Popo Agie river drainage.

More information: Shoshone National Forest


http://www.timberlinellamas.com

Tahola wearing a TL Pack System

Timberline Llama Pack System

The Timberline llama pack system has proven itself over many miles and more than 25 years on the trail in the Colorado and Wyoming Rockies. The sawbuck-type pack frame and panniers are designed to provide a safe, comfortable pack for the llama and a strong, functional system for the user.

Pack Saddle
Pack Saddle

The Timberline pack frame is made of stained hardwood with black powdercoated, rust-proof metal parts. While the frame sits up off of the llama's spine, the pack boards pivot at their connection to the frame, allowing the angle of the boards to conform to the slope of the llama's back. The pack boards are padded with firm, sculptured and tapered foam, allowing movement of the llama's shoulder muscles under the bars. Adjustable cinches made of fleece-covered 2" nylon webbing are bolted to the frame and fasten with Fastex buckles. Breast strap and britching attach to the panniers to stabilize forward and back movement of the load. The pack saddle is made and meant to be used with a standard felt saddle pad.

Panniers Panniers

The Timberline panniers are constructed from heavy-weight, coated Cordura nylon fabric, reinforced in wear areas with even stronger Cordura Ballistic fabric. The main compartment is made from a single, wrap-around piece of fabric, forming the top flap, back, bottom and front, so there are no structural seams except at the end gussets. An internal aluminum stay across the top distributes the weight, while an inner pad protects the llama from pannier contents. The compartment closes with adjustable flaps and wrap-around straps that both support and compress the load. At each end, the pannier has a large exterior pocket with a heavy-duty, full-length zipper. Panniers are suspended from the saddle frame by adjustable straps. There are two additional straps on each pannier for strapping longer or rigid gear (such as tent poles or rolled-up foam pads) on top, and these can also be fastened together to form a shoulder strap. Timberline panniers may be used with other frame-type pack saddles.
Pannier dimensions: 22"x14"x8". Color: Forest Green with black reinforcement (custom colors may be available at additional cost).

Complete pack system weight: 13 lbs. 12 oz. / Panniers only: 7 lbs. 4 oz. / Saddle only: 6 lbs. 8 oz.

Order through:

Rocky Mountain Llamas
7202 North 45th Street
Longmont, CO 80503
303-530-5575


http://www.timberlinellamas.com