Many people think of Colorado as a snowy winter ski destination — which it is. However, summers in Colorado are just as splendidly beautiful and packed with fun things to do. The town of Vail has a unique attraction that’s sure to appeal to anyone who loves travel and animals.
Paragon Guides has been offering llama excursions since the ’90s. An avid hiker, owner Will Elliott recognized that llamas made traveling to remote areas much easier. And they’re the perfect hiking companions: they have calm demeanors, are agile, can carry up to 80 pounds of supplies. Another bonus is that since they graze naturally, you don’t have to pack extra food for them.
The trips are a smashing success with guests, who get to learn all about llamas and llama care. There are four- and five-night options between Vail and Aspen that take hikers through some jaw-dropping natural scenery. “The White River National Forest has so many trails that I can still explore new lakes, mountains and trails even after years of guiding and traveling through the forests,” says Elliott.
Anyone not up for a multi-day trek can opt for a half-day excursion that involves a hike and a picnic.
Paragon Guides now has eight llamas, and the guests love them for their adorable appearance and the amusing noises they tend to make. Although they do spit occasionally, Elliott says that they’re usually not aiming at humans when they do. People just happen to get caught in the crossfire at times.
If you can’t make it to Vail, don’t worry. There are other companies around the country that offer llama excursions.