Hikers can rent llamas in Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

Hikers can rent llamas in Vail Valley

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Once again Paragon Guides will be heading into the Vail Valley backcountry this summer with the help of its pack of llamas.

For nearly 20 years, Paragon has used llamas as pack animals to help people trek into the National Forest and wilderness surrounding the Vail Valley. Hiking with these gentle animals means lighter packs for hikers, who get to bring fly rods, climbing ropes and thicker sleeping pads.

New this summer, Paragon will lease llamas to backcountry travelers who take a mandatory training session. Paragon with hold free orientation sessions this summer.

The first class is June 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Paragon’s backcountry cabin in Arrowhead. The session is open to 12 to 15 people, which means three people per llama.

Guides will go over llama behavior, saddling, packing, how to choose a campsite, how to get around obstacles, and how to leave no trace behind when hiking the backcountry.

“The llamas add a unique dimension to hiking and camping for families, friends and those ‘old backpackers’ looking to relieve sore knees and tired backs,” says Donny Shefchik, a senior guide for Paragon.

Anyone attending the free orientation and wishing to lease Llamas this summer will pay only $50 for a follow-up training session prior to hitting the trail with their own llamas. For off-season enthusiasts the per-day cost for Llamas will be half price after Sept. 12.

For more information or to reserve a spot in the training session, call 970-376-3491 or 970-926-5299, or visit http://www.paragonguides.com

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