Skip to main content
Events

Oct. 14-17 | Wilderness & Beyond Conference—Estes Park, Colorado

Oct. 14-17 | Wilderness & Beyond Conference—Estes Park, Colorado

YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center (Photo: YMCA of the Rockies)

Join us as we celebrate our 35th anniversary AND the 60th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with the 2024 Wilderness & Beyond Conference in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.

There will be workshops, receptions, and so much more with like-minded wilderness advocates. You’ll hear from conservation luminaries and grassroots organizing experts while also sharing ideas and brainstorming strategies to safeguard critical wild places, watersheds, and wildlife habitat and corridors.

Come learn, connect, and grow your advocacy skills (and have a lot of FUN, too!)

Date:

October 14–17, 2024

Location:

YMCA of the Rockies—Estes Park Center
2515 Tunnel Road
Estes Park, Colorado 80511
Google Map

Registration & Lodging Options

We’ve reserved YMCA of the Rockies’ Longs Peak Lodge, that will also include the meeting rooms for conference sessions. Meals (all included) will be served in the nearby Aspen Dining Hall, and when we gather as a group, it will be in the Willome cabin—a large space that will also feature exhibits by Broadbands and partners.

Click here for a PDF map of the YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park campus.

Each room features two queen beds, full private bath, mini fridge, and free Wi-Fi. Click here for more information from YMCA of the Rockies!

Registration options include:

  • $650 – Full Conference with a shared room (Each room has two queen beds)
  • $450 – Full Conference without lodging (if you choose to stay elsewhere)
  • $850 – Full Conference and non-shared room (room has two queen beds)
Register Today!

Preliminary Agenda

(Subject to change)

Monday, October 14:

Registration – Room check-in is 6 pm (although it may be earlier). However, participants may arrive earlier (time to be determined) and drop their luggage in one of the break-out rooms. There will be a variety of afternoon activities available (to be announced) starting at different times of the afternoon that will end in time for room check-in and happy hour.

Tuesday, October 15:

Morning: conference sessions

Afternoon: Activities! There may be conference sessions planned for those who do not wish to participate in activities.

Evening: Special program for all. After the evening events, we’ll light the campfire to end the evening with new and old friends.

Wednesday, October 16:

Morning: conference sessions

Afternoon: Activities! There may be conference sessions planned for those who do not wish to participate in activities.

Evening: Hiking Boots Ball! We’ll kick up our heels, dress up in Wild Broads style (whatever that means to you!) and celebrate! After the evening events, we’ll light the campfire to end the evening with new and old friends.

Thursday, October 17:

Morning to early afternoon: A variety of stewardship activities will be planned.

Check back often as we add workshops, presentations, and other events!

Speakers and Presenters

Mark Dubois is the co-founder of Friends of the River and the International Rivers Network, and a world-renowned advocate for clean, free-flowing rivers and waterways. Check out this great video to learn more about Mark and his decades of work to protect rivers from destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5R5cmvaSio

 

 

John LeshyJohn Leshy is a Professor of Law at the University of California—San Francisco, and a former Department of Interior official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, He also co-chaired the Obama administration’s Interior Department transition team in 2008-2009. His publications include books on the notorious Mining Law of 1872, as well as co-authoring textbooks on water law and federal land and resources law. In 2013 he received the Defenders of Wildlife Legacy Award for lifetime contributions to wildlife conservation.

 

Check back often as we add more great speakers and presenters!

Activities

Estes Park is located at an elevation of approximately 8,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado, and has a wide variety of activities including hiking, rafting, and sight-seeing in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. In town, there is also shopping, restaurants, galleries, and so much more. For more information about visiting Estes Park, click here!

YMCA of the Rockies, our host for the Wilderness & Beyond Conference, is located just 15 minutes from downtown Estes Park and offers up over 30 different activities on its 860-acre campus, ranging from hiking to miniature golf. For more information, click here!

Early Fun for Early Arrivals!

Check in at YMCA of the Rockies is in the early evening. That’s why we’re setting up fun activities so you can arrive earlier in the day, drop your luggage, and go have fun before you check in and register! You can explore the grounds, visit Estes Park (a fun town!) or do a little paddling or hiking!

Broads is teaming up with the Rocky Mountain Canoe Club and the Poudre Paddlers for an easy hiking or paddling activity on Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park on Monday, October 14 from 1:00-5:00 PM. The club members will be on hand to assist and paddle with Broads wanting to experience the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park from a different perspective.

And if paddling is not your thing, there is also a wheelchair-accessible trail that circles the lake.

Check back often as we continue to confirm more activities!

Once we have confirmed all available activities for the conference, we’ll alert registered conference attendees so they can sign up for the activities of their choice.

Transportation

YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center is located approximately 1.5 hours from Denver International Airport. Click here for airport information, including car rental information.

We are working to finalize a shuttle service to and from the campus to Denver International Airport for Conference attendees. Stay tuned for details!

Click the map below for driving directions.

Other Local Transportation Options

Town of Estes Park Free Shuttle – From Memorial Day to mid-October, the Town of Estes Park operates five free, seasonal shuttle routes. Get around town either from your lodging or by parking at one of the large hubs in Estes (which are also free).

Estes Park Shuttle – Daily from Denver International Airport to Estes Park, Colorado. (Reservations required. Cost: $75/per person (one-way), $135/person (round trip))

Scholarship Opportunities

We are working on gathering sponsorships to provide partial or full scholarships to allow as many members to attend as possible. You can apply HERE. Applications must be submitted by June 15, 2024. We will notify recipients by June 30, 2024

If you would like to talk to us about making payments on your registration, contact Kaye at events@greatoldbroads.org.

Comfort & Safety Tips

Broads is committed to making sure the Wilderness & Beyond Conference is a great experience for everyone. Here are a few safety tips to help make sure your Conference experience is one to remember for all the right reasons!

High Altitude

The YMCA of the Rockies campus ranges in elevation from 8,010-8,700 feet above sea level. To make your conference stay more comfortable and help you adapt to the lower oxygen levels at these elevations (it might take a couple days), we have a few suggestions:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Rest if you feel fatigued or dizzy.
  • Avoid alcohol (the effects of alcohol, including dehydration, are often exacerbated by altitude).
  • Reapply sunscreen often (the thinner atmosphere at altitude means less protection from the sun’s UV rays).

Weather

The weather at YMCA of the Rockies can be highly variable—even over the course of a few hours. Fall temperatures can be mild and comfortable during the day, then plummet to below freezing after sunset. And because of the high elevation and mountainous landscape, snow is always a possibility. We recommend packing:

  • A variety of layers.
  • A warm jacket.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Sturdy shoes in case of snow.

Wildlife Safety

Fall is a busy time for wildlife across the Rockies, as animals prepare for winter. YMCA of the Rockies shares its location with a wide variety of northern Colorado wildlife—from deer, elk, and moose to coyotes and (occasionally) black bears and mountain lions. This could mean some great wildlife viewing, as long as it’s done safely!

For the protection of both you and the wildlife, please observe these safety practices:

  • Do NOT feed wildlife under any circumstances. Please remember to properly dispose of trash and food scraps so they don’t attract wildlife.
  • Keep your distance while viewing wildlife. For your safety, use a zoom lens and stay at least two bus-lengths (or roughly 75 feet) from any animal—and even farther away from bears and moose (at least 120 feet)!
  • Be bear aware! Do not leave food or beverages in your car, or on outdoor tables. Lock doors and close ground-floor windows when you leave your room and when you are asleep. Your actions could save the life of a bear!
  • Fall is the rut (mating) season for elk. Elk are typically mild-mannered, but during the rut season bull elks can become aggressive, and very dangerous, to people. For your safety and the safety of the elk, always keep your distance (at least 75 feet) at all times.
  • Mountain lions are shy and tend to avoid confrontation with humans. But if you should encounter one, let it know you are not prey. Don’t run, but instead face the mountain lion and back away slowly. Grab a stick and make yourself look tall and dangerous. Pick up small children. If the mountain lion acts aggressively, throw rocks or other objects at it, and shout and wave your arms.