LKS Outfitters, LLC owns and operates Flat Tops Wilderness Guides (FTWG). Formerly known as Colorado High Guides and then Hilltop High Guide Service, FTWG is one of the longest running permitted outfitters in Colorado, with almost 40 years of clients chasing elk.
Our staff is made up of experienced horsemen, hunting guides, fisherman, and survivalists. The staff is all first aid certified and several are certified Wilderness First Responders. Several of the original staff are still involved and their knowledge is invaluable to newer staff and hunters.
Most importantly, our horses and mules are made for the mountains. From years and miles of packing gear and meat, most of them know the area better than any person around. In terms of permitted camps, we are one of the largest outfitters in Colorado with 30 different camp locations. We can use the camps that fit our guest’s needs best. Camps near streams, we got it. Camps near lakes, we got it. Camps near elk rutting areas, we got it. Camps near elk migration trails, we got it. Camps near oak brush for bucks and bears, we got it. An outfitter with 4 camps? You’re stuck with whatever they might have!
Our closest camps in the Flat Tops Wilderness are about 3 miles and 1,500 ft. elevation gain from our base camp. Our farthest camps are 12+ miles and over 3,500 ft elevation gain into the area. Public access is by foot and horseback only. There is absolutely no vehicle access into the area, including bicycles.
Unlike most outfitters in Colorado, our base camp is operated on private property on the edge of over 240,000 acres of designated road-less wilderness (surrounded on three sides by public land). We invest heavily in our facilities to accommodate our guests. We have a 3,000 square ft. pack station where we can saddle and pack 50+ mules and horses at a time, under any weather conditions. We also have a 3,500 square foot lodge that can accommodate 10 guests at a time. During the later rifle seasons we use the lodge for guided elk and deer hunts. During September, we guide bear hunters out of the lodge as well. There is almost always staff at our facility with ready stock. Although we are as remote or more remote than other outfitters’ public land or leased base camps, emergency vehicles and help can always reach our base camp.
The White River elk herd is 30,000+ animals, of which a large portion live in the Flat Tops. Colorado’s 4-point antler restriction and the remoteness of the area allow for a decent possibility of running into a trophy bull during any season. Our large hunt area and number of camps allows us to increase your chances. We have several over-the-counter seasons, so planning a hunt is easy. Mule deer is a relatively easy draw tag. Bear and cat populations are at a decade long high. September rifle bear tags are an easy draw. 18in+ Cutthroat are not uncommon in the high lakes. You can typically catch Brook trout all day long in the lakes or miles of streams.
We work here year-round, allowing us to scout the fishing waters and hunting areas constantly.
LKS Outfitters guide for many species and in many units across the state:
These are classified by USFS ranger districts, not units
Rifle Drop Camp Hunts:
All rifle drop camps are 7 days (1 day packin, 5 days hunting, 1 day packout).
1st season is an easy elk draw, but you must go through the draw to get a tag. The first season is a great time, with fewer hunters, better weather, and it is likely you will catch the tail end of the rut. In recent seasons, the elk were still bugling through 1st season.
4th season bulls tags are by draw but close to 100% of hunters draw without preference points.
2nd and 3rd season are over-the-counter purchased tags. By the 2nd and 3rd rifle season, you need to be prepared for the possibility of heavy snow. These later seasons can produce nice bulls that are pushed out of high elevations. The biggest variable for hunting quality is weather and snow accumulation.
Drop Camp Archery Hunts:
Archery pack-in and pack-out dates are flexible because the season is four weeks. The second week of the season and the last week (after muzzleloader is over) are the most popular times for archers. You must have a patient mindset to hunt the first week of archery season. However, some of the biggest bulls are killed in the pre-rut before they have gotten their cows together.
All drop camp hunt packages are 7 days (1 day packin, 5 days hunting, 1 day packout). However, we can add days to archery drop camps at a rate of $125 per day, per hunter.
MOOSE – UNIT 25, 26, 231:
Over the years we have seen our moose populations continue to grow. We now see massive bulls every year up in the high country. Our moose move around continuously, but we usually see the majority of the cows and bulls deep in the wilderness area.
BIGHORN SHEEP & ROCKY MOUNTAIN GOAT HUNTS:
If you have the tag we can put you into sheep and goats. Because we consider this a hunt of a lifetime, we provide customized solutions for the hunter. These hunts are one-on-one guided.
SPOT & STALK BLACK BEAR
The September bear season is an easy to draw rifle tag. We provide guidance on acquiring the tag to all booked hunters. If you don’t apply before the deadline there is always leftover tags for purchase. Archery tags are over the counter. We have an abundant bear population that is accessible during September. On rifle hunts we average above 80%+ shot opportunity. Archery is around 60%. These hunts will take place at elevations between 8,500-11,500. This is a unique spot-and-stalk hunt. Horseback riding, hiking or 4x4s will be used for transportation. These hunts are conducted from our high-end lodge.
WILDERNESS DEER & ELK HUNTS
This hunt is available for both Archery and Rifle Seasons. A mix of private land, forest service and wilderness area will be hunted. Horseback hunting will be our primary means of transportation, but 4×4 and hiking will be used to access some areas. The majority of hunting will be done on public land. Lodging and meals are provided in our high-end lodge adjacent to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. In some cases, the option to spike camp for a night may be available. You can focus on several species (including elk, mule deer, and bears – based on season/tag availability) or focus on a single species.