Horseback Fly Fishing Expeditions in Colorado’s Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

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Budge's Wilderness Lodge

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition

Phone icon(970) 536-1341 Email Link
Forest Service Road 600
Meeker, CO 81641


  • Explore one of Colorado's largest wilderness areas
  • Horseback fly-fishing expeditions
  • Nearly 20 miles of wilderness river
  • High alpine lakes
  • Log cabin accommodations

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Enjoy exceptional fly fishing on your expedition in Colorado with our endorsed partners at Budge’s Wilderness Lodge. Our remote lodge sits on the banks of the upper White River, surrounded on three sides by designated wilderness. From here, the river takes off into the Flat Tops Wilderness both upstream and downstream, where it’s accessible by foot and horseback only. With access to nearly 20 miles of this roadless river valley, as well as numerous high alpine lakes, there’s more water here than you could fish on a single trip. Anglers can choose to stay in one of our historic log cabins at the main lodge or strike off for an even more remote wilderness camp with canvas tents. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to experience some of the best backcountry fly fishing in Colorado. The river here ranges from 25 to 50 feet wide, a sizable stream by Colorado wilderness standards. It’s home to native Colorado River cutthroat, brook trout, rainbows, and cuttbows. Meanwhile, the top of the Flat Tops plateau is dotted with alpine lakes. These lakes may contain cutthroat, brook trout or even lake trout, depending on the location. Horseback-accessed fly fishing is a unique experience and it’s the best way to explore this wild country. Our outstanding crew of guides and wranglers will see that you have a safe and enjoyable adventure. No horseback riding experience is necessary; our horses and mules are gentle and well-trained, perfect for beginner riders.

Anglers staying at the main lodge enjoy comfortable accommodations in one of our historic log cabins, built in the 1920s. The cabins have received a few updates since then, including lights and simple bathrooms with flush toilets and cold running water. A community bathhouse provides showers and hot running water. There are eight guest cabins spaced throughout the property. Each one is unique with a different footprint, sleeping anywhere from four to ten people. Linens and blankets are provided in all of the cabins. Away from the main lodge in our remote wilderness camps, accommodations include canvas wall tents with comfortable cots and pads. Bring your own sleeping bag and personal gear, and we’ll provide the rest. Once you’re dropped off at a remote camp, fishing is done on foot. So, this is also a good option for anglers who would prefer not to ride a horse every day. Whether you stay at the main lodge or a remote camp, you’ll enjoy a hot breakfast, a sack lunch for a day of fishing, and then hors d’oeuvres and a home-cooked dinner.

Anglers staying in one of our cabins will come down to the main lodge each morning for a hearty breakfast. Then, we will saddle up and head off into the wilderness for the day of fishing. We provide a sack lunch for the journey. Upon your return to the lodge, you’ll be welcomed with a home-cooked dinner. Relax out on the deck, play a game of cornhole, or return to your own cabin for some peace and quiet. On your day of departure, enjoy one last hot breakfast before you head home.

Guests fishing out of one of our remote camps will spend their first night in a cabin at the main lodge. The next morning, we will load gear onto packhorses and ride to the wilderness camp. After being dropped off, fishing is done on foot. Just like at the main lodge, we serve a hot breakfast and dinner at camp, plus a sack lunch to take with you during each day of fishing. On the last day of a wilderness camp trip, our wranglers will arrive to load up the gear, we will ride back to the main lodge and from there you’ll depart for home.

Budge’s Wilderness Lodge sits on the upper White River, a roadless river valley that’s accessible only by foot or horseback. We are permitted to operate on nearly 20 miles of this wilderness river and several high alpine lakes. Upriver from the lodge, anglers will enjoy expansive high alpine meadows, home to Colorado River cutthroat and brook trout. Downriver from the lodge, we enjoy fishing a scenic, rock-walled canyon that’s home to rainbow and cutthroat trout. In addition to trips based out of the main lodge, we have several remote wilderness camps equipped with canvas tents. We have remote camp locations upriver, downriver, and high on alpine lakes. You could fish here annually for years and never experience the same thing twice. In addition to fishing pristine and unpressured wilderness waters, the horseback experience makes these adventures truly special.

Trips based out of the main lodge range from three nights and two full days of fishing, up to six nights and five full days of fishing, start at $1,300 per person.

Trips based out of remote wilderness camps range from four nights and three full days, up to six nights and five full days, start at $1,850 per person.

We offer both semi-guided and fully guided experiences, depending on angler experience and needs. To learn more, please visit

How do I access the lodge?

Getting to Budge's Wilderness Lodge requires a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle. Stock SUVs and pickups can handle this road; just take it slow and be careful. Many guests choose to bring their own vehicles and those flying in from out of state often rent a Jeep, Toyota 4Runner, or pickup.

Do you offer a shuttle service?

For guests without a high-clearance vehicle or for those who’d prefer not to drive on the four-wheel-drive road, we offer pick-up and shuttle service. Please contact us for current rates and to schedule a pick-up.

How far are you from Colorado airports?

Drive time is about five hours from Denver International Airport, or three hours from Vail/Eagle County Airport. It's a long, bumpy drive but it's all a part of the adventure! Budge's Wilderness Lodge is remote, and that's why we love it.

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