Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Trails, Colorado Hikes

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Hiking

Rocky Mountain National Park offers 355 miles of hiking trails that range from even strolls by a lake to steep climbs toward mountainous peaks. Rangers at the visitor centers and backcountry offices will help you choose what trails are right for you.

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When taking a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, remember that park elevations span between 7,500 and 12,000 feet. That means treks through the area can be a challenge even for healthy people, mainly because moving from lower elevations to higher ones can be difficult.

Altitude problems may develop, such as headaches, shortness of breath, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat. It can take a few days for your body to make the needed physiological adjustments; full acclimation can take several weeks. To avoid too many symptoms drink a lot of water, stay away from alcohol, eat all meals, and get plenty of rest.

Keeping hydrated is particularly important because as the air gets thinner at higher altitudes there is more water evaporation from the lungs. Drinking plenty of fluids can prevent a bad headache and other symptoms.

Ultraviolet light is also stronger in the mountains as the atmosphere thins out. This makes it easier for sunlight to reach you. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeved shirts if you plan to be outside for an extended period of time.

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Other Hiking Resources

The American Hiking Society

The American Hiking Society offers a wealth of information on trails, hiking events, and volunteer opportunities throughout the states.

Hiking in Colorado

The Hiking in Colorado website has information on hiking in Colorado, including hike locations, difficulty, and photos.

Colorado Mountain Club

The Colorado Mountain Club joins Coloradan outdoor enthusiasts through hiking, climbing, and skiing adventures.

Colorado Fourteeners

Joining people together who love to climb, hike, and preserve the environment.

National Outdoor Leadership School

Programs on leadership and outdoor skills for all ages.

10th Mountain Division Hut Association

Hike to one of the many huts within the 10th Mountain Division Hut System.