Vacation Ready? Here's What to Pack For A Trip To Colorado This Summer
Planning your vacation getaway to the rockies? From days exploring downtown Denver to camping under the stars, this is what to pack for a trip to Colorado this summer.
Know Before You Go: Colorado Weather
The most important part of packing for any trip is knowing the weather you’ll be dealing with. When it comes to the summertime in Colorado, you never know just what you might get. In the height of the summer, you can expect temperatures to get into the high 80’s during the day (even if you’re from Phoenix, this feels really hot when you’re at altitude without a cloud in sight). But when night falls, things can get quite chilly, especially in the mountains. If camping is in your itinerary, you’ll want to bring a good jacket or fleece. And if you’re visiting in early summer (April/May) or later in the season (September), you’ll want to be prepared for a particularly wide range of temperatures. Getting a late-season snow shower in May is common, so be prepared!
Besides a wide range of temperatures, rain and hail is a common part of summer in Colorado. Storms roll in very quickly and can take you by surprise. Even if the forecast calls for a sunny week, it’s best to pack a rain jacket.
What to Pack For A Trip To Colorado in The Summer
Regardless of where your Colorado vacation is headed, you’ll want to make sure these items make their way into your bag (trust us).
If you thought there was a trail within five minutes everywhere in Colorado, you probably wouldn’t be wrong! Even if you’re not planning on tackling a long hike, you’ll want to see some of the nature that the Centennial State is known for. And that means walking just enough to get your blood pumping. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes that you can use for wandering the streets and exploring a bit off the beaten path, too. Think sneakers, vans, or sport sandals.
You’ll definitely regret not bringing this essential! Even if you choose to go for a water-repellent windbreaker to save space, be sure to pack a layer for protection from the afternoon showers that are a frequent part of summer trips to Colorado.
Don’t forget something for those chilly nights. A fleece is a great item to pack for a trip to Colorado, and one that you shouldn’t leave without. Choose something that’s functional enough for hiking and still works for dinner at an outdoor venue for maximum versatility.
The summer sunshine is powerful. Keep your face protected from harmful UV rays by packing a hat. Get a style that fully covers your face, and if you burn easily, consider something that protects the back of your neck too.
This multi-functional piece is ideal for changing weather conditions in Colorado. Don’t underestimate how much a neck gaiter can warm you up when a hike or evening stroll gets colder than expected. And if you’re out on a windy day (which is very common at higher altitudes), use it to protect your face from windburn.
You’ll quickly find that your essentials won’t easily fit into a purse. Instead of juggling a bunch of things, bring a small backpack that you can easily store layers in. Don’t worry- you’ll fit right in! Many Coloradans prefer to use backpacks instead of purses for this very reason.
Reusable water bottle
This is one other item that you’ll want to stash in your backpack at all times when you’re in Colorado. Especially if you’re vacationing from a lower-elevation state, you’ll need to take extra care to stay hydrated. Even in the city, altitude can affect you. The easiest way to fight altitude sickness is to drink enough water. Thanks to many public water filling stations, it’s easy to refill water bottles almost anywhere in Colorado.
What to pack for hiking in Colorado
Headed into the great outdoors? Chances are, your trip to Colorado will include a hike or two. Here’s what you’ll want to pack for hiking in Colorado.
Puffy jacket or Fleece
Depending how high up in elevation you’re hiking, you’ll want to bring an extra layer. If you’re hiking closer to Denver (in Golden or Boulder), you’ll most likely be fine to head out for the day with a fleece as your warmest layer. If you’re heading farther into the mountains, such as Rocky Mountain National Park or Breckenridge, you should plan to bring another layer for warmth. A puffy jacket or vest is ideal.
Don’t forget to toss this piece of gear into your pack! Better yet, check and see if your pack has a rain cover (many backpacks have one stored in a small pocket on the bottom of the pack).
Nobody enjoys a hike when their feet hurt. Avoid the blisters by bringing a sturdy pair of hiking boots. If you’re newer to hiking or prefer extra support, look for a pair of boots that offers ankle support with a higher rise.
Comfortable hiking socks
Pair your hiking boots with the right socks. Choose hiking socks that offer a little extra cushion. If your socks are too thin, you’ll end up with sore feet and are more likely to get blisters.
Plenty of water
This might be the most important thing to pack for hiking in Colorado. Bring more water than you think you’ll need, and remember to drink it!
Sweet + Salty foods
If you’re hiking for more than an hour, pack a few snacks that are sweet, and a few that have salt in them. This will keep you energized and replenish your body after it sweats.
Now you know what to pack for a trip to Colorado this summer- all that’s left is to plan your adventures! Check out this guide to the best family-friendly hikes near Denver to start planning. Or, plan a brewery day in historic Golden.
Wherever you’re headed this summer, show your Colorado pride with Yo Colorado apparel!