Colorado Rockies Backpacking Safety List

Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, riding 4-wheel drive vehicles or camping, there are many considerations to take into account always. Clear Creek County, Colorado, is home to many trails that offer marvelous scenic views and great conditions to enjoy these or many other outdoor activities. Safety always comes first, and today we go over some important tips to keep in mind when backpacking Colorado’s trails.

backpacking tips

Altitude sickness

The Colorado Rockies are known for their altitude, some of the backpacking trails are above 10,000 ft. Altitude sickness is an issue that occurs above 10,000 ft and can happen to even the most experienced and prepared hiker. It is a natural process of the body in which it tries to adapt to the low levels of oxygen, causing shortness of breath, headache, nausea, nosebleed and insomnia. Acclimatizing to the altitude by increasing the altitude in slow doses each day can help prevent these symptoms. Also, avoid alcohol, caffeine, physical exercise in the first 24 hours and limit the time spent at altitudes above 10,000 ft.


The number one natural killer in Colorado is lightning. If you perceive any weather changes like dark clouds approaching or distant thunder, it’s best to descend to a lower elevation to avoid a strike. Whenever caught in a thunderstorm the first thing to do is seek shelter. Stay away from isolated trees, rock outcrops and any open areas. Also, make early morning plans to give you time to return before the afternoon lightning storms occur.


The most common cause for hypothermia is getting wet along with inadequate clothing. The backcountry weather is very unpredictable; you might get a sunny clear sky morning and a dark pouring afternoon. Always pack a jacket and other insulated clothing. Cotton is never a good idea as it’s hard to dry out and it doesn’t keep you warm. Make sure your sleeping bag doesn’t get wet either, as temperature during the night falls below zero.

Water Precautions

Carrying your own bottled water is always the best recommendation. But campers know that water from lakes and streams is also drinkable, when purified or sterilized first. Colorado waters may have a water-borne parasite called giardia, which is harmful to humans. To kill this parasite or any other bacteria, you can boil water, add chlorine or iodine tablets, use UV light sterilization or use a water filtration system.

Girls on vacation camping with tents listening girl playing guit


Reservations are recommended to be sure there is an opening for your specific date and time. We are a family owned and operated company. We want our guests to have personalized attention down to the detail on any ATV or UTV tour or camping excursion. Our family has been in the mountains for over 75 years and are excited to share the mountain experience with you. We love sharing our knowledge of the history of Clear Creek County with you along with the breathtaking scenery!  Book your tour today!

scenic colorado roads