Originally Posted by Krissa
Hi, hubby and I hiked RMNP last summer, but we day-hiked for 3 days and then two weeks later we day hiked for another 3 days (we were on a month long out west trip).
As a fellow Cincinnatian (is that a word?) I want to caution you about hiking in RMNP without acclimating to the elevation. Cincinnati is around 800 feet above sea level and most of the hiking we did in RMNP was at around 9000 feet. The first three days we hiked were very difficult and I consider us very in shape hikers. We were not able to do the mileage we were used to and my husband had some altitude sickness at 12k. I even started getting dizzy at one point so we had to head back down the trail.
When we came back on our way home and hiked again for another 3 days we had no troubles at all because we had spent almost 2 weeks above 8000 feet. We hiked Bierstadt a 14k mountain with very good time keeping up with our friend who lives in Denver. It was a wonderful hike, still very difficult but I did not feel like I was going to pass out the whole time. Much more enjoyable.
So just keep in mind how much the elevation really gets to you. I would maybe plan a longer trip. Day-hike for a few days to get used to the elevation and then backpack that way you are not gasping for air with the backpack on.
It usually take ~72 hours to acclimate to the high altitude. If you can afford the vacation time get a campground
or motel at altitude and do some car trips and walk the mtn towns.
If you typically hike 10 miles back home plan on 2-5 out here. Depending on how much elevation you'll be gaining.
Also carry extra water. I really like shotbloks to munch on while hiking.
Plan for mid day rain with lightning. There usually short(1-2hours)
hth, enjoy your trip. If you do RMNP and wonder is that all there is? PM me and I can direct your to a few secret hiking stashs not in the tourist guides.