Important Tips for Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking

The Rocky Mountains have many great hiking opportunities for experienced hikers and novices alike. No matter what your skill level is, there are certain things that you will want to keep in mind and prepare for. Hiking in the mountains can be a rather dangerous adventure, so here are some tips on getting started.

Consult the Experts

The absolute first thing that you should do before setting out on any Rocky Mountain National Park hiking trail is to consult the park rangers there. These individuals know the area like the back of their hand and will provide great advice for potential trails in relation to your skill level, and what you want to see and experience during your hike. The information gained from talking to the park rangers could mean the difference between life and death. This may seem a little dramatic, but all too often people get lost, hurt, or stuck on these mountains and never come down. The park rangers will also provide you with up-to-date trail conditions and possible weather hazards that may be coming your way, too.

Proper Supplies

It is of the utmost importance to have the proper clothing and supplies before doing any Rocky Mountain National Park hiking. Again, this information can usually be gained from the park rangers in the area. Some things to keep in mind are to bring and apply sunscreen, even when hiking in the winter. At higher elevations the sun can cause a lot of damage to your skin and eyes.

Always bring extra sets of clothing in case of rain or snow. Depending on the area of your hike, you may want to consider purchasing some bear spray. This will certainly come in handy if you encounter an angry bear while on the trail.

Be Wary of Animals

Perhaps the first thing a park ranger will tell you is to never approach the animals encountered while Rocky Mountain National Park hiking. There have been many cases of mountain lion and bear attacks in this part of the country. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and never try to contact, feed, or provoke these, or any animals, while hiking.

If you do find yourself face-to-face with a mountain lion or bear, never run or turn your back to them. Slowly back up and try to make yourself look bigger. These animals usually are frightened of humans, as well, and will run away when intimidated. These attacks are rare, but you certainly want to know what to do just in case.

Another tip is to never drink any spring, river, stream, or lake water without boiling it first. Even if the water looks clean, it could still contain harmful bacteria, which will certainly make you sick.

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