Helpful Tips for Hiking in Summit County


Hiking is one of the best activities that Summit County has to offer during the Summer months. Not only is the mountain scenery pristine, but there are enough options to keep you hiking for years. Before you lace up your boots and hit the trail with your family or friends, read these tips to make the most of your outdoor adventure!

  • Sunscreen – One of the best parts of Colorado in the summertime is all the sunshine… but the high elevation means that it can cause sunburns quicker and deeper. Apply sunscreen at least every 2 hours while outside to prevent any painful burns.
  • Water, water, and more water – Summit County is known for high elevations and dry conditions: two factors that can cause major dehydration. Whenever you go out on a hike, especially if it’s a long one, be sure to pack at least 2 water bottles!
  • Bring a Rain Jacket – Weather in the mountains can change in an instant. The sun can be hidden behind a cloud lowering the temperature by 15 degrees or an afternoon rainstorm can surprise you around the next corner. Don’t be caught off guard – pack a raincoat in your day pack and enjoy all the spontaneous weather Summit County has to offer!
  • Practice Leave No Trace! – It’s important to maintain and respect our outdoor spaces. There are several principles of Leave No Trace, but the basics are: pick up any litter you see along the way, leave anything you find in nature where it is, hike on trail, and avoid interactions with wildlife.
  • Hike Early – In the summertime, thunderstorms tend to roll into Summit County around 2 pm. Particularly if you’re planning to hike above treeline, you’ll want to get out there early so you don’t get stuck anywhere when there’s lightning around! Plus it’ll help you avoid large crowds in the more popular areas.
  • Plan Ahead – Make sure to do research about the trail you’re headed out on (we recommend apps like AllTrails and Colorado Trail Explorer) and tell someone where you’re going if you plan on hiking alone.
  • GORP – Snacks are important for any activity. Our favorite is GORP – a.k.a. Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, but you can make any sort of homemade trail mix!