Fall in Estes Park, Colorado is breathtaking. The brilliant, colorful foliage, stunning wildlife, and crisp, refreshing air make it the perfect getaway to fit in some R & R before the hectic holiday season begins! It also happens to be an optimal time for hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Most of the hiking essentials you’re already familiar with you’ll need to pack any time you head out to the trail. There are, however, a few additional considerations you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare for your scenic autumn hike!
Fall temperatures are often unpredictable and tend to fluctuate throughout the day. The best way to tackle these dynamic seasonal conditions is with smart layers! Mid-weight layers of clothing work best this time of year and you’ll want to have at least three on hand—a base layer, insulating layer, warm layer, and an additional outer layer for those really frigid days.
Start off wearing only one or two with the rest in your pack, because you’ll warm up as you go. Don’t forget that it’s hunting season too, so opt for outer layers that are bright or even fluorescent as an extra safety precaution.
Go for moisture-wicking.
The cotton T-shirts you wore for your summer hikes aren’t going to cut it on those brisk, fall mornings! Trade them in for water-resistant base layers to soak up your sweat before it makes you freeze.
You’ll likely run into more wind and rainfall during this time, so make sure to wear or pack a windbreaker or raincoat to keep you dry and warm. You don’t need to pull out the insulated hiking boots quite yet, but make sure the ones you wear are waterproof too.
Plan for less daylight.
As the days get shorter and the daylight gradually begins to diminish, it’s easy to overestimate how much light you’ll have for your hike.
It’s especially important to hit the trail with a headlamp or flashlight this time of year, so you don’t end up stranded in the dark. Don’t forget to grab some extra batteries—and a couple of matches wouldn’t hurt either!
Adjust for the temperature drop.
If you have an adequate number of layers, you’ll have no problem staying warm. There are a few little extras you might want to throw in your bag though to keep you comfortable and energized! You’ll be grateful, for example, for a thermos full of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea when you hit those long, chilly patches of shaded trail.
You also want to increase your carb intake for a fall hike. Carbs fuel your body and give you the energy you need to keep your temperature regulated and your legs moving!
The most important thing to have ready for a fall hike in Estes Park is a warm and cozy place to rest when you’re done! Misty Mountain Lodge is located a convenient two miles away from the South entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, and only four miles away from the North entrance. Don’t miss out on the unforgettable experience of fall in Estes Park. Book your stay with us today!