Hiking is a great way to see a lot of beautiful natural sights and stay active, making it the perfect summer activity to do with your family, friends, significant other, or even by yourself—especially in Estes Park. It’s important though to be cautious of your environment and properly prepare for the weather conditions before you head to the trail, no matter the season.
When it comes to summer hiking, your top concern should be staying safe in the high temperatures and intense sunlight. Familiarize yourself with the best practices for hiking in the summer heat so you can fully enjoy the natural wonders you’re sure to discover!
Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day.
The sun’s rays are most intense generally between the hours of 12-3pm. You want to do your best to finish up your hike before peak temperatures hit or wait to start until they’ve passed. If you find yourself on the trail during this time, take care to at least put off particularly strenuous stretches until it starts to cool down.
Drinking enough water is a crucial safety measure to take when hiking in the heat. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you on the trail to stay cool, energized, and prevent heatstroke. Drink more water as you pick up the pace or intensity and as temperatures increase throughout the day.
Choose the best trail.
If you know it’s going to be a particularly scorching day when you plan your hike, choose one that will keep you close to the water or in the shade. You’ll want to take every opportunity you can to get out of the sun, to conserve energy and stay hydrated. Don’t use the sweltering heat as an excuse to stay inside, but to explore a shaded canyon, trek though a forest path, or check out a cool waterfall hike instead!
Cover up with the right clothes.
It might seem ridiculous to wear more clothes than you have to on a summer hike, but the more skin you cover the less you’ll be exposed to the direct heat and UV rays from the sun. Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing will serve you best on hot days. Avoid wearing dark colors too, as they absorb more sunlight than lighter colors do.
Protect your skin.
Your skin is what protects your body from the elements on a regular basis. Adding a few more layers of armor will help decrease your chances of getting sunburn or overheating. Lather up with sunscreen frequently throughout your hike and wet a bandana to cool the back of your neck. You’ll want to invest in a good pair of sunglasses, and maybe a wide-brim hat too.
After you’ve successfully completed your summer hike, retreat to the cool and relaxing accommodations we have at Misty Mountain Lodge! We’re conveniently located only minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park, where you can embark on the most stunning hikes year-round. Contact us to make your reservations today, so you can experience the best of everything Estes Park has to offer!