Rocky Mountain National Park What to Pack
Weather is constantly in a state of flux in the Rockies due to its high elevations. Pack light, but plan for all types of weather conditions.
Luggage and Bags
The park offers great backcountry camping, definitely bring a backpack. If you don’t plan to camp, bring a small day pack to carry food and extra clothing on your day hikes. You really won’t need much luggage because you won’t need to dress up. Restaurants are casual.
While Colorado is sunny, much of the park is over 8,000 feet and weather is extremely changeable, even within the course of a day. You should pack:
- Synthetic layers
- Sturdy hiking boots with ankle support
- Warm cushioned socks
- Rain gear (at least a windbreaker)
- Wind-resistant long sleeves
- Hat and sunglasses
In the summer you might want to bring a pair of shorts and some t-shirts. In months other than June, July and August, bring a warm hat, coat and gloves.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies
Sunscreen or aloe for burns are handy. Mosquitoes are present at certain lakes and ponds, so repellent is useful. There are stores in Estes Park in case you forgot anything.
Bring extra memory or a device to transfer your photos for storage. Chances are you will see plenty of wildlife. If you use more than a basic camera or phone, you’ll probably want a telephoto lens, along with a zoom, wide angle and a tripod.
This park is an outdoorsman’s paradise. You’ll definitely want the right gear, including:
- Easily-packable tent
- Lightweight but thermal rated sleeping bag (even for summer nights)
- Sleeping mats
- Camp stove
Bring a water container with a good filter (you probably won’t be able to carry in the amount of water you’ll need) and there are plenty of streams.
Also, don’t forget to get a permit. Ask about bears and put your food on a rope from a tree. Do not leave it in your car if you are camping.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about what to pack for Rocky Mountain National Park.