Exclusive Colorado Packing List To A Successful Adventure

Colorado is such a wild area making it a bit challenging to know what to pack, which is why I’m bringing you my exclusive Colorado packing list! I know you’ll love it here in Colorado even if it’s your first time visiting or 1000th. It really is one of the most beautiful places in the USA.

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Photo of Emmy in burton snowsuit

Hey, I’m Emmy, guide and couple’s photographer here at Celebrate Again, I’ve lived in this beautiful state for almost a decade now. I’ve had adventures around all four corners of it and experiences some of the most epic adventures one could have here in Colorado from white water river rafting, 4 wheel driving up the most breathtaking mountain passes, rock climbing epic cliffs, canoeing in the alpine lakes, and hiking these areas it's been a wonderful journey! I’m so excited to share with you all the essential gear you’ll need to have a successful trip.

The key to any adventure is having the right gear. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” – Swedish Mantra

You’ve planned your epic trip to Colorado and now it’s time to pack, where do you even start? Colorado’s weather is diverse even in one day.

Here’s a Colroado packing list to what you’ll need from the time of year you’ll be here to the outdoor activity you’re embarking upon. I hope this packing list helps you have the most amazing trip! 

P.s. I also included some of my favorite Colorado hikes at the end of the packing list. Make sure to bookmark those!

Summer Travel Essentials

Besides the basics anyone needs for travel like your phone chargers, toiletries, and undergarments here is a complete list to help you prepare for the very unpredictable summer weather. Do keep in mind Colorado has their summer from June until early september. Warm temperatures can linger into October in Denver but usually by September things start to cool down. May is still very much spring and can snow in the mountains. Here is your summer Colorado packing list!

  • Summer clothes: It can get into the 90s here in Denver. But whatever you do, don’t forget your jacket for the evening or if you head into the mountains.
  • Layers: it gets very cool in the evenings especially in the mountains. It can drop to freezing temperatures even while it hits the 70/80s in the daytime.  If you’re planning to camp make sure you have enough layers to stay warm. Wool and 100% cotton layers will be your best friend!
    • Under layers, helps if they are breathable
      • Moisture-wicking underwear, T-shirt
    • Waterproof outer layers
      • Quick drying pants/shorts (jeans will not be fun while hiking)
    • Gloves and hat: I know it seems silly but it’s always better to have the layers to warm back up and get sweaty than frozen.
    • Extra pair of clothes or layers isn’t a bad idea for outdoor activities 
  • Rain gear: It can rain very unpredictably especially at high altitudes. A storm can blow in the afternoons, and you can go from clear skies to thunderstorms within hours. Having these essentials can help you on your long hike or outdoor activities
    • Rain jacket
    • Rain cover for backpack or gear bag
    • Waterproof shoes
  • Jacket: yes even in the summer you need a jacket. With the temperatures dropping low in the evenings you’ll want a good jacket. I love ones that allow you to ditch layers and add them back as the day goes on!
  • Sunshine Gear: Sunshine, it’s what Colorado is most known for, those 300 days of sunshine! Don’t forget even if it’s cloudy you can still get a sunburn. 

Pro Tip Don’t forget your sunscreen:  The high altitudes are not forgiving so pack your sunscreen. Go an extra step to choose sunscreen that is kind to our environment, using spray bottles vs aerosol cans or rub on lotion. 

  • Sunglasses: Don’t forget your sunglasses too! If you have light sensitive eyes the sun here is more intense than other lower altitude locations.
  • SHOES: This is a huge one I see for visitors. While those sneakers are cute they won’t give you safe traction if the trails are slippery from rain or protect your ankles when hiking from twisting or the snakes that are on the front range trails. Colorado is still a desert. 😉
    • Throwing a pair of Crampons in your backpack isn’t a bad idea either! Some hikes will have icy spots or snow leftover and if you truly want to explore you can still access these places without slipping on ice with these wonderful little guys!
    • Socks
  • Snacks: no one wants to get hangry or be with a hangry person. Hangry: aka hungry person who becomes angry because they need food. It’s ok, it happens to the best of us.
    • I love adding lime or lemon to water to help replenish electrolytes.
    • Don’t forget drinking at higher altitudes equals getting drunk faster haha. 😉
    • PACK OUT your trash & food. This state stays beautiful only if we all do our part to keep it clean.
        • Don’t leave your bananas, orange peels, or other food around for wildlife, it really does harm them. Don’t feed or approach them especially this is VERY dangerous!
I’m a BIG fan of Stasher bags instead of plastic bags. Rinse out, throw in your dishwasher, use in the oven or freezer. They are great! P.S. Use this link to get 5% off this bundle!
  • Toiletries and make-up: If you’re taking pictures with us as your photographers we recommend bringing some light touch up items.
      • Chapstick with SPF.. It’s VERY dry here especially if you come from a humid climate. Your skin may be very dry or crack while you’re here.
      • Lotion (Burt’s Bees Is our favorite)
      • Make-up: foundation, lipstick, etc
      • Hair fixes: comb, bobby pins, hair ties, etc.

Pro Tip Grab a Kula Pee cloth: I’m particularly obsessed with my Kula cloth which makes going pee in the outdoors SO much better for us girls AND better for the environment.

  • Bonus tip make sure to pee 200 feet (70 steps) from a nearby stream or water source.
  • Bury the rest, if you get my drift haha.
  • Wet wipes, I’m a mama so these have been my best friends for 6 years. I personally love these eco friendly wipes, make sure to pack them out!
  • Fancy night on the town: Denver is the place to go for some amazing restaurants and entertainment. Don’t forget your snazzy outfits for a night out on the town!

Women's clothing

Summer Water Activities (All of the essentials Above are a must!)

  • Swim suit: While we don’t have many beaches we do have some alpine lakes and reservoirs you can swim in! Grab your paddle board, hop in your canoe and enjoy soaking up that summer sun!

Pro Tip Grab did you know you can river surf here? Make sure to grab your helmet and 2m full body suit to stay warm in these snow runoff streams! Check out @Coloradosurfers on instagram for the best spots!

Get 15% off for order over $100 on your Beachsissi Swimsuit!

  • Floating sunglasses: The last thing you want to do is lose your shades down the river. Grabbing some floating sunglasses helps make them more findable later!
  • Dry Bag:
      • Phone case so you can enjoy watersports and keep your phone with you
      • Dry bag to carry your snacks and other essential items.
      • Stasher bags  work great for this too!

     

Summer Alpine Activities (All the essentials above plus these!)

Safety Gear:

  • Headlamps or flashlights just in case you get stuck outside when it gets dark
  • First aid kit
  • Navigation tools (map of area printed out and compass) or GPS or Satellite Communicator
  • Charger for your phone if you’re using this for your gear
  • Knife or multi-tool

Hydration Pack

  • Bring your own water, or a lifestraw if you know water will be nearby. Make sure to pack 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of hiking you do. I’ve been obsessed with my Camelbak hydration pack since 2006, don’t worry I’ve replaced it and washed it since then haha.
  •  

Wondering what the pros and cons are to the Camelbak Hydration Pack? Check out our Camelbak review!

Hiking Backpacks or Daypacks:

  • If you’re carrying a lot of gear make sure you have a comfortable hiking backpack that fits well on your body. We highly recommend going to your local REI store or outdoor sports store to try on backpacks for your body type.
  • Bonus tip: Women carry their weight best in their hips. Men carry their weight best in their shoulders. So find a backpack that’s most comfortable in those areas for you!

Osprey has some amazing gear and makes great backpacks for women who carry their weight differently and also usually have shorter torsos then men.

Other outdoor gear for you activities:

Rock climbing gear: Harness, rock climbing shoes, other gear as needed. You can also rent this gear to do some basic top rope climbing. I highly recommend going with a guide if you haven’t been. Safety is key to successful rock climbing!

Mountain Biking: rent a bike, going with a guide may not be a bad idea either if you’re new to this sport

4 wheel driving or ATV: hire a guide or go with a group if you’re not familiar with this type of driving.

Camping Gear: You can rent gear from places like REI once you arrive if you don’t want to travel with your own!

  • Tent, sleeping bags, fire starting kits (please look up local regulations and status for fires), water/sand to put out fires, lanterns, flashlight or headlamps

Hiking Carriers for Kids under 65lbs

  • If you’re hiking with young children know that only a few trails are stroller accessible, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good carrier for them!
    • Bonus tip: if you’re flying this counts as essential gear so you should not be charged by your airline to check this.

I’ve only worn my daughter in a few hiking carriers but at the moment I put our Dueter Kids II hiking backpack with her I was forever changed. It’s by far my absolute favorite and she loves it too. I love all the extra storage for my hydration pack, camera, snacks SHE can reach and a comfy place for her to lay her head, not to mention the stirrup straps to wrangle those wiggly legs into!

Hiking with kids

  • Pack extra clothes with you just in case someone has an accident or decides to play in the mud but cannot handle being muddy and wet for the walk back. 
    • Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Did I mention pack snacks?
    • Bonus tips: 
      • be on the hunt for things on  your walk. Kids can get tired and bored if it just feels like walking, but if they are looking for birds, squirrels, cactus, a type of tree or plant it can be a lot more fun.
      • I personally love giving my daughter a rugged point and shoot camera to capture photos just like mama! We’ve loved her panasonic camera that can handle a dip in the bathtub or being dropped a million times!

Recommended Summer Hikes

Mount Falcon: Check out this hike near Denver if you’re staying in the city Mount Falcon

Lake Mitchell is great if you’re near Boulder or the surrounding areas check out Lake Mitchell

Family Friendly Hike in Colorado {Lake Mitchell | Denver, Colorado Mountain Family Photographer}

If you want a longer hike that I wouldn’t recommend with children due to some hard points crossing streams check out Lake Isabelle.

Mount Bierstadt: Is a great 14er to try but also fun to drive by if you’re going for a drive through I-70 you can take a detour and go the long way back to Denver passing Mount Bierstadt.

Mount Bierstadt: A Quick Peak

Looking for places to stay in Colorado?

Pro Tip We highly recommend shopping around to find the best bang for your buck between  Turnkey and Airbnb

Fall Colorado Packing List

Fall is such a beautiful time here in Colorado, with the leaves changing colors and the trails thinning out, it’s really one of the best times to come visit our beautiful state! September or October are your best bet to catch the fall colors but really it’s SO hard to nail down when the colors will peak let alone last. They can last for 2 weeks or one day if a snowstorm comes rolling in. But if you’re here to catch the magic I hope you enjoy it as you prepare for anything from sweaty hot temperatures to a full blizzard, it’s all possible! Here is your fall Colorado packing list:

mountain road photo with aspen changing yellow

Colorado Fall Essential Packing List:

  • Layers: it gets very cool in the evenings especially in the mountains. It can drop to freezing temperatures even while it hits the 70/80s in the daytime.  If you’re planning to camp make sure you have enough layers to stay warm. Wool and 100% cotton layers will be your best friend!
    • Under layers, helps if they are breathable
    • Waterproof outer layers
    • Gloves and hats: They are very essential even if you don’t wear them! Keeping your head and feet warm are key to staying warm.
  • Rain Gear: It can rain very unpredictable especially at high altitudes. A storm can blow in the afternoons, and you can go from clear skies to thunderstorms within hours. Having these essentials can help you on your long hike or outdoor activities
    • Rain jacket
    • Rain cover for backpack or gear bag
    • Waterproof shoes
  • Snow Gear:
    • Crampons/Spikes for your shoes:  These additions to your shoes can help navigate and give you more stable traction if any ice or mud is around while you’re exploring!
    • Snowshoes (not to be confused with boots): Most outdoor stores including REI have snowshoe rentals you can rent for your session. These additions if the mountains have had significant snow can help you stay afloat in very deep snow. If you’re visiting in November they may be a good idea if the forecast looks snowy for your visit! Unless you will use these often I highly recommend renting them.
    • Thermal layers men and women, tops and bottoms. A good layer can help you stay warm in any below freezing temperatures or high winds that happen in the mountains. It’s always better to strip a layer than try to warm back up!
      • Pro tip: if you feel slightly  sweaty, ditch a layer. The last thing you want is to get sweaty then cold again with wet layers.
  • Hat or earmuffs: Again you can take this on and off for photos but maybe find one you don’t mind for both.
  • GLOVES: if the forecast is below 40 degrees please do not pack cotton thin gloves they will not keep you warm and you will get frostbite. The thicker the gloves are the better. 

Pro Tip Grab don’t be that tourist with frostbite, get thick layers for every inch of your body. Speaking of grab some

  • Hand/foot warmers: If the weather forecast is below freezing I highly recommend buying some of these to add an extra layer of comfort for yourself!
  • Jacket: yes even if it feels like 80 outside when you leave your accommodations you will need a jacket. With the temperatures dropping low in the evenings you’ll want a good jacket. I love ones that allow you to ditch layers and add them back as the day goes on!
  • Toiletries and make-up: If you’re taking pictures with us as your photographers we recommend bringing some light touch up items.
    • Chapstick with SPF. It’s VERY dry here especially if you come from a humid climate. Your skin may be very dry or crack while you’re here.
    • Lotion (Burt’s Bees Is our favorite)
    • Make-up: foundation, lipstick, etc
    • Hair fixes: comb, bobby pins, hair ties, etc.

Pro Tip Grab a Kula Pee cloth: I’m particularly obsessed with my Kula cloth which makes going pee in the outdoors SO much better for us girls AND better for the environment.

Bonus tip make sure to pee 200 feet (70 steps) from a nearby stream or water source.

Bury the rest, if you get my drift haha.

Wet wipes, I’m a mama so these have been my best friends for 6 years. I personally love these eco friendly wipes, make sure to pack them out!

 
  •  

Fancy night on the town: Denver is the place to go for some amazing restaurants and entertainment. Don’t forget your snazzy outfits for a night out on the town!

Women's clothing

Fall Water Activities (All of the essentials Above are a must!)

  • You could bring your swimsuit if you’re visiting Colorado in September but come October you probably won’t want to wear it unless you own a Seea or 2mm suit which is meant for pacific coast surfers. 

Pro Tip Grab did you know you can river surf here? Make sure to grab your helmet and 2m full body suit to stay warm in these snow runoff streams! Check out @Coloradosurfers on instagram for the best spots!

Get 15% off for order over $100 on your Beachsissi Swimsuit!

Clearance Area - Low to $9.9. Get it Now!!!
  • Floating sunglasses: The last thing you want to do is lose your shades down the river. Grabbing some floating sunglasses helps make them more findable later!
  • Dry Bag:
    • Phone case so you can enjoy watersports and keep your phone with you
    • Dry bag to carry your snacks and other essential items.
    • Stasher bags work great for this too!

Fall Alpine Activities (All the essentials above plus these!)

Safety Gear:

  • Headlamps or flashlights just incase you get stuck outside when it gets dark
  • First aid kit
    • Navigation tools (map of area printed out and compass) or GPS or Satellite Communicator
    • Charger for your phone if you’re using this for your gear
    • Knife or multi-tool

Hydration Pack:

  • Bring your own water, or a lifestraw if you know water will be nearby. Make sure to pack 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of hiking you do. I’ve been obsessed with Camelbak hydration pack for over a decade and maybe kept one of my hydration bladders that long haha.

Hiking Backpacks or Daypacks:

  • If you’re carrying a lot of gear make sure you have a comfortable hiking backpack that fits well on your body. We highly recommend going to your local REI store or outdoor sports store to try on backpacks for your body type.
  • Bonus tip: Women carry their weight best in their hips. Men carry their weight best in their shoulders. So find a backpack that’s most comfortable in those areas for you!

Osprey has some amazing gear and makes great backpacks for women who carry their weight differently and also usually have shorter torsos then men.

Other outdoor gear for you activities:

  • Rock climbing gear: Harness, rock climbing shoes, other gear as needed. You can also rent this gear to do some basic top rope climbing. I highly recommend going with a guide if you haven’t been. Safety is key to successful rock climbing!
  • Mountain Biking: rent a bike, going with a guide may not be a bad idea either if you’re new to this sport
  • 4 wheel driving or ATV: hire a guide or go with a group if you’re not familiar with this type of driving.
  • Camping Gear: You can rent gear from places like REI once you arrive if you don’t want to travel with your own!
    • Tent, sleeping bags, fire starting kits (please look up local regulations and status for fires), water/sand to put out fires, lanterns, flashlight or headlamps
  •  

Hiking Carriers for Kids under 65lbs

  • If you’re hiking with young children know that only a few trails are stroller accessible, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good carrier for them!
    • Bonus tip: if you’re flying this counts as essential gear so you should not be charged by your airline to check this.
      •  

I’ve only worn my daughter in a few hiking carriers but at the moment I put our Dueter Kids II hiking backpack with her I was forever changed. It’s by far my absolute favorite and she loves it too. I love all the extra storage for my hydration pack, camera, snacks SHE can reach and a comfy place for her to lay her head, not to mention the stirrup straps to wrangle those wiggly legs into!

muddy shoes

Hiking with kids 

Pack extra clothes with you just in case someone has an accident or decides to play in the mud but cannot handle being muddy and wet for the walk back. 

  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Did I mention pack snacks?
  • Bonus tips: 
    • be on the hunt for things on  your walk. Kids can get tired and bored if it just feels like walking, but if they are looking for birds, squirrels, cactus, a type of tree or plant it can be a lot more fun.
    • I personally love giving my daughter a rugged point and shoot camera to capture photos just like mama! We’ve loved her panasonic camera that can handle a dip in the bathtub or being dropped a million times!
  •  

Fall Colorado Hikes To Check Out

Kenosha Pass is a gorgeous hike in the fall. Make sure to arrive early or late in the day or on a week day as it gets very BUSY when the colors start to peak (usually sometime in September.)

Mount Bierstadt: Is a great 14er to try but also fun to drive by if you’re going for a drive through I-70 you can take a detour and go the long way back to Denver passing Mount Bierstadt. It’s absolutely beautiful in the fall! Make sure to check the road is open it does close in the fall because its unsafe to drive once snow comes.

Pro Tip We highly recommend shopping around to find the best bang for your buck between Turnkey and Airbnb

Winter Colorado Packing List

Winter is so magical here but to tell you when winter actually comes would make me a wizard. In the many years I’ve been here I’ve seen our winter arrive in late November into December but most of the time it truly snows in February or March. January is usually a pretty dry month and at least in the Denver area can have random 70 degree days. So if you’re coming, look up the forecast but make sure to pack for freezing temperatures and snow. Here is your winter Colorado packing list:

mountains covered in snow and trees covered in snow

Colorado Winter Essential Packing List:

  • Layers: While you may hit a random warm day it will get cold after the sun goes down. It can drop to below freezing temperatures even while it may hit the 50s in the daytime.
  • Rental Car essentials: Make sure to prepare for blizzards.
      • Snow shovel, windshield scraper/brush, traction mats, tire chains, battery boost jumper, flashlight, water, blankets, mittens, socks, hats, jumper cables, first aid kit.

Here is what I’m wearing. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Burton for over a decade. I love their practices as a company and they make amazing snow gear!

P.S. Their pants can run a little on the slim side so if you arne’t sure order a size larger. Also don’t forget to account for your layers! I always feel like a marshmallow in my snow clothes, but I’m warm and that’s all that matters!

Snow Gear: predicting snow is wild here, it can be a clear day and a full on blizzard within a few hours. Keep an eye on the forecast to pack everything you need if you’re traveling. Don’t forget to have your transportation include essentials in case you get caught in snow drift.

  • Crampons/Spikes for your shoes:  These additions to your shoes can help navigate and give you more stable traction if any ice or mud is around while you’re exploring!
  • Snowshoes (not to be confused with boots): Most outdoor stores including REI have snowshoe rentals you can rent for your session. These additions if the mountains have had significant snow can help you stay afloat in very deep snow. If you’re visiting in November they may be a good idea if the forecast looks snowy for your visit! Unless you will use these often I highly recommend renting them.
  •  
  • Thermal layers men and women, tops and bottoms. A good layer can help you stay warm in any below freezing temperatures or high winds that happen in the mountains. It’s always better to strip a layer than try to warm back up!
    • Pro tip: if you feel slightly sweaty, ditch a layer. The last thing you want is to get sweaty then cold again with wet layers.
  • Hat or earmuffs: Again you can take this on and off for photos but maybe find one you don’t mind for both.
  • Hand/foot warmers: If the weather forecast is below freezing I highly recommend buying some of these to add an extra layer of comfort for yourself!
  • Winter Jacket: yes even if it feels like 80 outside when you leave your accomodations you will need a jacket. With the temperatures dropping low in the evenings you’ll want a good jacket. I love ones that allow you to ditch layers and add them back as the day goes on!
  • Sunshine Gear: Sunshine, it’s what Colorado is most known for those 300 days of sunshine! Don’t forget even if it’s cloudy you can still get a sunburn. 
  •  

Pro Tip Don’t forget your Sunscreen: The high altitudes are not forgiving so pack your sunscreen. Go an extra step to choose sunscreen that is kind to our environment, using spray bottles vs aerosol cans or rub on lotion. Here are my favorite eco and body safe sunscreens. Badger is our household favorite. It is VERY thick but it is the cleanest ingredients around!

    • Sunglasses: Don’t forget your sunglasses too! If you have light eyes the sun here is more intense than other lower altitude locations.
  • SHOES: This is a huge one I see for visitors. While those sneakers are cute they won’t give you safe traction if the trails are slippery from rain or protect your ankles when hiking from twisting or the snakes that are on the front range trails. Colorado is still a desert. 😉 
    • Throwing a pair of Crampons in your pack isn’t a bad idea either! Some hikes will have glaciers or snow leftover and if you truly want to explore you can still access these places without slipping on ice with these wonderful little guys!
    • Warm or thermal Socks, don’t double up your socks; only one good layer will do or add in Hot Toes if you’re prone to cold feet.
  • Snacks: no one wants to get hangry or be with a hangry person. Hangry: aka hungry person who becomes angry because they need food. It’s ok, it happens to the best of us.
  • I love adding lime or lemon to our water to help replenish electrolytes. 
  • Don’t forget drinking at higher altitudes equals getting drunk faster haha. 😉 
I’m a BIG fan of Stasher bags instead of plastic bags. Rinse out, throw in your dishwasher, use in the oven or freezer. They are great! P.S. Use this link to get 5% off this bundle!

PACK OUT your trash & food. This state stays beautiful only if we all do our part to keep it clean.

  • Don’t leave your bananas, orange peels, or other food around for wildlife, it really does harm them. Don’t feed or approach them especially this is VERY dangerous!
  • Toiletries and make-up: If you’re taking pictures with us as your photographs we recommend bringing some light touch up items.
    • Chapstick with SPF. It’s VERY dry here especially if you come from a humid climate. Your skin may be very dry or crack while you’re here.
    • Lotion (Burt’s Bees Is our favorite)
    • Make-up: foundation, lipstick, etc
    • Hair fixes: comb, bobby pins, hair ties, etc.
    • Pee cloth or tissues: I’m particularly obsessed with my Kula cloth which makes going pee in the outdoors SO much better for us girls AND better for the environment.
      • Bonus tip make sure to pee 200 feet (70 steps) from a nearby stream or water source.
      • Bury the rest, if you get my drift haha.
    • Wet wipes, I’m a mama so these have been my best friends for 6 years. I personally love these eco friendly wipes, make sure to pack them out!
  • Fancy night on the town: Denver is the place to go for some amazing restaurants and entertainment. Don’t forget your snazzy outfits for a night out on the town!

Women's clothing

Winter Alpine Activities (All the essentials above plus these!)

Safety Gear:

  • Headlamps or flashlights just in case you get stuck outside when it gets dark
  • First aid kit
  • Navigation tools (map of area printed out and compass) or GPS or Satellite Communicator
  • Charger for your phone if you’re using this for your gear
  • Knife or multi-tool 

Snow sports gear: whether you snowshoe, cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboard you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear to stay warm or cool enough.

  • Sunscreen: The snow reflects, you don’t want to return home with the goggle suntan lines. The high altitudes are not forgiving so pack your sunscreen. Go an extra step to choose sunscreen that is kind to our environment, using spray bottles vs aerosol cans or rub on lotion. Here are my favorite eco and body safe sunscreens. 
  • Goggles: uv protective eye gear is so helpful to enjoy the very bright reflective snow and also help you see in snow
  • Layers, why mention again? Because it’s so important to have a good base layer to stay warm. Look for moisture wicking and thermal under layers.
    • When in doubt add another layer
    • Pro tip: if you feel the slightest sweaty remove a layer, the last thing you want is to get sweaty then frozen with wet layers
    • Pro tip: put on your layers when you arrive to keep the sweat factor down
    • Snow Boots: a good pair of snow boots NOT cute boots from your local box store will keep your feet warm. It is very cold and you’re stepping on frozen water
      • Pro Tip: break them in before you head out to your adventure. No one likes blisters while adventuring!
    • Wool or thermal socks: just one pair will do. 
      • Pro tip try them on with your snow boots
    • Ski/Snowboard Jacket & Pants: Burton is my favorite company for this. I love their practices and their gear has kept my skinny butt warm for 30+ years adventuring in the great Colorado outdoors.
    • Hand/toe warmers: Grab a big box and you’ll be set to stay warm for your adventures. While I wish there was a more eco friendly option I have yet to find one that fits well into gloves, shoes and on your body. Read instructions to use them right. It takes 15 min for them to warm up. It may not seem warm in the below freezing temperatures but it can keep you from frostbite.
    • Crampons: these are like my best friends now for exploring when it’s not quite snowy enough for snowshoes (not to be confused with snow boots), they will save you from slipping on ice and trust me even if it’s dry in the city you will need these to do any alpine activities.
couple snuggling in trees with snow shoes on

Snowshoes: if you’re headed out for mountain adventures you’ll want to rent a pair of snowshoes from a local place before you head out! The snow can be so deep it’s impossible to hike without these guys.

Thermal Hydration Pack: you don’t want your water freezing!

  • Bring your own water, or a lifestraw if you know water will be nearby. Make sure to pack 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of hiking you do. I’ve been obsessed with my Camelbak hydration pack since 2006, don’t worry I’ve replaced it and washed it since then haha
Hiking Backpacks or Daypacks:
  • If you’re carrying a lot of gear make sure you have a comfortable hiking backpack that fits well on your body. We highly recommend going to your local REI store or outdoor sports store to try on backpacks for your body type.
  • Bonus tip: Women carry their weight best in their hips. Men carry their weight best in their shoulders. So find a backpack that’s most comfortable in those areas for you!
Hiking Carriers for Kids under 65lbs
  • If you’re hiking with young children know that only a few trails are stroller accessible, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good carrier for them!
  • Bonus tip: if you’re flying this counts as essential gear so you should not be charged by your airline to check this.
  • I’ve only worn my daughter in a few hiking carriers but the moment I put our Deutor Kids II hiking backpack with her I was forever changed. It’s by far my absolute favorite and she loves it too. I love all the extra storage for my hydration pack, camera, snacks SHE can reach and a comfy place for her to lay her head, not to mention the stirrup straps to wrangle those wiggly legs into!
Hiking with kids
  • Pack extra clothes with you just in case someone has an accident or decides to play in the mud but cannot handle being muddy and wet for the walk back. 
    • Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Did I mention pack snacks?
    • Bonus tips: 
      • be on the hunt for things on  your walk. Kids can get tired and bored if it just feels like walking, but if they are looking for birds, squirrels, cactus, a type of tree or plant it can be a lot more fun.
      • I personally love giving my daughter a rugged point and shoot camera to capture photos just like mama! We’ve loved her panasonic camera that can handle a dip in the bathtub or being dropped a million times!

Pro Tip We highly recommend shopping around to find the best bang for your buck between  Turnkey and Airbnb

Home Stays Like AirBNB ProsHome Stays Like AirBNB Cons
A private place to yourself: if you select this
Weekly Cleaning
Supporting local homeownersHave to make your own bed
May have a very curated guidebook to the areaStaff isn’t usually on site
Usually has kitchenOwners may not be reachable 24/7
Feels more like home
More affordable for needing more than one room
More remote locations
Having a local stay feel

Spring Colorado Packing List

While I’d like to say we have a spring, it really is just a reprieve from snow only after May. Snow usually hits Colorado in February, March or early April. So scroll back on up and check out my winter Colorado packing list because this is pretty much what you can expect here. 

As we get into May you may need less snow gear, but I’d pack it anyway. 

couple walking away into the sunset on top of a mountain

I hope you found this Colorado packing list helpful! Cheers to grand adventures in this beautiful state. I’d love to see your gear AND your adventures. Tag me on social media when you visit! @celebrateagain

Epic Places To Visit While You’re In Colorado

Want to know some epic places to visit while you’re here check out our favorite places in our Colorado elopement locations guide!

 

Final Tips

Outside of this packing list please look at the local forecast and do your due diligence to pack the essentials for your trip, ask your tour guides, accommodations for any other necessary items you may need for your activities. 

We all want to keep enjoying the great outdoors. But in order to do so we all need to do our part.

Please continue to practice Leave No Trace principles of leaving the places we visit how we left them, following rules (by first knowing them) and being respectful of wildlife around (not feeding them.)

Above all we hope you enjoy you’re great adventures out here in this beautiful state. 

Happy Adventuring!

-Emmy

COMMENTS

2 Responses

  1. Wow, what an inclusive list! I’ve only been to Colorado in the winter months and am always cold. No doubt comfort and activities come down to having the right gear. In such a mountainous area it seems that you really need a diverse array of clothing since the weather can change so quickly. I hope to go back in the summer or fall months, sometime. Looks like a beautiful state with so much to do! Thanks

  2. Wow, this is such a detailed packing list! I love how you broke it down per season and activity, so useful! Pinning this for later in case I make it out there one day 🙂

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Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.

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