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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

Ultimate Packing List for Colorado: Plus Seasonal Essentials

Updated: Jul 10

Packing List for Colorado - Alpacka My Bags

Packing is a vital part of planning for a trip. Having the right clothes and other essentials for your trip will help you stay comfortable and make the most of your exciting adventure!


As you’re preparing for your trip to Colorado, whether you’re going hiking in Estes Park or planning a ski trip to Winter Park, this ultimate packing list for Colorado will help you get ready for your trip.


From what to wear in Colorado in winter to summer essentials and hiking gear, you’ll find all the necessities in this Colorado packing list.


Table of Contents:



Printable Packing List for Colorado!



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What to Pack for Colorado


Woman and dog hiking - What to Pack for Colorado

Depending on the time of year you’re visiting Colorado, your packing list might vary some, but below are essentials I recommend packing no matter when you visit. Let’s go over what to wear in Colorado for those of you who plan to do some hiking, city exploring, and maybe some roadtripping


  • Hiking Boots: Colorado offers endless hiking options, so remember to pack comfy hiking boots. Tennis shoes with decent traction are okay in the summer too.

  • Sun Shirt: Spending lots of time outdoors means you need to protect yourself from the sun. A sun shirt is light and breathable but provides endless SPF. This sun shirt with a hood is a great option.

  • Rain Jacket: Colorado can get random little bursts of rain. A rain jacket or compact umbrella will be useful.

  • Hiking Pants: I recommend adding a pair of hiking pants or athletic pants to your Colorado packing list. They’re best for outdoor activities but can double as city exploring pants.

  • Sunglasses: Colorado’s one of the sunniest states in the US, so remember to bring sunglasses.

  • Sunscreen: You’ll likely spend lots of time outdoors in CO, so a bottle of sunscreen will be much needed. 

  • Socks: Don’t forget to bring socks for hiking! Your feet will be grateful.

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Drinking plenty of water is important, especially as staying hydrated will help you avoid getting altitude sickness (and many places in Colorado are at a high altitude). I recommend this bottle.

  • Snacks: Whether for hiking, road trip snacking, or mid afternoon hunger-busting, snacks are a must when packing for Colorado. These are my go-to protein granola bars.

  • Day Bag: Carry all of your goodies in a small backpack. It’s the easiest way to keep all the essentials on you, especially when hiking.


What to Pack for Colorado in Summer


Couple posing on hiking trail - what to pack for Colorado in summer

Summer in Colorado is sunny, generally warm, and so scenic you won’t want to leave. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, roadtripping, and wildlife viewing this time of year. Check out what to pack for Colorado in summer.


  • Hat: A baseball cap or sun hat will come in handy when visiting Colorado in summer. Remember to bring one on any hikes you do!

  • Sun Shirt: Summer months require plenty of sun protection; a sun shirt is just that!

  • Other Shirts: You can wear short sleeve shirts or tank tops comfortably in summer in Colorado, just make sure you apply sunscreen regularly.

  • Convertible Hiking Pants: When packing for Colorado in summer, I recommend hiking pants that double as shorts (these are a great pair with zip off legs).

  • Sunglasses: A necessity any time of year, remember to bring sunglasses.

  • Sunscreen: Remember to apply sunscreen when going outdoors in Colorado.

  • Hiking Boots: Even in summer, I recommend waterproof hiking boots. Tennis shoes are okay too if they have decent traction (for rocky hiking trails).

  • Socks: Just your reminder to not forget socks! You’ll need a long pair for your hiking boots.

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Always carry plenty of water with you when spending lots of time outside in the sun, and in high altitude places (ahem, most of Colorado). This water bottle is a great option.

  • Day Bag: Keep everything you need in a convenient day bag. My go-to is a small backpack that fits a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen bottle, and a hat.

  • Light Jacket: Even in summer, the mountains can get chilly. A light down jacket or fleece pullover is perfect for summer in Colorado.



Packing List for Colorado in Winter


Woman and dog hiking - packing list for Colorado in winter

If you’re planning to visit in the cold months, you should know what to wear in Colorado in winter so you can stay warm and safe. Having the right clothing to wear in cold weather makes it so much more enjoyable.


Take it from me, a previous Chicago native, ski instructor, and winter lover. Here is the ultimate Colorado winter packing list! 


  • Winter Coat: Colorado in winter gets very cold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. First of all, pack a very warm winter coat, one that reaches mid-thigh or lower is best and warmest.

  • Light Down Jacket: It’s a good idea to have a down jacket that’s not as heavy as a winter coat. These are great for hiking, wearing on sunny winter days, or for layering.

  • Gloves: I recommend packing a couple of pairs, a pair of lightweight gloves and a pair of waterproof gloves.

  • Ski Socks: While you might not necessarily be skiing, ski socks will still provide you the warmth you’ll want when exploring Colorado in winter. They’re designed for cold after all!

  • Thermals: Packing a pair of thermals when traveling somewhere snowy is a game changer. Just layer them under your normal clothes and you’ll stay so much warmer.

  • Fleece Pullover: These are a must when layering for cold weather. I always bring a fun patterned fleece pullover to layer under a coat or wear with just an undershirt.

  • Shirts: It’s best to pack a variety of shirts to layer. Bring a few long sleeve shirts and a couple of short sleeve shirts or a tank top.

  • Sunscreen: Yes, even in winter you should pack sunscreen. The snow is very reflective.

  • Hiking Boots: They’re essential for hiking and double as winter boots, especially waterproof hiking boots.

  • Long Pants: If you’re hiking, I recommend long hiking pants or athletic leggings. You may want to wear a pair of thermal pants under your hiking pants.

  • Scarf: A scarf will help you stay warmer on very cold days in Colorado.

  • Beanie or Earmuffs: Don’t let your ears freeze, remember to pack a beanie or earmuffs.

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Adding this again because you’ll still need plenty of water in winter in Colorado.

  • Day Bag: Take a small backpack with you on your trip to Colorado to make hiking and day outings easier.

  • Microspikes/Crampons: If you’re planning to hike in winter in Colorado, 1) make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into and 2) pack everything you need to stay safe in icy, snowy conditions. Crampons/microspikes grip onto your shoes to provide extra traction in icy conditions.


If you plan to hike in the winter in Colorado, make sure you wear layers as your body will heat up as you hike more. You want to have multiple layers on so you can take one off as necessary. Start with a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt, add a fleece pullover, then a puffer jacket, and a winter coat if needed.



More Packing Tips for Colorado


man hiking - Colorado packing list

Packing winter clothes can be tough as they’re so bulky. Try to wear your winter coat and bulkiest shoes to save room in your bag. You can always take your coat off and carry it. 


Remember to wear layers, especially when hiking. You’ll get warmer as you hike longer, and layers will allow you to easily adjust to temperature changes.


Here are some random things I found super helpful during my own road trip in Colorado. Please note that I did camp half the time, so some of the following items are better suited for camping. But I’m sharing since I found them useful, and you might too!


  • Reusable Sandwich Bag: These are a game changer for hiking and road tripping. My favorite meal when on the go is a sandwich, easy to make and filling. Throw a sandwich (or other snack) into a reusable sandwich bag to bring hiking, etc.

  • Camp Shoes: If you don’t have a pair already, you should get some camp shoes. Perfect for cozy nights by the campfire or early morning coffee runs in town, they work for everything.

  • Camera: I don’t travel without my camera. If you’re one who also loves capturing memories this way, this is your reminder to pack a camera. (Try a disposable camera for a fun keepsake!)

  • Hydration Packets: Throw some hydration powder packs into your backpack; they’re especially useful when hiking or spending lots of time outside.

  • Caffeinated Snack Bars: A recent discovery of mine are these caffeine granola bars. They’re small, tasty, and give you a little extra energy when needed.


Man smiling on hiking trail - Packing List for Colorado

Time to Pack for Colorado!


Now you know what to pack for Colorado in summer along with the ultimate Colorado winter packing list, these essentials will help make your trip the best possible.


Remember to wear layers on cold days, drink plenty of water, and take lots of photos of your epic Colorado adventures! If you’re looking for inspiration, I highly recommend planning a visit to Estes Park (with a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park) and Fraser/Winter Park, Colorado.


Share this ultimate packing list for Colorado with your travel group so everyone can prepare for the trip. Happy travels! Join me on instagram to see more US travel tips and inspiration.


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aboutME

Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 

 

I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.

 

I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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