High Altitude Tips
High altitude has its benefits. Our bodies use more calories and burn more fat. But, for lowland travelers who are new to our area, altitude can produce some unusual sensations such as dizziness, nausea and headaches. Colorado is a state consisting of various and extreme altitudes with 54 peaks over 14,000 feet. Colorado Springs climbs to an altitude of 6,035 feet. Manitou Springs, just five miles to the west of Colorado Springs, is 6,320 feet. Further west, the towns of Victor and Cripple Creek are over 9,500 feet. The summit of Pikes Peak towers above them all at 14,115 feet.
To enjoy your visit here in Colorado Springs, here are a few things to keep in mind to give your body time to adjust to the altitude and prevent altitude sickness:
- Stay below 7,000 feet the first day (the city of Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet above sea level.
- Give your body time to adjust (there's lots to see and do at lower altitudes).
- Avoid strenuous exercise the first day.
- Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol binds oxygen and water and robs your body of these two important nutrients.
- Drink more water. The air is drier and your body will dehydrate much more quickly. The higher up you go, the more water you should drink.
- Always travel with a companion. If someone begins to experience severe coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest pain, get him or her to a lower altitude as quickly as possible.
- The effects of some drugs such as tranquilizers can be greatly increased at higher altitudes. Be sure to check with your doctor first before exerting yourself at higher altitudes.
- If you are baking during your visit, be sure to follow the high altitude instructions.
- Get plenty of good rest and enjoy yourself!
The weather in Colorado Springs is nothing short of delightful! Our altitude and proximity to the mountains provides for a year-round, mild climate. Classified as an alpine desert, we enjoy an average of 300 days of deep blue skies, abundant sunshine and low humidity. The region’s climate is often as pleasant in the winter months as it is during the rest of the year. We receive 15-16 inches of precipitation annually and get less snow than Denver, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis. The weather in Colorado Springs is a key element in the region’s appeal, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy all that we have to offer.
In the cooler months, layers are also recommended for maximum comfort. The low humidity keeps out the bone-chilling cold found in other destinations. Bring a warm coat, but think about throwing in a T-shirt and shorts just in case you are here during one of our sunny and relatively warm winter days. Snow may be in the forecast, but it melts and evaporates quickly, giving you plenty of opportunities to enjoy Colorado Springs year-round.
How To Pack
The best advice to prepare for the summer weather in Colorado Springs is to dress in layers. Mornings and evenings are refreshingly cool, especially after a gentle afternoon shower. Midday can bring warmer temperatures, but the low humidity will keep you comfortable. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes since you never know when you’ll want to hop out of the car and take in the sites. Throw in some chapstick, lotion, high SPF sunscreen, a hat and windbreaker or light rain coat and you’ll be all set for the weather in Colorado Springs.