What to Bring on Your Trip to Colorado Springs

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is an enigma of sun (it gets 300 days per year), snow and temperature fluctuations that will have you baking one day and shivering the next. Still, with its majestic mountains, sandstone rock formations and impressive collection of parks and trails (don’t miss the Garden of the Gods), Colorado Springs is absolutely worth a visit - you just have to make sure you pack correctly and are prepared for whatever adventures may come your way. Get started with our ultimate Colorado Springs packing guide:

Backpack

hiking in colorado

If you are planning on enjoying any of the hiking spots around Colorado Springs like Pikes Peak - and you should - then you’re going to need a backpack. If you pack all of your vacation essentials inside of your hiking backpack, then you won’t even need to bring an extra suitcase! When choosing what sort of backpack to bring, consider how long you’ll be staying in Colorado Springs, what your body type is and what time of year you plan to visit.






Sunglasses

Colorado Springs is known for having upward of 300 days of sunshine per year, so chances are you’ll be needing those shades at one point or another. The city is located more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so the sun’s rays can be pretty strong. If you are particularly affected by sunlight, you may also want to consider bringing a hat along on your journey.



Jacket

In the mountains, temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit between day and night, so it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket with you wherever you go. In the summertime, it can rain quite often, so it’s best to opt for a rain jacket that you can throw on when it starts to pour. If you’re making the trip to Colorado Springs to ski in the winter, make sure you have a well-insulated coat on hand!



Sunscreen

Along with your sunglasses, you’ll never want to be without a layer or two of sunscreen - that goes for wintertime too. Nothing ruins a vacation like sunburn - particularly if you were planning on spending most of your time outside - so don’t get caught without that SPF (at least 15, but 30 is better)!



Camera

Colorado Springs is filled with breathtaking natural landmarks, and you’ll want to be sure you have a camera to capture awe-inspiring sights like the 800-foot-tall Dome Rock. You’ll want a camera that takes amazing outdoor and landscape photos: For point-and-shoots, the Canon Powershot S110 is a great buy, while the Nikon D7100 is one of the best Digital SLRs on the market.



Hiking Gear

Colorado Springs is famous for hiking trails like Red Rock Canyon, so you won’t want to make the journey without the proper gear. While what you pack will depend on the difficulty of the hiking you plan to undertake, it’s imperative that you bring supportive footwear and moisture-resistant socks to avoid nasty blisters - Asolo boots are a favorite brand among die-hard hikers.



Layers

Because of the frequent change in temperature that occurs in the Rocky Mountains, Coloradans always dress in layers, and you should too. Residents of Colorado Springs generally venture outdoors wearing a t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, jacket or sweater and a light coat. While it may seem like a pain to lug around all that extra clothing in the heat, you’ll be glad you have it when it cools down at night and you want to have a romantic dinner on the patio of Pizzeria Rustica.



Jeans

While you may feel like getting dressed up for a night on the town, Coloradans are pretty laid back, and wearing blue jeans is acceptable at pretty much any establishment - even at the Broadmoor. Pack a well-loved pair for hiking during the day and a dark-wash jean for eating out at night.

By Nicole Martinez