• High Altitude Information

  • Staying Healthy in the High Country

    It's true! Denver's elevation really does make it The Mile High City. And even a short drive into the mountains can take you well above 8,000 feet elevation. While our higher altitude and thinner air do affect how the body functions, most visitors take both factors in stride. A little knowledge, however, can make your time here much enjoyable.

    Tips to Help with the Colorado Altitude

    Here are 10 tips worth remembering when visiting Colorado:

    1. Drink more water. Our low humidity makes staying hydrated a must. If you're from sea level, try drinking twice as much water as normal.
    2. Drink less alcohol. Altitude increases alcohol's effects, so refresh yourself with a glass of water between drinks. And watch total intake.
    3. Be sun-wise. You're a mile closer to the sun, here, so protect your skin with a high SPF sunscreen whenever you're outdoors. And sunglasses are essential.
    4. Dress in layers. Temperatures can change rapidly, especially when you're in the mountains. Layering will help you maximize your comfort .
    5. Eat high-potassium foods. You can replenish electrolytes—and help avoid dehydration—by eating bananas, broccoli, celery, dates and other dried fruits and tomatoes.
    6. Exercise wisely. There's a reason Olympic athletes train here: our higher altitude challenges the body when it's in motion. Plan on a slower pace and less intensity until your body adjusts.
    7. Spend your first night in metro Denver. Even a night's stay at this lower altitude helps your body acclimate for more enjoyable mountain travel.
    8. Know the symptoms of altitude illness. Headache, nausea, dizziness—all can be signs that the altitude is affecting you physically. If symptoms are minor, increasing hydration and rest—and returning to a lower elevation—generally will resolve the problem. If conditions persist or become serious, seek Emergency Medical attention.
    9. Watch the weather. Regardless of the season, be prepared for worsening weather. Colorado has experienced extreme—even life-threatening—conditions in recent years. Be alert and stay safe.
    10. Check with your doctor in advance if you have health problems. If you are managing heart disease, respiratory problems or other chronic conditions, some medication adjustments or supplemental oxygen may be required.

    How high?

    Here are the elevations (in feet) of 10 popular Colorado destinations:

    • Aspen 7,907
    • Boulder 5,344
    • Breckenridge 9,602
    • Central City 8,496
    • Copper Mountain 9,720
    • Dillon 9,087
    • Estes Park 7,522
    • Georgetown 8,512
    • Idaho Springs 7,524
    • Telluride 8,792
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