Gear Guide

Check the weather forecast, gear up, and go! With our recommendations for apparel and gear, you’ll be prepared.


What to Wear: Day Hiking

This park is a study in contrasts. There are easy trails in the low country that meander through elk-filled meadows and gurgling waterfalls-and are blessed with mild, sunny weather most of the summer. Then there’s the high country, where high-angle paths offer plenty of physical and technical challenge-and fast-changing weather brings sudden cold spells, rain, Read More...


What to Wear: Backpacking

The weather is unpredictable here, but you’ll still want to pack light for overnight trips so you can cover a lot of ground comfortably. The nights are typically quite cool, particularly at higher elevations where there’s no forest to hold the day’s heat, so you’ll want warm clothes and a three-season sleeping bag for the Read More...


What to Wear: Ultra-Light Backpacking

To click off 15 miles in this rugged park in one day-or stand atop multiple summits where the views go on forever-you have to pack light, light, light. And that doesn’t mean simply buying the most featherweight sleeping bag. To keep your load under 20 pounds-a good goal that includes food weight-you’ll need to leave Read More...


What to Bring: Ultra-Light Backpacking

One of the most rewarding ways to experience the park’s amazing spine of mountain splendor is to pack light and hike hard among the peaks lining the Continental Divide. With good planning to avoid exposure during the midafternoon lightning storms, you can easily bag several summits in one day-and still have time to dip your Read More...


What to Bring: Backpacking

The crowds in Rocky Mountain’s campgrounds can be fierce-sites often sell out months in advance-and the best way to experience the grandeur of those mountains piercing the skyline is to spend a night (or several) in the park’s less-traveled backcountry. Read More...


What to Bring: Day Hiking

In Rocky’s lower elevations (below treeline, which is at about 9,500 feet), you generally won’t need a big pack for dayhikes. The main trails are well-traveled and relatively gentle, which makes for fast escapes if a thunderstorm rolls in. For a daypack, BACKPACKER testers recommend a lightweight pack. Read More...