Weather and Altitude

Heallth Effects of High Altitude

Welcome to the Mile High City at 5,280 feet above sea level! If you live at sea level, don't underestimate the effects that high altitude will have on your body.

Negative Health Effects

As you go to higher altitudes, the barometric pressure decreases, the air is thinner, and less oxygen is available. The air is also dryer and the ultraviolet rays from the sun are stronger. At elevations of 8,000 plus feet, your body responds by breathing faster and more deeply, resulting in shortness of breath, especially on exertion. Many people develop mild symptoms of headache, nausea, trouble sleeping, and unusual tiredness, which is called acute mountain sickness. These symptoms usually go away in a day or two. If symptoms are severe, persist, or worsen, you should consult a doctor.

The effects of high altitude can be decreased by following these recommendations:

  • Increase Fluid Intake -- drink two or three times more fluid than usual; water and juices are best.
  • Protect your Skin: The UV at high altitude is brutal, especially with continued ozone depletion. Wear suncreen and long-sleeve white cotton shirts and a hat to protect your face.
  • Get plenty of rest: If you give yourself one or two days to acclimatize, you will feel much better.
  • Studies have shown that spending 1 to 2 nights at a modest altitude of 5000 to 6000 feet decreases symptoms when you go higher.
  • Avoid alcohol and minimize caffeine on your day of arrival and one to two days thereafter.
  • Decrease salt intake -- salt causes your body to retain fluid, which increases the severity of altitude illness.
  • Eat frequent small meals high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and low in protein.

Positive Health Effects

  • Fresh air: The Rocky Mountains are a beautiful place and they beg you to get out and explore. Hiking is great exercise!
  • Fresh water: The water source for 2/3 of the country starts here! We have had an above average level of snow this year in the high country, and the streams will stay full through August.
  • Sunshine: Providing essential Vitamin D, Colorado is the third sunniest state in the Union!
  • Fun: Since we get so much fresh air, water and sunshine, it goes without saying that we know how to have fun!!! Come Up to Denver and see what a positive experience it will be.

Mile High Weather

Average temperatures in Aug. are 82° high and a cool 52° in the evening with relative humdity from 5% to 15%. In a normal year, we have thunderstorms almost every afternoon. But they only last for 30 minutes or so. Since the climate is so dry, the thunderstorms are usually refreshing. And everything dries out fast, so we are good to go again in no time.

Every 1000 feet in elevation you gain, you lose 3° in temperature. So when it is hot in Denver, we go to the mountains to cool off. Bring a jacket for thunderstorms and cool evenings, especially if you are headed to the high country.


These pages are updated often. Check back for more information.




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