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Altitude Worries

New England
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10 posts
23 reviews
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Altitude Worries

I live in New England. I am planning a trip to Colorado this summer in July for 2 weeks for me and my husband and my 4 year old. I thought I would fly into Denver and stay in that general area-maybe to Estes Park, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs-possibly to Steamboat?

I am concerned about the altitude-in particular for my child-but also for us. I know that everyone is different but wondered what general advise people would have about how difficult it is to adapt-how I might structure the trip to minimize the effects, etc. Also any feedback about itinerary with a child would be helpful. I want to avoid loads of driving.

Thanks.

Littleton, Colorado
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1. Re: Altitude Worries

I believe you'll be just fine! Most people visiting Colorado do not experience any ill effects worse than a headache from staying at high altitude. The towns you mention are not as high as most ski areas (which are over 9,000 feet) and you will probably not have any difficulties adjusting to altitude. Children are not more susceptible to altitude than adults so no special precautions are needed. Some people prefer to stay at least one night in on the Front Range to get used to a medium altitude before going up into the mountains, but Estes is only 7,500 feet; Ft. Collins is 4,900; Denver is 5,260; Steamboat is 6,650 and Colorado Springs is 6,000, so none of these places is all that high for Colorado.

The worst-case is altitude sickness, but that would be extremely rare and should not be a concern. Many people experience headaches in the first few days, but the key is to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Colorado is not only a high altitude state, but also a very dry state with normally very low humitidy. You must drink a lot of water throughout your stay here! Experts also recommend that you limit alcohol and fatty foods and avoid strenuous activity for the first day or two. If you experience persistant symptoms like severe headache and nausea, then you must descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible.

As long as you follow these common-sense precautions, you should have no problem. So many people from sea level come to Colorado to ski (and drink and carry on!) at much higher altitudes and don't have any problems. I think your trip will be just fine.

Westminster...
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240 posts
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2. Re: Altitude Worries

Denver is 5280 feet.

If you are concerned about it, then spending the first night in Denver to acalamatize will help. But I also agree that it's not required. If you stay hydrated and drink water BEFORE you come here, you'll be fine. You'll get tired quicker here with the reduced oxygen until your body can respond which takes a day or two. When I moved here when I was 8 (from CA), that first night I was exhausted and tired by 7pm. After that I was fine. People carry around bottles of water here that no one would give you a second look if you're carrying one.

Chewing gum when you go up and down in the mountains helps to pop your ears sometimes so you may want to have some gum handy for your kid. But most people have no problem with this either.

I think your 4-year-old would love Water World. It's a water park with water rides and kids love it. It's in the Denver area and ranked one of the worlds top 10 best water parks. www.waterworldcolorado.com

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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10,903 posts
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3. Re: Altitude Worries

You mean "acclimatize" - adapt to climate

New England
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4. Re: Altitude Worries

Thanks you so much for taking the time to respond! My computer was down so only was able to check today. Sounds reassuring. Much apreciated.