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Altitude

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Altitude

We are flying into Bozeman from San Fran and driving down the Rockies to boulder via stops in yellowstone, grand Teton and Rocky Mountain NP over10 days. Are we likely to experience altitude problems please ?

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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1. Re: Altitude

It affects everyone differently so I can't answer that directly. I never experienced this when visiting from the East Coast where I used to reside. Drink plenty of water (more than you usually would, don't overexert yourself the first few days, and avoid drinking alcohol to lessen its affects. I've had visiting friends speak of shortness of breath, tiredness or digestive issues, but none were to the extent that it ruined their vacation, and usually ended in a few days with corrective action (a little more rest and hydration). In general it was an annoying symptom for them, but not debilitating In addition, this is from Yellowstone's NPS website, and you might find it helpful.:

High Altitude

Visitors with a cardiac or respiratory medical history should be aware that most park roads range between 5,300 and 8,860 feet in elevation. We recommend contacting a physician prior to your visit. Be aware of your physical limitations and drink plenty of fluids to forestall the dehydrating effects of the parks dry climate. Stop and rest frequently.

I hope that helps. If you Google avoiding altitude sickness, there is a load of information out there. A lot of it is homeopathic and things that I've never tried, so I couldn't suggest it, but maybe you'd want to pursue if it makes sense to you.

Tacoma, Washington
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for Road Trips
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2. Re: Altitude

Usually Altitude problems occur when you get about 8500 feet. Another factor there is adjustment. to go from sea level to 7500 feet. If you lived in denver going from 5,000 feet to 7500 feet is not an issue.

comimg from sealevel to yellowstone you need to take it easy the first full day with hikes you do. water will help.

Rocky Mountain has higher elevation hiking where some trails are 10,000 feet and higher so by the end of your trip you should be fine then.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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3. Re: Altitude

Yellowstone sits on a plateau with an average elevation of 8,000', where the air has only 75% of the oxygen content at sea level. Jackson Hole, with an elevation of 6,400', is a little better at 80%. When we have visitors suffering from altitude sickness, they've had some success in alleviating symptoms by taking acetaminophen and making sure they're well hydrated.

scienceblog.com/1614/…

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Altitude

I have to tell you sometimes I feel slightly weird (more than normal) when I go from 2800' to West Yellowstone at 6600'. I drive and am probably a bit dehydrated, but sometimes I will have a headache for a day or so. It also does not really matter whether I am fit or not. One time a few years ago I was in a less fit phase and traveled with my brother and SIL. She also was not too fit. Brother is very fit, forester, walks a lot for his job in the local mountains at the 4000'-5000' range several times a week. We went over Beartooth Highway (10,000') and he felt very ill for a couple of days (headache, stomach upset) while SIL and I did not. It also does not happen every time. I am in my mid-60s and this has happened to me over a period of 20 years, so age doesn't make a difference either.

Pam

Edited: 12 May 2014, 19:30
Cinnaminson, New...
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5. Re: Altitude

One thing I've made sure to do is to cut out all caffeine about 2 weeks before I head into YNP. I do the other things as well, such as drink lots of WATER, don't do any hard hikes the first few days, etc. The only side effect I experience, is the first night I'm there, I'll get shivers for about 5 minutes when I go to bed, and that's it. I don't feel ill in any way or get a headache. I am coming from the east coast at close to sea level.

It affects everyone differently but if you take all the precautions, you should be ok.

Temple, Texas
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6. Re: Altitude

I will add my 2 cents worth. Temple sits at 699 feet above sea level.

Been to Colorado numerous times and never had a problem until two years ago when I spent a week at RMNP staying at Estes. Had minor symptoms such as loss of appetite, tiredness and trouble sleeping. After about 3 days, it did get better.

Last summer, I spent a week in the Breckenridge area. I spent about 1 and 1/2 days in Denver adjusting before driving to Breckenridge. Tried to drink more water. Took two doses of ibuprofen for 3 days. Did not drink alcohol. Did not stop drinking coffee and coca cola. This time I had no problems.

Indian Harbour...
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7. Re: Altitude

I went in 2012 and my house sits at about 30 feet above sea level. So you can imagine we were a little worried about the altitude. We did as suggested, no strenuous hikes and drank plenty of water the first couple days. In the end we hiked Mt Washburn (10500') and a few other hikes and had no issues.

Yellowstone Nat...
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for Yellowstone National Park
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8. Re: Altitude

Don't think it isn't a worry until you hit 8500' in elevation. As several posters have indicated, you an feel the effects of altitude at lower elevations than that. But as they have also indicated, there are some precautions that you can take and some preventative measures as well -- staying hydrated and moderating your activity. Be smart about it and you'll probably be fine.

ENJOY!

Saint James, New...
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9. Re: Altitude

We visited Jackson Hole & Yellowstone last year. I was a bit concerned last year about the altitude but the only issue I experienced was a bloody nose after getting home. We live at 110' above sea level, but I spend a lot of time on the water and beach (0'). I drink a lot of Diet Coke, and have a few beers several times a week in the evening. The first night in Jackson Hole I felt a little winded, but I did go up and down the stairs (two story walk up) about a dozen times. I did not change my habits at all.

My wife only had a slight bloody nose the second or third day, but that was it. We both drank more water than usual. It was odd that she got the bloody nose there and I got mine at home.

Everyone is different, just as stated take precautions and you should be fine.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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10. Re: Altitude

The bloody noses might have been caused by our very dry air rather than the altitude. I use saline spray every day during the winter for that reason.