Summer is the perfect time to conquer a 14er. The weather is perfect, you’ve had all spring to get in shape, and you won’t have to worry about the temperature plummeting below freezing along the trail. Before you set out on your trek, there are a few things you should do to be prepared.


Make a Plan

dreamstime_xxl_3660283Before you reach the trailhead, come up with a plan to help you reach the summit. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the trail and any potential hazards that may come up along the way. Be sure to research what other hikers have experienced this season so you know about any unexpected changes in trail conditions. Be prepared to handle the elevation gain and develop a strategy for how many miles you plan to complete between rests. If the trail is too long, be prepared to camp overnight to reach the summit and adjust what you pack accordingly.


Prepare Your Pack

What you pack will depend on whether or not your camping and what the overall weather conditions are expected to be. If you’re overnighting on the mountain, pack warm clothes and appropriate camping gear, as temperatures are known to drop at night. Pack plenty of water and consider bringing a purification filter to let you refill your water from mountain streams. If you’re unsure about what you need, stop by Kirk’s Mountain Adventures. We have the gear you need to get to the top.


Bring Your Camera

dreamstime_l_15580219Once you reach the summit, you’ll want to document the experience. Bring a camera with you, even if it’s just your cellphone. The last thing you’ll want to do is reach the top without being able to take a picture of your victory.


When you’re planning for your hike, stop by Kirk’s Mountain Adventures in downtown Estes Park. We can help you devise a strategy, and even offer guided hiking trips to help you prepare for your ascent. If you want to reach the summit with a group, consider taking one of our guided trips up Longs Peak. Our trips are just starting this season, so reserve your spot today!