High Altitude Tips
Much higher than the Mile High City of Denver, the town of Alamosa is perched at 7,523 feet and adapting to the elevation may take you a day or two. Oxygen levels are lower so be aware, the altitude can cause such sensations as dizziness, nausea and headaches. Colorado consists of various and extreme altitudes with 54 peaks over 14,000 feet. The San Luis Valley's crowning glory, Mt Blanca towers 14,345 feet above sea level and is the third highest peak in the state. Even a hike to the highest peak at the Great Sand Dunes will take you to an elevation of nearly 9,000 ft.
To enjoy your visit in the San Luis Valley, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Water, water, water! The air is drier and your body will dehydrate much more quickly. The higher you go up, the more water you should drink. It also helps deliver much needed oxygen to your blood.
- Avoid strenuous exercise the first day of your trip, if possible.
- Take it slow and give your body time to adjust.
- Limit alcohol intake, Alcohol binds oxygen and water and robs your body of these two important nutrieints.
- Always travel with a companion. If someone begins to experience severe coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest pain, get them to a lower elevation as quickly as possible.
- High elevation means faster sunburns. A hat and sunscreen is recommended, even in winter and especially for skiing or other snowy activities. The sun's rays are reflected off of the snow and greatly magnified.