Download the PDF: Day Hiking for Beginners – Limelight Hotels

Day Hiking Essentials for Beginners 

Need help planning your hikeNo matter if you’re going out for exercise, with a group, or to just peep some leaves, here are a few tips for getting geared up that will make your day hike memorable! 

Hiking Must-haves 


You need water to stay hydrated and feeling good on your hike, especially if you’re hiking at elevation or for extended periods of time. Elevation-induced headaches are common, and not fun. You can also use a hydration backpack or vest like a CamelBak to hold water, which frees up your hands that you may need for balance (or trekking poles)! 

A Day Pack 

We suggest bringing a day pack to bring necessities like sunscreen, snacksand water with you, so you don’t have to dread the last mile back to the car. No hangry hikers here.  

Hiking Shoes 

Some trails may not require hiking shoes, but a good pair of comfortable and durable ones can help with traction and support regardless of the weather conditions or the type of terrain that you find yourself in. An added perk—proper hiking shoes can protect you from stubbing your toe on rocky terrain 


When going hiking, especially at higher elevation, you need to prepare for sustained sun exposure. This is especially important in mountains above tree line, where shade is hard to come by. Make sure to apply sunscreen before you head out and carry it with you in case you need another application. It’s pretty easy to spot who missed this memo 


Hats are a must-have. If you are one to burn, there are a lot of good wide-brimmed hats offering UV protection that do an excellent job protecting even the most sensitive skin and your ears!  

First Aid Supplies 

When you’re out exploring the wilderness, scratched or twisted ankles can make a great hike awful. Make sure to pack a first aid kit with essentials like an elastic bandage, pain relieversan extra layer, and band-aids 


It’s really helpful to have some trusty trail snacks that are lightweight but also filling. Some healthy examples include nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, or even a single-serve package of peanut butterBring extras and thank us later. 

Hiking Must-knows 

Drive Time 

Most scenic trails require some amount of drive time. Map out your route and ensure you have enough time for the drive and the hike  you don’t want your adventure to get cut short!  

Hiking Trail Difficulty & Designation 

Be sure to consider the difficulty of the trail and the terrain. Hiking on a steep, rocky trail will take a lot longer than a trail that’s easy and flat. Beyond, make sure to stay on a clearly marked trail that is designated for hikersand not bikers, horses, or vehiclesso you don’t get lost or hurt in the wilderness.   


Weather can vary dramatically depending on where you’re hiking. The alpine will be much colder than something in the trees, for example. And, Colorado and Idaho are known for afternoon summer thunderstorms, so try to get out early to beat them.  Stow a light rain shell, if you have one.  

BONUS: Useful Hiking Apps & Sites 

You can use trail apps and sites to research different trails and get a lot of good insight. 

AllTrailsAllTrails is the most well-known trail app and is regularly maintained with a large database of trails where you can read up on them and access reviews 

PeakVisor PeakVisor is an app that uses your phone’s 3D technology to show hike elevations and the names of peaks that surround you. Pretty cool! 

ProTrails – ProTrails gives you details on hiking trails and helps  plan your trip by giving  the geo-coordinates for even the most hard-to-find trailheads. 

Limelight Hotels is your Base for Adventure 

If you’re ever curious where the best hikes are in Aspen or Snowmass, CO or Ketchum, ID, make sure you swing by and ask our hotel staff or stop for a meal in The Lounge afterwardThe pizza always tastes better after you’ve earned it.  

Visit to learn more. 

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