Hiking With Dog

#TrailTip Tuesday: High Altitude Hiking


When you hike in the high altitude (5,000 to 11,500 feet (1,524 to 3,505.2 m) above sea level), your body has to work harder. At higher altitudes, the air is thinner. There is less available oxygen and it becomes more difficult to breathe.

However, the level of sensitivity to the high altitude is different from individual to individual so you might find it difficult to breathe sooner than your friend who is hiking with you, for example. I personally did not feel the high altitude until I reached 8,000 feet. That was Mt Waterman hike back in 2016. Now it doesn’t bother me as I became acclimated to the altitude. Also, it can be different for you on different days depending on your physical condition.

Dogs seem to handle the high altitude better than humans generally but they do get tired sooner than if you were hiking in the lower altitude. Here is Xena power napping at a peak. It’s important to listen to your body.


Happy Hiking!

9 comments on “#TrailTip Tuesday: High Altitude Hiking”

  1. I enjoy higher altitudes, but am not acclimated now -haven’t hiked over 10,000′ in a couple of years. I hope to get out west in a few months and get up over 13,000′ but I’ll spend a week in Wyoming on, the way out, hiking and camping at 9-12,000,’ getting acclimated. Hi to Xena!

      1. Whenever I’m out w/ a tent, I’ll post pictures -maybe even a good dayhike. I just spent several days in Orange Co. w/o a tent, alas no pictures. Well, maybe I’ll make an exception, and post a few for you! 😉

  2. Gretel and I were in Aspen last week, my first time at altitudes that high. Aspen at 8,000 ft did’t bother me much but I definitely felt it over 10,000. There were two hikes were we got over 12,000 and that was really hard for me. Found that I had to think really hard about things and I was slower. Gretel (miniature schnauzer) on the other hand did seem to be affected. The sun between 8 and 10 thousand ft did get to her though, above that the air was still cool enough.

    1. 12,000 ft is considered “higher altitude” so I can imagine! I haven’t climb that high yet. I definitely feel it over 10,000 ft. I have to take a lot more breaks to catch up on my breathing and give my legs a break because they get tired pretty quickly at that altitude. Xena hikes in front of me on high altitude hikes whereas normally she hikes behind me. I guess I move too slow for her. Ha. The heat is her enemy too. Keep on exploring!

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