Rocky Mountain National Park Backpacking Packing List

Rocky Mountain National Park has 250 wilderness campsites spread across a terrain of towering peaks, alpine lakes and beautiful meadows. Its backcountry is a backpacker’s heaven and offers more than 355 miles of trails to choose from. Here’s a checklist to help you plan your trip into the backcountry.

The following list is designed for a non-guided backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. (For information about visiting the park, see our guide.) The list includes some environment-specific options for the park’s backcountry. If you’re going with a commercial group, check with the guide company to see what items they provide. REI also offers guided trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, perfect for those who want a true adventure but don’t want to worry about the details!

REI Adventures in the Rocky Mountain National Park

Included in this list are the Ten Essential Systems you should have on every backcountry trip: navigation; sun protection; insulation; illumination; first-aid supplies; fire starter; repair kit and tools; nutrition; hydration; emergency shelter. To learn more, see our Ten Essentials article.


Clothing and Footwear

Because the base elevation in Rocky is above 7,000 ft., all backpacking trips will take you into the high country where the average temperature at night drops into in the 40s. It’s not uncommon to encounter snowfall at higher elevations. If you’re camping in the backcountry, be sure to bring insulated clothing.

You also need to be prepared for rainy weather in all parts of the park because the weather patterns are highly variable. When you head into the backcountry, rain gear is a must.

Personal Items 


Quantity varies depending on activity and length of trip.

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