Grand Lake Altitude Sickness: Complete Guide & 6 Tips To Avoid It

Grand Lake Altitude Sickness

As one of the highest and most beautiful lakes of Colorado, the elevation of Grand Lake causes a struggle for most visitors. In this complete guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Grand Lake altitude and our best tips to avoid Grand Lake altitude sickness.

Grand Lake Altitude

Grand Lake altitude sits at 8,369 feet above sea level. It is considered Colorado's largest natural lake.

  • Grand Lake altitude - 8,369 ft (2,551 m)

Grand Lake, Colorado is a charming mountain town with a recreational lake located in the Rock Mountains of Colorado near the Continental Divide. It offers a variety of outdoor activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and skiing nearby, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

Grand Lake high-altitude destinations nearby:

As one of the highest tourist destinations and recreation area within Colorado, you'll want to be well prepared for these high altitudes on your trip.

What Is The Elevation Of Grand Lake Lodge?

Grand Lake Lodge sits at an altitude of 8,769 feet above sea level. It is a well-known luxury cabin overlooking the lake, in addition that many do weddings and events at.

Is Grand Lake Considered High Altitude?

Yes, Grand Lake Colorado is considered high altitude.

The International Society for Mountain Medicine says that high altitude starts at 4,900 feet. Grand Lake is well beyond that minimum, sitting at 8,369 feet high above sea level.

Should I Worry About Altitude Sickness In Colorado?

Yes, altitude sickness in Colorado can be a real threat to your experience.

Altitude sickness can start as low as 5,000 feet, according to research.⁴ While Denver sits at 5,280 feet, Grand Lake elevation jumps to 8,369 feet, which means your risk of mountain illness is significantly higher.

In addition, places like Leadville Colorado show cases of altitude sickness up to 50%, and Grand Lake is closer in elevation to Leadville than it is Denver.

Grand Lake Altitude Sickness

Grand Lake altitude sickness occurs when your body isn't able to adjust properly to the decreased oxygen levels at higher elevations.

As you climb higher up into the mountains, there is less air pressure and therefore fewer oxygen molecules per breath. This can also cause increased respiration and oxidative stress. Furthermore, Colorado has a very dry climate that can lead to dehydration.

These compounded issues can lead to symptoms within 6-24 hours such as fatigue, trouble breathing, and headaches.

Symptoms of Grand Lake altitude sickness may include: 

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • trouble breathing
  • fatigue or exhaustion
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling ill

Be on the lookout for these kinds of altitude sickness symptoms, and seek medical attention if necessary. It's best to be well prepared before and during your visit so your trip isn't ruined.

6 Ways To Avoid Grand Lake Altitude Sickness

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or an exciting outdoor adventure, Grand Lake is sure to offer an unforgettable experience. But don't let altitude sickness mess up your plans!

As a local Colorado company, we have years of experience with high altitudes. We'll cover our best researched tips to help you avoid Grand Lake altitude sickness.

Here's 6 Ways To Avoid Grand Lake Altitude Sickness:

1. Ascend Slowly

Do not rush up the Rock Mountains if you're flying into Colorado. It is best if you go up slowly and spend at least one night at lower altitude than Grand Lake before moving on.

For example, if you flying into the Denver Airport, give yourself at least a night or two before heading into the mountain to Grand Lake. At 5,280 feet, Denver can give your body the time it needs to acclimate to the lower pressure.

2. Hydrate Properly

Drink plenty of water each day in Colorado and Grand Lake. Higher altitudes cause increased respiration, and its been found that you can lose water twice at these elevations.⁶

Even if you don’t feel thirsty or notice any other signs of dehydration, drink plenty of water as Colorado is also naturally a drier climate. Most experts recommend drinking at least half your body weight in water per day.

TIP: To boost your hydration, add sea salt (electrolytes) to your food, and take Zaca hydration chewables to help enhance water absorption.

3. Take It Easy

Your body needs time to catch its breath after climbing thousands of feet in elevation over the course of just a few hours or days. Take it easy and avoid strenuous exercise or overexerting yourself your first few days.

When you're doing activities in Grand Lake, there will be times when you need to stop and rest — even if this means just sitting down on the side of the trail or taking a few minutes off your feet while enjoying the scenery around you.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is a diuretics that can make dehydration worse at high altitudes because of increased urination. Dehydration causes headaches and fatigue.

Furthermore, science shows alcohol to lower your sleep quality and oxygen saturation. Alcohol will not help you in high elevations, you should limit it until you feel good at your Grand Lake destination.

5. Get Plenty Of Sleep

One of the most important tips is getting plenty of sleep before your ascent and during your trip. Sleep is shown to be vital for recovery, and even can help increase blood flow and oxygen.⁸

Stick to a regular sleeping schedule, get plenty of natural daytime sunlight, and sleep in complete darkness to maximize your circadian rhythm. 7-9 hours of sleep is optimal to help your altitude adjustment period of time.

6. Boost Your Antioxidants

Finally, antioxidants can protect the body from the oxidative stress that comes with high altitude.¹¹ Oxidative stress increases with higher elevations.¹⁰

One study out of India found glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to deplete by 45% from high altitudes.¹² Supplementing antioxidants can help raise your levels and combat free radical damage.

In conclusion, follow these tips to help avoid Grand Lake altitude sickness — including ascending slowly, hydrating properly, taking it easy, avoiding alcohol, getting plenty of sleep, and boosting your antioxidants.

Top Recommended Altitude Supplement

Altitude Adjustment Supplement
Zaca chewables are a delicious, healthful and convenient way to bounce back faster while traveling or in the mountains. Made with natural herbs and amino acids, you can rehydrate, replenish, and recover. The proprietary formula also includes the powerful antioxidant glutathione to help your body's levels. Just take a few chewables each day traveling, and go! Try the Zaca chewable supplement today and reach peak performance.










1. Grand Lake Colorado Elevation,_Colorado
2. Granby Colorado Elevation,_Colorado
3. Winter Park Colorado Elevation,_Colorado
4. High-altitude illness (including mountain sickness)
5. Effects of high altitude on humans
6. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
7. Effects of Alcohol
8. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
9. Grand Lake Altitude & Activites
10. High altitude and oxidative stress
11. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
12. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
13. Effects of high altitude on humans