The amount of elevation gain on a trail is often expressed in terms of the number of feet it has. For example, if a trail has 100 feet of elevation gain, it means that there are 100 vertical feet between the beginning and end of that trail.
So how much elevation gain is too much? It depends on your fitness level, but generally speaking, anything over 2,000 feet is considered high altitude and can be dangerous for some people.
For example, if you live at sea level and hike to 10,000 feet in Colorado (which is over 6 miles above sea level), then you’re going to feel like death! Your heart will be beating faster than normal trying to get enough oxygen into your blood stream. You might experience shortness of breath and feel lightheaded or dizzy. If left untreated, this can lead to more serious problems such as hypothermia or even pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).
Last modified: September 4, 2022