If you're new to the area, you may want to know what our weather is like in the mountains year round. While it does vary quite a bit a different times of the year, it stays pretty consistent so it makes planning fairly easy. However, one has to expect the unexpected as the weather can change drastically in an hour. We've seen snow fall somewhere in Park County every month of the year! May not stick but, if you're hiking at 12,000 feet or higher, it can be awfully cold with temps dropping about 4 degrees every 1000 feet up. Covering up in layers is always recommended with the outer layer being waterproof. And, especially during the late spring, summer, and early fall months (rarely occurring even winter months), severe thunderstorms could roll in without notice. You don't want to be at 14,000 feet with no cover trying to outrun lightning bolts! Timing is everything while hiking our 14'ers so plan accordingly. Early starts are best as thunderstorms tend to come in later in the afternoon.
Our summer months are absolutely wonderful! Temperatures generally stay in the low to mid 70's for a high although we have seen them in low 80's on very rare occasions. Great weather for fly-fishing, boating, rafting, hiking, and ATVing. Night temps average in the 40's. No need for air conditioners here! Our average rainfall is 16.2 inches.
We're definitely known for our snow in the mountains, of course, with our average snowfall of 113.6 inches. Makes for outstanding snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing not to mention awesome ice fishing! However, high winds can blow the snow causing blizzard conditions with visibility down to zero feet at times so always be prepared with emergency rations, clothing, and blankets just in case you have to tough it out. Average low winter temps are around 9 degrees but can get well below zero at times. Average winter high is 28 degrees.
We average over 300 days of sunshine in South Park so taking advantage of passive solar energy is naturally one of our first priorities. Everyone wants to save money on heating! Even just building with the direction of the windows in mind to allow the sun in can make a world of difference. And, with that much sun, we sure enjoy the Park but please don't forget the sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats. You'll need it!