Winter in the mountains is honestly so gorgeous it takes your breath away. ng to Colorado during the winter is definitely important and will make or break your trip, in my opinion. I spent a considerable amount of time Glenwood Springs (check out my top recommended things to do), a gorgeous little Colorado mountain town definitely worthy of a visit, particularly in winter. And I also spent a few days in a very snowy Sequoia National Park. And both of those experiences have kicked off a love of winter mountain travel for me, which I know I’m not alone in since you’re here! So knowing all that, I wanted to help and put together a packing list for your winter mountain vacation.
I’m going to break up this packing list for a winter mountain vacation into categories, so that it’s easier for you to see what’s relevant to you based on your trip. Anyway, here are my categories for my list of what to pack for the mountains in winter:
- Jackets and Coats
- Accessories and Other Random Stuff
Almost all of the items (if not all) on this packing list can be found on Amazon, so take a look at my Winter Vacation list for all of these items.
And finally as a heads up, I may receive commission if you make a purchase from some of the links in this list. However I promise I would never recommend something to you that I didn’t personally love. So these items are all vetted through yours truly.
Packing List for a Winter Vacation in the Mountains
And just to note, I won’t have any recommendations around ski or snowboard gear. I’m a ski virgin and would love to learn but just haven’t yet. Next trip to Colorado maybe?! Anywho, let’s get this winter mountain vacation packing list started.
Jackets and Coats
- Down Jacket
- I’ve gotta bet one of the best winter jackets for Colorado is a down jacket. This Eddie Bauer jacket was a life saver. It’s a down jacket and so light, so easy to pack, but still so warm and honestly perfect for layering. AND it comes in fun colors?!
- This jacket was perfect for exploring and hiking around. It kept me warm but never too hot. This (or a similar version, I also have this one and love it) is a must have, in my opinion.
- Layer this with your shirt and a zip up and you’re set for pretty much anything.
- Cute Parka
- I like to have options, so I wanted to have a super warm jacket that was a little bit “fancier” if that makes sense. So this faux-fur lined jacket was honestly perfect. It kept me warm wandering around the downtown of Glenwood Springs and was super cute to boot.
- Rain Coat
- This might seem weird since you have your down jacket and parka, but a rain coat was so helpful. I would wear it over the down jacket when it was dumping wet snow and it kept me warm and dry.
- Lined Hiking Pants
- These lined pants are amazing. They might technically be ski pants, I don’t really know. But, I was worried I would get too warm wearing them and I never did. I was always the perfect temperature and would recommend these to any and everyone. If I had to pick an item (that wasn’t a coat) to be the most impressed by on this packing list for a winter mountain vacation, it’s this one.
- Fleece-lined Leggings
- In the same vein as the hiking pants, these fleece-lined leggings were truly so good. I wore these a lot just for walking around outside, taking the puppy out to potty, keeping warm at dinner, that kind of thing.
- Snow Boots
- You’ve got to expect some snow boots on your Colorado mountains winter packing list. I personally love these ones from Sorel; they’re so light, warm and even waterproof!
- I would recommend ordering a half size up though, especially since you’ll likely be wearing heavy socks with them.
- Hiking Boots
- If you’re hiking, you’ll still want to have better grip than those other snow boots. So as always recommend my Timberlands. These are my ride or dies and work for any outdoor terrain that I’ve tested them on so far.
- Trekking Socks
- Again, recommend these bad boys from Smartwool. I’m obsessed and wear them on almost every trip.
Accessories and Other Random Stuff
- Warm Hats
- Solar Powered Lantern
- Since it’s winter and the days are shorter you might find yourself on a hike that maybe took too long or some other similar scenario. This LuminAID solar inflatable lantern is a godsend. It charges either manually or via solar technology, you can charge your devices from it, and it packs down so easily. Highly recommend.
- For the same reason as the lantern, headlamps are always good to have on-hand.
- Base Layers
- You will of course need your base layers. I basically lived in this long sleeve layer when I was in Glenwood Springs, and wish it came in every color of the rainbow because I love it so much. It’s that perfect fabric that still feels cotton-y in nature but isn’t cotton, is light and soft and slightly moisture wicking but not dri-fit. It’s impossible to do it justice but it’s perfect.
- Rechargeable Hand Warmer
- Now, I haven’t personally used this rechargeable hand warmer but my friend has it and is obsessed. If you’re not a fan of single-use anything, this is a great alternative to the typical hand warmers out there, as it is rechargeable.
- Does this sound insane? Maybe. But if you’re going anywhere that has natural hot springs, you’ll definitely want a swimsuit! I’ve got a few I love in my Beach List on my Amazon Storefront if you’re looking for a new, cute one.
- Hiking Poles
- If you’re a hiker, hiking poles are a must during winter so that you have an extra layer of protection against slipping on ice and cracking open your whole ass. These ones are great because they fold down and are easy to pack/carry.
- Sun Protection
- With the reflection off the snow and the increased altitude, you’ll definitely want to bring sun protection in the form of your favorite sunscreen and your favorite sunglasses. These shades are some of my favorites; a classic aviator with a slight modern twist.
- Ski and Snowboard Equipment
- Now, as much as I’d love to be, I am not a skier or snowboarder. Maybe eventually! But assuming you’re going to the mountains and going to try to slide down some fresh powder, make sure to bring all the necessary equipment there.
So there you have it, a winter packing list for the mountains. Your winter mountain vacation is going to be so enjoyable because you’re not going to have to go to the store and pick up necessary items since you’ll already have them with you! I hope you feel confident knowing what to pack for your mountain vacation now, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, reach out! And feel free to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for more travel guides, tips, stories, and more!