Sunrise Hike: Why You Should Try It (and Planning Tips)
Hiking is the perfect activity to connect with nature while also challenging your own stamina to reach the top. As an Alpine Hotel, we have many hiking enthusiasts that make their way out to journey through the evergreen forests and some of which may also decide to do a sunrise hike. During the day, hiking is a great activity to get yourself out there and get close to the Alpine landscape. However, with a sunrise hike, though you might have to give yourself that extra push to get up, it is an incredibly unique experience. It all starts dark, but soon the light of the sun bursts through the horizon – bathing the surrounding area with a golden glow. It is a highly rejuvenating and extraordinary experience that you should try at least once; here are a few tips on how to plan your sunrise hike.
“ENHANCED SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT”
Yes, hiking during the day does give you that fantastic feeling of achievement. As you can imagine, hiking requires perseverance, stamina and strength to reach the very top of the mountain; and completing that goal is the ultimate triumph. But trekking in the dark, gloomy skies can boost that sense of adventure and challenge as you tramp through the fallen leaves and twigs – then once you reach the peak, the sunshine beautifully fills the unlit sky; allowing you to see the forests of evergreens and the mountain range that spans miles across. It is an extremely remarkable sight to see and is worth the extra challenge of fighting your inner night owl and journeying through the dark. Therefore, if you do try sunrise hiking, you will have that enhanced sense of accomplishment. For some Top Hiking Spots in the Italian Alps, click on the link!
PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
It is important to remember that you will be hiking in ‘pre-dawn darkness’, limiting your eyesight and the ability to sense any potential hazard. So we recommend you are fully prepared for the weather, navigation and most particularly, the darkness. Like we have mentioned in our Hiking Gear Guide, sunrise hiking is not an exception to bringing the essentials like a compass, map, sufficient hiking boots, bottles of water, etc. You must bring these essential items to ensure that you do get to the peak surely and safely. On top of these items, we do suggest you bring additional gear like headlights (with extra batteries) to allow you to navigate through the dark – minimising any potential hazards or incidents. Furthermore, before you leave for your hike, do tell someone where and when you are going to hike – whether it’s a friend, family member or even the hotel reception.
WAKE UP EARLY
Not everyone is a morning person, but if you do intend to perform a sunrise hike, you must wake up before the sun emerges out of the horizon. The decision of when you will get up will depend on your own personal preference and where your destination will be. Some individuals choose to start hiking an hour before sunrise, and some even start trekking at nightfall to reach the peak. Rationally, reaching the summit of a mountain will take a relatively longer duration of time, so for those who want to reach the peak and it is quite a tall mountain – so is better for you to start hiking during nightfall and make your way to the break of dawn. Or if you are just not a morning person, you may decide to leave during the evening.
When hiking in the dark, make sure that you have taken the extra measures to stay safe. For instance, you should try to bring a companion with you while hiking – whether it be some friends or going on a tour group with a leader that knows the way. Further advice would be to check the weather forecast. If there is a chance of rain, you should either schedule the hike for another day or bring a raincoat; alternatively if it is sunny, you should bring some sunscreen to prevent sunburn. We wrote an article on ‘How to Stay Safe While Hiking in the Alps’, give it a read for extra Safety Tips. Furthermore, another crucial tip is to double check that you know the route you will be taking, you don’t want to get lost in the forest while its dark, here are Tips on How to Plan a Hiking Trip in the Alps, with some websites that are great for planning your route.
We hope that you found this a helpful article for when you decide to go on your next ‘sunrise hike’! We, at Albergo Miramonti, are located just beside the Italian Alps, if you do choose to book a stay, you will be treated with our luxurious Hotel Spa and delicious Italian Cuisine at our Italian Restaurant.
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