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Take a Hike

3 expert guides to hiking Colorado and beyond



Coloradans are no strangers to hiking with the Rocky Mountains at our fingertips. From hiking our famous Rocky Mountain National Park or trails just outside of Denver, to finding inspiration from some fearless women hikers from around the nation, we hope this roundup of hiking guides gets you outside and connecting with nature again.

HIKING ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

With over 300 miles of hiking trails, it's no wonder that Rocky Mountain National Park saw a record-breaking 4,590,493 visitors in 2018. Colorado's famous protected lands are home to 124 named peaks at 8,789 feet or higher, part of The Continental Divide and an abundance species of mammals, birds, fish and plants. 

Erik Stensland, landscape photographer and award-winning author, published Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park | The Essential Guide (Rocky Trail Press), featuring over 150 beautiful color photos, 80 custom-made topographical maps and 100 pages of education, orientation and safety information. 

The glossy guide includes detailed information about the history of RMNP, the National Park Service, the Wilderness Act, Leave No Trace principles and specific trail details and maps of 75 of RMNP’s most amazing hikes. Some of the early pages discuss fishing, fires, camping, drones, food, wildlife, safety, weather and hiking with kids and groups. Hikes are categorized into easy, moderate or strenuous. Readers can also search for hikes which feature wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls or summits.

BASE CAMP DENVER

Denver is the gateway to Colorado’s magnificent Rocky Mountains. Four national forests, a national grassland, scores of regional and city parks and preserves and Rocky Mountain National Park offer hundreds of hiking and walking trails — all within one to three hours of downtown Denver. 

Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado's Front Range (Imbrifex Books) by expert hiker and international explorer Pete KJ, includes the best hikes for each season, highlighting where to find spring wildflowers and fall foliage. The guide also offers ratings for trail conditions and difficulty, detailed driving directions to trailheads, information about elevation and hiking time, and the history, geology, flora and fauna for each hike. 

Colorado's Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is about 150 miles long by about 50 miles wide with The Continental Divide as its backbone. Denver sits on the center of its base, and if you travel just 40 miles west, you can gain over 8,000 feet. With a plethora of hikes in Fort Collins, Boulder, Loveland, Denver and up to Idaho Springs and Summit County, this guide has everything you'll need to get hiking close to home.

WOMEN WHO HIKE

Heather Balogh Rochfort lives in Denver and is the founder of JustAColoradoGal.com, one of the most widely-read websites for outdoor women in our state. She's also a freelance writer in the outdoor industry and the author of Backpacking 101, a how-to guide for backpacking for beginners.

 

Her new book, Women Who Hike: Walking with America's Most Inspiring Adventurers (Falcon) profiles over twenty of the nation's women hikers. The inspirationbal and aspirational book features stories of each adventurer in her own words, including their favorite hike and the personal challenges, accomplishments and philosphy of each inspiring woman hiker. 


Sarah Herron, Half Dome. Photo by Dylan H. Brown.

Each profile includes a map of the hike, specs, miles and directions, GPS coordinates to the trailhead, stunning photos and the hiker's personal highlights. From California to British Columbia, this book features the stories of inspiring women and the hikes and mountain moments that shaped their lives. 

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