Another gem awaits you in the Base Camp series of hiking guides. This time your base camp is Denver, the mile-high city, with stunning mountains stretching thousands of feet higher – a perfect place from which to plan a series of hikes in any direction.
The Base Camp series is always organized in a similar fashion, adapted to meet the specific needs of the area and the author’s explanations. This book covers so many hikes (101) that it is broken into sections, each with its own map of the area, then individual maps of each hike. The “At a Glance” section is particularly well done and includes information on difficulty, trail conditions, suitability of children’s enjoyment, scenery, photo opportunities and solitude – which I found interesting, as I’m such a social hiker that this wouldn’t have occurred to me. In addition, he includes which jurisdiction the hike is in, the distance and hiking time, the trailhead elevation and gain, significant features, the best season for hiking, other users who may share the trail, and any notes the hiker should consider before venturing out.
There is an excellent section on “Before You Hit the Trail” that could be used for hiking most anywhere, although the Rocky Mountain Front Range presents extra challenges and cautions. If you’ve ever been to Denver, you know the weather can change in an instant – a particularly hazardous event if you are hiking. Because of the extremes of weather in the area, the author takes extra care in suggesting the best time to hike each trail – and an explanation of why he makes the recommendations. He also gives a very good explanation on equipment, navigation, personal safety, and again, weather variables. I found the section on wildlife safety to be sound advice. This isn’t Disneyland.
One of the best features of this series of books is the quality of the pages and cover. You want a hiking book to be rugged and durable, and this book more than meets that expectation. If you aren’t one to carry a full hiking book with you each time, I like the idea of just taking pictures of the pages you need – and leave this gorgeous book intact.
Pete is an excellent, easy to read writer – he takes you right into his love of hiking and treats the reader to wonderful antidotes, historical tidbits, and explanations of each hike. The section introductions could form a nice Sunday afternoon read all by themselves and save the hiking for another day. The pictures alone are worth spending some time “armchair” hiking. There are stunning photographs of each hike, shot with suburb quality. Pete always seemed to encourage the reader to try something new and made even the more difficult hikes seems accessible.
The book closes with a good index and a very useful section on choosing your hike. The hikes are reshuffled out of their geographic organization and into a chart by type of hike. Whether you are looking for waterfalls, places to take the kids, fall foliage, stargazing, or hikes for limited mobility, this compendium has you covered. The biggest problem will be which hike to attack first. Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado’s Front Range by Pete KJ will be in bookstores and online everywhere on April 1st. It is available as a reinforced paperback and as an e-book. Pete will traveling all around the Front Range in April, May and June. Click here to see his list of appearances. He would love to meet you in person!
Carol White is an author, publisher, speaker, and book marketing coach. In addition to co-authoring the bestselling, award-winning book, Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a Year for the Cost of Staying Home, Carol has also been a guest speaker at national conventions, written for many magazines and blogs. She is now mostly retired and enjoying travel, golf, community activities and family from their homes in Bend, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona. More information here.