I saw my first Colorado calendar while growing up in California. Replete with fantastic images of mountains, rivers, animals, columbines, aspens and the bluest of skies, the calendar made me wonder, “Does such a gorgeous place really exist?”
I discovered it does after moving here 36 years ago. Since then, I’ve hiked a lot of terrain but I’m always eager for new trails. Now I have plenty to try, thanks to Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Rocky Mountain National Park: 184 Spectacular Outings in the Colorado Rockies by Nederland authors Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh. The new second edition features 70-plus trails within an hour of Boulder or Denver, as well as family-, dog- and handicapped-friendly trails; trails with lakes and mountain biking; and trails for winter sports. The book also updates statuses after the 2013 flood, which opened some new trails and rerouted and closed others.
Along with sections on equipment, comfort, safety and etiquette, the book provides overview charts of each trail’s distance, difficulty, elevation gain and other information at a glance.
“Wherever you live in the Front Range, you are always close to a trailhead that offers an escape from the challenges of yard work or crowded highways,” Apt writes. “This is heaven, and you don’t have to wait.”
Amen to that.