The Best Hiking Book For Denver

Before I moved to New Mexico, the only stuff that I knew about Colorado was that there was the Denver Airport and the tv show “Dr. Quinn” took place there . That was it. When I moved to New Mexico, this all changed. Because, the only place that we could find lush, green mountains, was in Colorado. We spent every weekend possible driving up there, so we could spend time on the trails. Colorado has some amazing hiking to offer, and a lot of the trails are by Denver. It is kind of shocking because you associate Denver with so many things like it being a fairly big city. But, it is also a paradise for people who love the outdoors.

I had mentioned in a previous post, “7 Tips For Planning A Hike“, that one of the best ways to plan a hike is to check out local guidebooks. The newest guidebook for Denver was just released, “Base Camp Denver“, and it is one of the best guidebooks I have ever seen, if not the best, for any area. When I look at guidebooks, I like them to be easy to read, have great maps and I prefer pictures and some history about the area. Some books are so complicated and it’s hard to figure out how to get the trail but also they are lacking basic information like difficulty level and trail conditions. Not this one! And there is lots of information about kid-friendly trails!**Please note, this post may contain affiliate links at no cost to you, but by clicking on them we can earn a small commission. This book was also sent to me free of charge to review.

Book review of “Base Camp Denver”, written by Pete KJ and published by Imbrifex Books

Synopsis– From the back cover: “Denver is known the world over as 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. With Pete KJ as your expert guide, you can discover the best of them. Explore an alpine meadow, walk to a waterfall, hike through a forest, or stroll through suburban parkland. Enjoy a spectacular day of Spring wildflowers or Fall foliage, and still be home by dinnertime. Scramble to the top of a mountain to enjoy a sunrise and still make it to work by eight. With Denver as your base camp, the splendor of Colorado’s Front Range is yours to enjoy one day or even just a few hours at a time.”

Please note, this post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on those links, I may earn a small commision at no cost to you.

About: Even though Denver is a big city, there are many places to explore nature. Denver has such stunning and beautiful wild areas nearby and in the Rockies. This book provides information on multiple day hikes for the novice and the expert, so that you can get outside more. “Base Camp Denver” also has comprehensive and easy-to-read guides indicating difficulty levels, estimated time frames and tips on what to see, what season is best and if it is a hike suitable for children. Easy to interpret, this is the perfect book to get information about trails in the Denver area and Rocky Mountain National Park.

My Thoughts: I have hiked around Denver, so I am familiar with many of the trails. I found this book to not only be very thorough and informative, but also accurate in the trail descriptions and area. This guide has beautiful full-color pictures on every page, and each trail suggestion has a map particular to that trail. For each trail, there are suggested activities and a great chart indicating the season, difficulty level and more so that you can be prepared. The charts also indicate elevation, elevation change, notes regarding dogs and amenities and more.

One of the things that I have noticed with other guidebooks or even hiking apps, is that they aren’t very detailed when it comes to instructions to the trail and on the trail and can be fairly vague. I appreciated that Pete KJ’s recommendations are very detailed and extremely thorough, especially when it comes to recommendations for families and kids. This is very thoughtful, because I don’t think I have ever seen a guidebook that is so family-friendly. The first section of the book (about 18 pages) after the Table of Contents, gives detailed information about the area, tips and tricks to for hiking near Denver, and how to get the most out of the book as well as a key to understand the charts.

I have read at a lot of guide books and researched on apps, especially when I have been checking out a new trail and this one is by far, the the most informative and comprehensive guide I have seen. I liked how every important piece of information is included so that I can be as prepared as possible before attempting any of these day trips. My favorite features were the little pieces of history and background that are included in each section. Because everyone has different interests, each hiking trail is detailed in what is featured such as landmarks, animals, water and more so you can pick what trail fits your interests. There are also very thorough instructions on how to get to the trail heads from Denver and the distance, which is nice when you are planning a trip.

This book includes information about 101 trails that span multiple National Forests, the Rocky Mountain National Park, and other areas in and around Denver. It opens up the possibilities of exploring outside when in Denver and has so much quality information. It is a book that I would recommend purchasing if you are spending any time in Denver or Rocky Mountain National Park. I would also recommend it to anyone living in or around Colorado or just visiting.

About the Author: Pete KJ initially began his outdoor adventures in Seattle as a child. He has explored the Cascades and the Olympics as a youth and as an adult, he has ventured into the Pyranees, Alps, Himalayas and Andes. The author was also in Africa while he was in the Peace Corps and later through work as a chemical engineer, explored Puerto Rico and India. In the ’90’s, work brought him to Colorado. Pete KJ has also written multiple fiction and non-fiction books such as “The Coins” and “The Year We Roamed: A Father-and-Son Trip Around the World“. You can find him at, and on Facebook.

I hope you take a peek at “Base Camp Denver” . It was fun to browse and I wish there was one like this for my area, especially with the hundreds of trails right at my back door. I have found multiple trails that I would like to explore the next time I am in Colorado. You can purchase this book here. Be sure to let us know what you think of this informative tool for your next Denver adventure. And as always, be outside with no limits. Love, Pauline


  • Meri

    5 years agoReply

    Thanks Pauline!
    Great review and now I want to go purchase this book! While I am not as savvy or knowledgeable when it comes to guide books, my experience has also been that they are rather vague when talking about the actual trails and getting to the trails…I appreciate your views on this!
    Plus, I had no idea you guys came up to Colorado so much when living in New Mexico…makes sense why though.
    Take care,

    • admin

      5 years agoReply

      We did!! It was only an hour away.

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