Base Camp Denver

Now available!

Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado’s Front Range

by Pete KJ

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. Base Camp Denver offers you 101 of the best of these great hiking destinations to choose from. Take a day to explore an alpine meadow, walk to a waterfall, hike through a forest, or stroll suburban parklands. 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 Pete KJ as your guide and 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.

The author has hiked each of the 101 featured routes within the last two years. He describes each in detail and provides both historical context and descriptive narrative about the geology, flora, and fauna you’re likely to encounter. Because the eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies experiences all four seasons, the author provides guidance as to what hikes are best for each time of year. You’ll learn where and when to find wildflowers or enjoy a fall foliage display. Star ratings from 1 to 5 indicate trail condition and difficulty, making it easy to determine which hikes are best for inexperienced, physically challenged, and young hikers.

Each hike’s description includes detailed driving directions to the trailhead, elevation, approximate hiking time, and information about parking and restrooms. Each chapter has a regional map showing all the trailheads in the area, and each hike has its own route map. In addition to all the basics, you’ll discover much more, like the best places to hike with your dog and not-to-be-missed hikes for kids. You’ll know in advance whether you’ll have a trail to yourself or share it with bikes and horses.

To help hikers choose the perfect ramble, an easy-reference guide lists the top five hikes in a variety of categories. From birdwatching, stargazing, wildflowers, and wetlands to kid-and-teen favorites, most strenuous, and most remote, there are hikes to suit every interest and ability. Base Camp Denver shows hikers where and when to go–and also how to prepare–to enjoy the best trails this unparalleled region has to offer.

Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado’s Front Range was released by Imbrifex Books in April, 2019. A party to celebrate its publication was held at the Boulder Book Store at 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado on April 4, 2019. Click here for some photos of this event!

Meet Pete KJ on his book tour in April, May and June in Colorado’s Front Range!


About the Author

Pete KJ
Photo by Brooke Warren

Pete KJ began explorations at age three in the wooded ravine that was his backyard in Seattle. He also began a lifelong writing habit. Backyard expanded as Pete stomped all over the Cascades and Olympics as a youth, and headed onward to the Pyrenees, Alps, Himalayas, and Andes. Peace Corps service in Africa cemented his deep desire to always be out in the world, and when he finally sat in a cubicle as a chemical engineer, it was in places like Puerto Rico and India. Long absent from the cubicle, he moved on to raise kids, travel the world with them, and write about it—and also write novels. Career originally brought Pete to Colorado in the 1990s; its gravity and beauty drew him back and continue to captivate him. In his continuing quest to experience everything this remarkable region has to offer, Pete has hiked more than 200 trails in the front range and beyond.


Praise for Pete’s Book!

“With Base Camp Denver you get the best of two worlds: the city’s vibrant nightlife combined with trails through some of the Front Range’s most magnificent scenery within a three-hour drive.”Discover Life Magazine (07/17/19)

“The author, Pete KJ, breaks down each hike, giving you details on every trail, including its difficulty, how kid-friendly it is and — crucial for this time of year — which season the trail is best for.”—Jeff Clark, (04/05/19)

“Each hike features full color images, all of the topographic information that you need. Making it incredibly easy to pick out a hike for any occasion.”—Molly Callister, (04/08/19)

“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.”—Pauline, (04/30/19)

“The very first section of the book includes very helpful information, especially for someone who isn’t completely accustomed to hiking. KJ talks about how he rated each hike in detail, clothing and equipment, maps and navigation, personal safety (hydration, thunderstorms, altitude, sun, heat, and cold), general safety, wildlife safety, and hiking with kids. After reading this book, I felt so much more prepared for any type of hiking!”—Andy, (05/01/19)

“Base Camp Denver is a priceless resource for anyone looking to hit Colorado’s trails.”—Mitch Kline, (03/31/19)

“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.”—Carol White,

“Each hike description includes a number of inspirational good quality photos. There is just enough colorful detail or historical background to add an extra dimension to each hike. There is also a handy directory at the end of the book that will point the reader to different categories of hikes, (kid-friendly, rigorous, and so on), to help in selecting hikes. An excellent guide for a newbie and a valuable reference for a local looking for something new and perhaps a bit out of the way.”—Joel Smith,