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Posted February 1, 2013
Great variety - find a hike for everyone in this book
This is a nifty little book if you're from/going to be in the Denver area and are looking for some hikes close to home (within about a 2 hour radius).
Each hike is introduced with a short paragraph about the hike's character, along with a sidebar with some "technical" information, including the hike's length, configuration, difficulty, scenery, exposure (sunlight), foot traffic, trail surface, hiking time (assuming 2 mph pace), season, access (including cost), maps, and facilities. The author also notes whether the trail is shared with cyclists and equestrians, which is helpful. There is also a map and an elevation profile given for each hike, so the difficulty is made more clear there.
The author gives a more detailed overview of each hike - words of caution along with some interesting historical details and landmarks.
Before owning this book, I've done a good handful of the hikes listed and am about to embark on a new one I didn't know about that was included here this weekend. I find the author is accurate in her description of the hikes.
The only complaint I have is that I don't quite agree with her difficulty rankings. Perhaps that is because I am a more experienced hiker, but I would say that Mt. Bierstadt and definitely Long's Peak (as well as other 14er's, especially coming across the Sawtooth to summit Mt. Evans) should be classified in a different category above just "difficult", since she seems to list less difficult/less dangerous hikes by comparison within this category. I personally would not attempt Long's Peak and Mr. Evans across the Sawtooth without at least a couple other 14er's under your belt first, as these are both Class 3 difficulty hikes (Bierstadt is a Class 2 and requires less climbing experience and a lower comfort level with the exposure levels on the other two trails). The Sawtooth is probably an "easier" class 3, and the Keyhole route to Long's Peak is a more "serious" Class 3 climb.
Other than that, I really appreciated the wide range of hikes included here. I bought this book because I wanted a good variety of hikes to take my less experienced family members hiking and it definitely includes many very good "easy" and "moderate" outings that those not comfortable with climbing or long treks would enjoy.
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