Rocky Mountain Hiking
A guide to Colorado's famous protected lands
With over 300 miles of hiking trails, it's no wonder that Rocky Mountain National Park saw a record-breaking 4,590,493 visitors in 2018. Colorado's famous protected lands are home to 124 named peaks at 8,789 feet or higher, part of The Continental Divide and an abundance species of mammals, birds, fish and plants.
Erik Stensland, landscape photographer and award-winning author, published Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park | The Essential Guide, featuring over 150 beautiful color photos, 80 custom-made topographical maps and 100 pages of education, orientation and safety information.
The Rocky Mountain Nature Conservancy wanted a hiking guide written with an emphasis on resource protection, visitor safety and education. Stensland was the perfect candidate to produce such a guide as he has hiked every trail in the 415-square-miles of RMNP over the last 15 years for his photography. It helps, too, that Stensland is a seeker of beauty and silence that can be found by being outside.
“I believe that being immersed in a world of fresh air, gurgling streams, lichen-covered rocks, towering trees and wild creatures is a necessity for human flourishing. In the presence of wilderness, we regain our humanity and remember the things that are truly important in life,” he says.
The glossy guide includes detailed information about the history of RMNP, the National Park Service, the Wilderness Act, Leave No Trace principles and specific trail details and maps of 75 of RMNP’s most amazing hikes. Some of the early pages discuss fishing, fires, camping, drones, food, wildlife, safety, weather and hiking with kids and groups. Hikes are categorized into easy, moderate or strenuous. Readers can also search for hikes which feature wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls or summits.