All Locations

Colorado Front Range Chapter

Location

Denver, CO 80219

Contact Kris Ashton, Chris Petty and Gene McCullough | Email

The Colorado Front Range chapter of American Pilgrims covers the area between Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs, Colorado centered on Denver and Boulder.


The purpose of local chapters is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon. We plan to accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

  • To offer opportunities for local pilgrims to gather and hold events related to the Camino.
  • To mentor future pilgrims, promote the pilgrimage and American Pilgrims through social gatherings.
  • To serve as a local host for hospitalero training in the Colorado Front Range region.

The chapter will be scheduling walks, talks, potlucks and much more!

These may be listed here but you may also want to check the Events calendar for events that may be of interest.

Contact chapter coordinators Kris Ashton, Chris Petty and Gene McCullough at ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for more information.

We invite you to sign up for our chapter's email list!


Announcements

  • Our chapter now has its very own sello! If you've already requested and received your credential, we can make an arrangement for you to receive your first stamp before you leave home. Just email us. We will try to have the sello at all chapter events as well. (This sello doesn't actually do anything for you other than indicate that you're on your way!)
  • Don't have your credential yet? You can request a credential from American Pilgrims on the Camino! Credentials are free, but donations are always appreciated.
  • Looking for a day hike in the Front Range area? We'd suggest checking out the website Day Hikes near Denver! If you live between Larkspur and Longmont there will be something to your liking close by.
  • Several times a year American Pilgrims provides the required training to serve as an hospitalero in albergues on the Camino. There will be a session near Colorado Springs, Colorado Friday September 13th to Sunday the 15th. If that's something you've been thinking about, this is a golden opportunity to obtain the training without incurring an expense airline ticket! See the Hospitaleros page for requirements and further information!
  • There are a thousand and one packing lists out there but this packing list is our take on the topic.

Events

Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO
6-Mile, Figure-8 hike
Saturday, 18 May 2019, depart 9:00 AM

This outing will provide a nice hike in Castlewood Canyon State Park southeast of Denver but also a walk through a century-old bit of Front Range history. In 1890, farmers built a dam across Cherry Creek for irrigation purposes. On August 3, 1933 the dam broke, sending a catastrophic wall of water into downtown Denver. The disaster did leave behind the beautiful Castlewood Canyon.

Take I-25 to exit 184, Meadows Parkway/Founders Parkway and turn east onto Founders (CO-86). Follow CO-86 approximately 8 ½ miles to Castlewood Canyon Rd. Turn right/south and continue approximately 3 miles to the park’s west entrance. 673 Castlewood Canyon Road, Castle Rock should get you there. (If you find yourself in Franktown, you missed that turn.) The entrance fee is $7/car. (Did you know that the Denver Public Library has State Park passes that can be checked out?!) We will convene inside the west entrance in the large parking lot near restroom facilities.

Our 6-mile hike will consist of two loops walked in a figure-8 pattern. We’ll start by accessing the Creek Bottom Trail from the parking area and following that past pools and a waterfall to the dam. After checking out the dam ruins we’ll cross Cherry Creek and head up the Inner Canyon Trail to a parking area with facilities.After a short rest, we’ll head back down the Lake Gulch Trail that drops down to the shore of what was formerly the lake behind the dam. We’ll cross back over the creek and head up the Rimrock Trail which we’ll follow until it drops back down into the canyon. From here we’ll regain the Creek Bottom Trail to the access point that will take us back to the cars.

The walk is entirely on trails in good condition, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the amazing scenery of the canyon. There is the option for a 4-mile hike for those short on time or energy.

Be sure you have plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen, as there is little shade on these trails and no available drinking water!

If you have definite plans to walk or cycle on the Camino for the first time later in 2019 and would like to receive a scallop shell and a blessing, just email us and let us know.

More information you can download: park brochure or expanded Castlewood Info.

This is a rain or shine event — within reason — mud can be a problem! (If we decide to cancel there’ll be an email the day before.) Although not necessary, you may let us know that you’ll be coming through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org. Event day contact will be Kris at 720-733-6750.

Denver, CO
Third Sunday "tertulia" at The Goods
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 3:00 - 4:30ish

"Tertulia?" “Un grupo informal de personas que se reúnen habitualmente para conversar o recrearse.” “An informal meeting of people who gather regularly to talk about current affairs, arts, etc.” Well, we all know what “etc.” means!

Past and future pilgrims are invited to convene for conversation, a small plate or two and a beverage. This will be a great chance for not-yet-veterans to talk with experienced pilgrims and for the experienced pilgrims to get some great ideas for their next walk. Or simply to talk about whatever comes up! The Goods Happy Hour menu will be available.

Mark Whistler, one of the owners of The Goods and a Camino veteran himself, is our host.

The Goods Restaurant
(Immediately east of and in the same building as the Tattered Cover on Colfax)
2550 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO. 80206
Parking is available in the parking structure immediately west of the Tattered Cover or on the street.
Download the tertulia flyer

We hope to have a bunch of people at these informal third-Sunday events. Event day contact will be Chris at 563-505-6105‬ or Kris at 720-733-6750. We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

Boulder, CO
Big Bluestem Trail south of Boulder
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 9:00 AM

This hike is the full 6-mile version of the abbreviated Big Bluestem Loop south of Boulder that we did last November for #optoutside. This full loop might be rated “moderate” given the ~1,000 ft elevation gain and loss. The trail is a mix of packed gravel/dirt and is quite rocky in places. The views of the Flatirons to the north and other rock formations on the east side of Green Mountain will be spectacular.

The trailhead is the parking lot at the intersection of Thomas Lane and CO-93 south of Boulder. From the intersection of Table Mesa Drive and Broadway (CO-93) drive south 2.0 miles to Thomas Lane and the South Boulder Creek West Trailhead on the right/west. The Denver-Boulder Turnpike to McCaslin Blvd to Marshall Road will get you close. Parking in the trailhead lot is free for Boulder County-registered vehicles, $5 (cash) for all others. We'll get started with introductions at 9:00 AM and then head out!

You can download a PDF of the loop HERE.

Be sure to bring the usual: water, first-aid kit, some calories, a hat and sunscreen. Hiking poles would be good if you use them. 

We’re going to suggest unwinding afterward at the Southern Sun Pub & Brewery (627 South Broadway) 2 miles north of the trailhead.
 
If you have definite plans to walk or cycle on the Camino for the first time later in 2019 and would like to receive a scallop shell and a blessing, just let us know through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org.

This is a rain or shine event — within reason! (If we decide to cancel there’ll be an e–mail the day before.) Although not necessary, you may let us know that you’ll be coming through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org. Day of event contact will be Gene at 303-999-5179.

We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

What you need to know:
What: Big Bluestem loop. 6-mile hike south of Boulder near Eldorado Springs Drive, 940 ft elevation gain and loss.
When: Saturday, June 22, 9:00 AM
Where: South Boulder Creek West Trailhead at Thomas Lane and S Foothills Hwy (CO-93)
Cost: Cars that do not have Boulder County tags will need to pay a $5 (cash) parking fee.


Denver, CO
Sunday tertulia at The Goods
Fourth Sunday in June due to Father's Day
Sunday, June 23, 2019, 3:00 - 4:30ish

"Tertulia?" “Un grupo informal de personas que se reúnen habitualmente para conversar o recrearse.” “An informal meeting of people who gather regularly to talk about current affairs, arts, etc.” Well, we all know what “etc.” means!

Past and future pilgrims are invited to convene for conversation, a small plate or two and a beverage. This will be a great chance for not-yet-veterans to talk with experienced pilgrims and for the experienced pilgrims to get some great ideas for their next walk. Or simply to talk about whatever comes up! The Goods Happy Hour menu will be available.

Mark Whistler, one of the owners of The Goods and a Camino veteran himself, is our host.

The Goods Restaurant
(Immediately east of and in the same building as the Tattered Cover on Colfax)
2550 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO. 80206
Parking is available in the parking structure immediately west of the Tattered Cover or on the street.
Download the tertulia flyer

We hope to have a bunch of people at these informal third-Sunday events. Event day contact will be Gene at 303-999-5179. We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!


Denver, CO
Film: "Strangers on the Earth"
Friday, June 28th, 2019, 7:00 PM

There are a *lot* of good or even great films about the Camino. "Strangers on the Earth" is arguably among the best.

The Camino attracts wayfarers of all stripes to walk its ancient paths in search of meaning. One such pilgrim was Dane Johansen, an American cellist who in 2014 ventured to walk the Camino with his instrument on his back, performing music for his fellow pilgrims along the way. As Dane discovers, the paths we travel through life are often uncomfortably magnified by the reality of life on the Camino. Accompanied by the landscapes of Northern Spain, the haunting music of J.S. Bach for solo cello (performed by Johansen), and the very personal struggles and joys of the many pilgrims encountered along the way, "Strangers on the Earth" examines the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the concept of 'journey' and the vital role it can play as part of the human experience.

Watch the trailer.

The venue is the Eisenhower Chapel, Lowry Town Center. 293 Roslyn St, Denver, CO 80230. The film runs 96 minutes and we'll have a discussion afterward. Day of event contact will be Gene at 303-999-5179. 

We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

What you need to know:
What: Screening of "Strangers on the Earth".
When: Friday, June 28, 7:00 PM
Where: Eisenhower Chapel, Lowry Town Center. 293 Roslyn St, Denver, CO 80230.
Cost: We'll have a donativo box out to defray the cost of renting the facility.


Denver, CO
Park Hill (Denver) Fourth of July Parade
Thursday, July 4th, 2019, gather 12:30 PM

Looking for a fun 4th of July activity? Let's promote the Front Range Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino. Come and join us as we walk in the Park Hill 4th of July Parade! We’ll walk in the parade starting at Dexter and 23rd Avenue down to Krameria where there will be activities and food for everyone in the family. We’ll carry our yellow arrows and wave to the parade watchers and wear our “very best Camino garb”. Feel free to bring your backpack and any candy treats you want to throw to the parade watchers. And you’ll want to bring water to quench you thirst on a hot day! The parade starts at 1:30 on July 4th, but we will gather with the other Parade participants at 12:30 at Dexter and 23rd Avenue. The more the merrier!!!!! More details will follow as we get closer to the 4th.

The route is 9/10s of a mile and *no* elevation gain or loss! No navigation skills required! (But we'll be carrying our own yellow arrows just in case.) You're up for it!

We'd like a "soft" RSVP from those who think they'll be there so we'll have a rough idea of the number. We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

What you need to know:
What: Park Hill (Denver) Fourth of July parade
When: Thursday, July 4th, gather 12:30 PM
Where: Dexter and 23rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80230.
RSVP: We'd like a "soft" RSVP from those who think they'll be there so we'll have a rough idea of the number.


Summit County, CO
Two-night trip to Uncle Bud's Hut above Turquoise Lake in Summit County
Friday and Saturday nights, September 20 and 21, 2019

The hut has filled! We're expecting this to be an extraordinary outing and if it proves out, we'll likely be repeating it in the future. If you'd like to be waitlisted in case someone has to cancel, contact us.

For some time the Chapter has been thinking about organizing an overnight trip and we've decided that it's time to act! The proposal is two nights at Uncle Bud's Hut, one of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association facilities, at 11,400 ft elevation above Turquoise Lake west of Leadville.

Uncle Bud's is typical of the 10th Mountain huts. Follow this link to a full description of the facility, setting and access. Click on the "More Info, Summer Routes & Trailheads and Videos" links for details. Other must-watch information: How to Plan a Hut Trip and General Hut Amenities. In addition you can also download a topo map of the area. You will notice that the website mentions that the hut can be reached either by a 4-mile (1,300+ ft elev gain) hike on the Colorado Trail or by driving on a 4WD Forest Service road to within 1/4 mile of the hut on backcountry Forest Service roads. At the moment we don't know the nature of these USFS roads. We intend to scout out both of these routes during the summer.

10th Mountain Division Hut Association policy prohibits bringing dogs to the huts and American Pilgrims liability insurance prohibits dogs from attending chapter events.

It should be noted that this is not exactly a Camino-like experience in that everything needed for the visit in the way of food, sleeping bag and pad will be carried in on your back. That will not be a Camino-weight load! We will help organize carpooling and meals later. We might do communal meals (in which case $ to cover costs) or break up into smaller groups who would arrange their own menus. We may arrange a pre-trip organization meeting. All TBD.

Reservations and organization: The cost of the hut is $33 pp per night plus (rounded) $5 tax, so $71 pp total. Immediately we'll want an email from you committing to the event followed within a few days by a check. The particulars for the check will be supplied upon receiving your intention email. We will not offer a cancellation refund - if that becomes necessary we will help you find a replacement but it will ultimately be your responsibility.

Again, the hut has filled! If you'd like to be waitlisted in case someone has to cancel, contact us.

Your email of intention or questions should be directed to the Chapter through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org.


Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?

Consider joining the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook group for great dialogue, Q&A, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

Mentor Program

The Colorado Front Range Chapter Camino Mentor Program can pair individuals who have questions about their upcoming Camino with a nearby veteran who can answer questions. Contact ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for details.

Experienced Camino walkers and cyclists who would like to serve as mentors should contact us so that you can be added to our resource list. Potential mentors should provide us with your name, zip code and a brief rundown of your experience including walking or cycling, which route and when.


We invite you to sign up for the chapter's email list, click. Please email us for information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims.


Rev 05/09/19