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Classic Colorado Hikes, a conversation with author Dr. Jon Kedrowski

Colorado author and mountaineer Dr. Jon Kedrowski has written a new guidebook for those wanting to explore the mountains of our beautiful state. Jon was kind enough to answer some of my questions about his informative book.

Q: Your hiking guide is not only user friendly but filled with your knowledge and real-world hiking experience. When did you fall in love with the high country? And what draws you to continue exploring the mountains?

A: I grew up in Vail, so at a very young age I was out hiking and climbing in the mountains. I hiked my first 14er when I was eight years old and finished all the 14ers at age 18. But it never gets old. Every day the sunrise colors greet you and the landscape in Colorado is stunning. It keeps you coming back!

Q: This guide takes into account lesser known hiking trails that your reader may not be aware of. There is still so much to explore in Colorado—is there a certain mountain range that is less explored than all the rest? 

A:.The Gore Range and some of the areas in northern Colorado. Never Summer Mountains and the Rahwah Wilderness are amazing places with no 14,000’ peaks and you can go to some of those places in this guide and have complete solitude.

Q: In “The Basics: Tips for the Trail” segment of your guide, you explain the importance of preparedness for the trail. What do you think is the most important factor to consider when planning a hike?

A: Weather is always the most important thing. In the book and in my presentations I can’t emphasize it enough. Start early and get below the tree line before noon. People tend to sleep in during summer monsoon season and might not start hiking until 8 a.m. On a bigger day or a high peak that's a big mistake.

Q: The mountains are awe inspiring, wild places that demand respect. What was one of the most challenging experiences you’ve had during a hike or climb?

A: During my Sleeping on the Summits Project in 2012, where I became the first person to sleep on all 58 of the Colorado 14er summits, I was nearly struck by lightning on Mount Harvard. It put a hole in my tent and melted the poles together. I still had the courage to return to the summit after the storm and witness an amazing sunrise.

On another trip on Little Bear Peak, I got down from my climb and a bear had broken into my truck. That was a bit of trouble! Broken window too!

Q: You have been on so many adventures and have appeared in a number of documentaries—is there still a mountain you haven’t yet climbed that calls to you? Or have you already climbed it? 

A: Mount Vinson in Antarctica is my last of the 7 continental summits that I would love to climb and ski down someday. Any sponsors out there that can help me fund it? :)

Thank you, Jon, for writing such an informative and beautiful guidebook. The photographs are gorgeous, by the way. I know our customers will be excited to get their hands on it and participate in the summer hiking season!

To learn more about Jon’s book and to meet the author, please register for our free upcoming program: Meet Author Dr. Jon Kedrowski, Friday, August 5, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Sam Gary Branch of the Denver Public Library. You can also put a hold on Classic Colorado Hikes: Lakes, Loops & High-Ridge Traverses here.

By Gina Wencel, Librarian


Written by kburney on July 28, 2022