Colorado Front Range (Denver-Boulder) Chapter

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 will be listed here but you may also want to check the Local and Regional Events page for non-chapter events that may be of interest. Contact chapter coordinators Kris Ashton, Chris Petty and Gene McCullough at [email protected] for more information. If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE.


• If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE. For information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims, contact us at [email protected].

• 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.

•  The 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 contact us through the chapter e-mail address, [email protected]. We will endeavor to have the sello at all chapter events as well. Don't have your credential yet? When you return to American Pilgrims' main site, click on Request a Credential. On the Request page read all of the text at the top of the page and then carefully complete the form. Triple check your entries before clicking SUBMIT. Errors result in delays and even non-delivery! (This sello doesn't actually do anything for you other than indicate that you're on your way!)

• Many peregrinos maintain blogs before, during or after their Camino. If any chapter participants have created one, let us know and we'll link to it here..

• You've arrived! You have your compostela. You've attended the Pilgrims' Mass. You've hugged the Saint. Now what? You need to scan through this blog entry by the venerable Johnnie Walker: 20 things to see and do in Santiago de Compostela

• There are a thousand and one packing lists out there but THIS is our take on the topic.

• And lastly, the Xunta de Galicia has produced a document "Emergency guidebook for pilgrims on the Way of St James". It's filled with good practical ideas and planning and preparation and important information about safety. Recommended downloading by clicking HERE!


Shell Ceremony and Tapas Social
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 1:00 PM

During the Middle Ages, before pilgrims left home they were afforded the benedictio perarum et baculorum, the ritual blessing of the pilgrim satchel and staff. Following in this ancient tradition the Colorado Front Range Chapter of American Pilgrims is very pleased to announce its sixth annual Camino de Santiago Shell Ceremony! The purpose of this ceremony is to confer a blessing those who will be walking or cycling during 2019 for the first time. We will also present scallop shells to those first-time peregrinos.

The Shell Ceremony will be followed by a 10-minute walk to Sienna Wine Bar and Small Plates (, 3422 East 12th Avenue) for small plates (i.e., tapas), libations, conversation and conviviality.

If you will be walking or cycling on the Camino during 2019 for the first time and would like to take part in this ceremony, please respond to this invitation ([email protected]) with the names and departure dates of those wishing to take part. We’d also like to know how many will be at Sienna.

The program with recipient names will be finalized and printed mid-week this week. Respond ASAP!

All others – family members, friends, others in the Front Range chapter - are most cordially invited to attend and celebrate this occasion! Please RSVP with the number attending so we can give Sienna an idea of the number that we’ll have there.

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 1:00 PM
Capitol Heights Church
1100 Fillmore Street
Denver, CO 80206

Inquiries and responses to [email protected].

Presentation: The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route in Japan
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 7:00 PM

REI Denver Flagship Store
1416 Platte Street
Denver, CO  80202

The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross through the dense forests and mountains of the Kii Peninsula of Japan. The ancient pilgrimage is one of only two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes in the world, the other being the Camino de Santiago in Spain. In 2015, the two routes were designated as “Dual Pilgrimage Routes” and pilgrims who walk both routes are recognized as Dual Pilgrims.

Join Kumano Kodo veteran Kris Ashton to follow in the footsteps of 11th-century imperial pilgrims in exploring the sacred Kumano Sanzan (the three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha). Along the way, discover both the similarities and differences between the two World Heritage Pilgrimage Routes.

This is an REI event, and while free, we strongly suggest that you register with REI to guarantee a seat. Click HERE to sign up. Contact the chapter through [email protected] for more information.

A Walk across Spain, A Journey through Time: An Introduction to the Camino de Santiago

REI Ft. Collins Store (4025 South College AvenueFort Collins, CO 80525), Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 7:00 PM
REI Westminster Store (14696 Delaware StreetWestminster, CO 80023), Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7:00 PM
REI Boulder Store
 (1789 28th StreetBoulder, CO  80301), Monday, March 4, 2019, 7:00 PM
REI Denver Flagship Store (1416 Platte StreetDenver, CO  80202), Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 7:00 PM

Join Camino veterans and Colorado Front Range Chapter coordinators Kris Ashton, Chris Petty and Gene McCullough for a presentation on the Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain. The presentation will cover the historical and cultural background of the Camino and the practicalities of walking the routes including distances and difficulty, packing lists, transportation and modern support infrastructure (lodging, eating, etc). Whether you have only heard of the Camino (or you saw the film The Way) and are looking for more information or whether you are actively planning your trip, this talk will be entertaining and informative.

This is an REI event, and while free, we strongly suggest that you register with REI to guarantee a seat. These usually fill!  Click on the desired store below to sign up. Contact the chapter through [email protected] for more information.
REI Ft. Collins Store
REI Westminster Store
REI Boulder Store

REI Denver Flagship Store

Camino del Canal de High Line and Fairmount Cemetery loop
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon (with optional sip and chat following)

For its first hike of the year, the Chapter is going to sample the High Line Canal in Aurora with a loop through Fairmount Cemetery. Upon returning to the starting point we’ll have an optional sip and chat at a Starbucks near the trailhead. Although embedded in the city, this section of the trail is surprisingly tranquil. The trail is essentially entirely asphalt with a bit of concrete.

Fairmount is the final resting place of Denver’s history and our turnaround will be a loop through the cemetery visiting an assortment of interesting residents! Details TBD.

Parking is available in the parking lot of the Lotus School (11001 East Alameda Ave, Aurora 80012). We’ll walk basically southwest (upstream), take a loop through Fairmount Cemetery and then we’ll regain the High Line back to the trailhead making a total of about 7 miles round trip. Sitting around Starbucks afterward will be an especially good opportunity for those who haven’t yet walked to chat with those who have.

If you have definite plans to walk or cycle on the Camino for the first time later in the year and would like to receive a scallop shell and a blessing, let us know through [email protected]. We’ll come prepared! (But see the announcement for the Shell Ceremony on February 23rd above. We recommend taking part in that if possible!)

11001 East Alameda Ave
Aurora 80012

This  is a rain, shine or snow 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 [email protected]. Event day contact will be Gene at 303-999-5179. We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

Third Sunday tertulia at The Goods
Sunday, March 17, 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 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!

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

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. Full description of the facility, setting and access is to be found at: Click on the More InfoSummer Routes & Trailheads and Videos links for details. Other must watch information: How to Plan a Hut Trip and General Hut Amenities. In addition a topo map of the area is to be found HERE. 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.

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. We've already booked some of the total 16 spots but the balance won't last forever. It would be nice if we could fill the hut!

Your email of intention or questions should be directed to the Chapter through [email protected]

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?
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 [email protected] 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. Also you can visit American Pilgrims on the Camino on Facebook for great dialogue, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE. For information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims, contact us at [email protected].

Rev 01/30/19