Summer is finally here and the June 2014 issue of Elevation Outdoors is coming in hot.

Inside, you’ll find all the beta you need on how to get out and enjoy the best hikes, scrambles and high-country fly fishing Colorado has to offer. Plus, we roll out the summer edition of our PEAK GEAR Awards — our staff’s picks for the best outdoor equipment they used over a year of testing in the field.

And while we hope you’ll be able to pick up your free copy at a specialty outdoor retailer or other distribution partner near you, here’s a little digital sneak peak around the project we’ve been putting together for you these last few months.

We kick things off with a letter from editor-in-chief Doug Schnitzspahn about the Japanese idea of “forest bathing,” and how we should all get in the tub.

As for all that steamy summer hiking coverage? Contributing editor James Dziezynski — author of the guidebook Best Summit Hikes in Colorado — runs down his picks for the 10 best big day hikes in the state. These epics take 10-15 hours and rack up a masochistic amount of miles and vert. They include classics like 14er Longs Peak and Breckenridge’s Ten Mile Traverse, as well as lesser-known romps like Isolation Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

It’s not all a sufferfest, though. Schnitzspahn guides you to his favorite spots to fly fish in the wild — from the high alpine lakes of the Zirkels to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In The Trail, Chris Kassar lines out a GPS-guided hike of the High Lonesome Trail and the Continental Divide in the Indian Peaks and she heads to a Hot Spot in Crested Butte, where she foregoes the legendary singletrack, just this once, for wildflower hikes and high-mountain scrambles.

We also get on the water — and into the environmental challenges that the Colorado River faces even as it reached the Pacific Ocean for the first time in 16 years this spring. Jonathan Waterman, author of The Colorado River: Flowing through Conflict and Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River, explains the history of how misguided policies left it dry in the first place and how there may be hope for the future.

And then there’s gear. The Peak Gear Awards represent the best gear that our hardcore band of editors and contributors have thrashed all season long. The winners rose to the top from mountains of gear we get to test on trips everywhere from the canyons of Cedar Mesa, Utah, to rock climbing on the Front Range to hiking in Iceland. We are confident that this new gear award represents the best of the best…at least when it came to what got us through our lives out in the wild.

We hope you enjoy the issue…please let us know here or on Facebook. See you out there.

Departments

EDITOR’S LETTER
Forest bathing

QUICK HITS
Get started fly fishing, Eat/Sleep/Play in Colorado Springs, Ticla, and more!

FLASHPOINT
The Colorado River is being diverted to death thanks to the errs of a century-old compact.

HOT SPOT
There’s more than singletrack in Crested Butte—take time to hike.

BEST GEAR
Our picks for your hiking swag

THE ROAD
A woman discovers a sense of herself in the Teton backcountry.

Features

Best Big Hikes

Time to push yourself—these epics can all be done in a day.

Wild Fly Fishing 

Rip lips at these high alpine lakes.

The 2014 Summer Peak Gear Awards

The hard-working Elevation Outdoors staff hands out hardware for the best gear we tested.

Elwayville

A quick guide on things that can kill you—from grizzlies to love.