I don't have routine tours. My guests are unique, the seasons change, the weather throws us a curveball.
For me, Boulder and its surroundings are ideal, even idyllic, and I enjoy showing the area to visitors. Most tours are a comfortable mix of driving, walking and sightseeing, the exact blend is up to you. We can spend the day mostly driving and seeing the best sites or we can meet nice and early, and hike into the high country to see the wildflowers.
I've had the good fortune to explore Colorado like few others and have the skills to provide a truly unique travel experience. I've photographed and written six books, four on Colorado, and can provide professional photographic instruction. My captioned photos which accompany my tour descriptions give you an idea as to the possibilities. Many of my guests are passionate about photography or want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime Rocky Mountain sunrise tour, so meeting at 4 AM isn't unusual at all.
Born and raised in Iowa, I was always fascinated with travel and the outdoors, especially Colorado. So when given the opportunity, I moved to Colorado, graduating from CSU in zoology. My wanderlust persisted and I was soon off to experience Washington and complete my master's degree in entomology at WSU. Upon graduation, I was as much a 'naturalist' as a scientist. Eager to return to Colorado, I visited Boulder and decided this was where I was going to live. After eight years of scientific research related jobs, I took the plunge into photography and writing.
I guess, my experience as a tour 'leader' began in 8th grade, when my mom would drop-off my younger brother and I for a weekend of tent camping, with me supposedly in-charge. On a more serious note, I was a senior instructor for five years with the Colorado Mountain Club's rock climbing and mountaineering school. Over the many years, I've led countless guided hikes, nature tours and photo workshops in Boulder and our nearby mountains, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness and Mt Evans.
My wife Beth and I live in Boulder and have two grown daughters. I have taught and continue teach a variety of photographic subjects from landscape and wildlife photography to travel and people photography. We love to explore Europe and ski the magnificent Alps.
A Recent Review of this guide
This was my first experience with Tours By Locals and it was the best tour I have ever had, John had a lot of knowledge about the area. He has a kind heart, very helpful, flexible to our needs and He is very honest. My niece and I felt very safe with him and he taught my niece a lot things. Really he is an amazing guide. Thank you very much John for making our trip amazing and memorable!
Photographed and wrote six books on photography, four on Colorado.
Masters of Science degree in entomology from Washington State University.
Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Colorado State University.
My car can fit up to 4 people comfortably. I have a 2018Honda CR-V, with all-wheel drive. Please inquire for larger groups.