As another year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the journalism that captivated our readers in 2017. Here, a collection of our most-read long-form pieces—from intriguing topics to heart-wrenching stories and everything in between.

Lost and Found

Robert Sanchez | November 2017
Several long-serving members of NecroSearch, the world’s preeminent group for locating and retrieving missing bodies, are nearing retirement age. What will happen to the Colorado-based volunteer organization once they’re gone?

This Colorado program is creating new opportunities, and mindsets. Illustration by Walter Vasconcelos

New School

Kasey Cordell | September 2017

Colorado is launching a first-in-the-country apprenticeship program that’s designed to let students earn it all: a diploma, a degree, and a middle-class wage. The best part? It’s free.

Rob Katz, this past November in Boulder, not far from Vail Resorts’ Broomfield headquarters. Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

Rob Katz Is the Most Powerful Man in the Ski Industry

Rachel Walker | January 2017

Since becoming the CEO of Vail Resorts in 2006, Katz has led the company in the acquisition of nine properties, discounted the cost of season passes, and persuaded his customers to market the brand. What does he have planned next?

The dreadfully inadequate I-70 corridor, free from its usual weekend gridlock. Photography by Benjamin Rasmussen

Can I-70’s Mountain Corridor Ever Be Fixed?

Michael Behar | March 2017
With CDOT’s dreadfully inadequate coffers and Colorado’s soaring population, our state’s most critical east-to-west highway is on a serious collision course.

Sara Garcia
Sara Garcia this past spring near her family’s house in Leadville. Photograph by Matt Nager

Leadville Transforms Itself (Again)

Robert Sanchez | July 2017

Change has come to the historic mining city of Leadville in a big way. And for the Latino residents who call the highest-elevation city in the United States home, that means facing new challenges—and new fears.

Harold Lee Miller
Photo by Harold Lee Miller

One Man’s Tragic Journey Through the Colorado Legal System

Lindsey B. Koehler | October 2017

In 2012, Tom Fallis watched his wife die by suicide. More than four years later, he stood trial for a murder that never was. This is how it happened.

Illustration by Jeffrey DeCoster

Is Colorado’s Rafting Industry Guilty of Misogyny?

Jayme Moye | June 2017
Last year, the federal government released a report about rampant sexual harassment and gender discrimination in Grand Canyon National Park’s white-water rafting district. The account sparked a nationwide outcry, suggesting the issues weren’t limited to Arizona. Could the Centennial State’s rafting industry be perpetuating the problem?

The Overdose Memorial Wall
The Overdose Memorial Wall at Denver’s Harm Reduction Action Center. Photograph by Terry Ratzlaff

“Sometimes You Have to Build a Wall Around Your Heart”

Robert Sanchez | April 2017

In Colorado, those lost—and those affected—by the state’s heroin crisis are hiding in plain sight.

The First-Ever Attempt to Paraglide the Length of Colorado’s Rockies

Michael Behar | December 2017
A Carbondale-based paraglider attempts to soar the length of Colorado’s Rockies—capricious alpine weather be damned.

Bronze Star
Photo illustration by CJ Burton

Breach of Honor

Kasey Cordell | August 2017
Veterans who leave the military with other-than-honorable discharges often are denied health care and other Veterans Affairs benefits. Yet many suffer from conditions—such as post-traumatic stress disorder—that could have contributed to the behaviors that got them kicked out in the first place. The University of Denver’s Veterans Advocacy Project wants to help.

Erin Skarda
Erin Skarda
Erin is a Denver-based writer and the former digital editor for 5280.