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Chris Walker

Chris Walker joined 5280 as an associate editor in June 2022, and contributes stories for both 5280 Magazine and As a rule, he’s always on the hunt for stories that make him go “wow.” Chasing those stories has taken him around the globe; Walker’s award-winning reporting has spanned four continents for publications including The Atlantic, Playboy, the Atavist, VICE, NPR, Rock and Ice, Backpacker, Forbes, and LA Weekly – among others. In 2020, he released the narrative podcast series The Syndicate, about skydiving drug smugglers, which peaked at #9 on Apple’s top show chart. Prior to that, Walker was a staff writer for Denver’s alternative-weekly, Westword, where he specialized in feature stories. Those ranged from investigative pieces about immigration detention and police surveillance to more adventurous dives into secret LSD laboratories and anti-government militias. More information about Walker’s work, including a list of journalism awards, can be found at

Articles By Chris Walker

An Interfaith Climate Resilience Hub Has Taken Over an Old Church in Denver’s Northside

Shared Ground is a cooperative congregation of artists, entrepreneurs, gardeners, neighbors, and friends building an authentic community in the gentrifying West Highland neighborhood.

Largest-Ever Survey of Denver’s Homeless Population Released During Mayoral Race

The new report by Housekeys Action Network Denver surveyed over 800 unhoused Denverites, citing issues with affordability and housing vouchers, and needs that don’t always match up with candidates’ proposals.

Can Nederland’s Frozen Dead Guy Days Live On…in Estes Park?

First, it was shut down. Then it was sold. Now, locals are wondering if Nederland’s most iconic festival can survive this month’s move to its northern neighbor.

Purple magic mushrooms on a blue, illuminated background.

More Than 200 People Applied to Be on Colorado’s Psychedelic Advisory Board

And the governor’s office is limiting press access to the 15 who made the cut. Below, what we know.

Portrait of Carla Ladd in front of a vibrant mural

The Little Black Book Is Denver’s Go-To Directory of Black-Owned Businesses

In anticipation of the 2023 edition’s release, publisher Carla Ladd highlights a handful of the Black-owned businesses listed in her guidebook.

Losing Larimer: The Uncertain Future of Denver’s Most Iconic Block

Will Larimer Square remain a bastion of local flavor or become a mecca for chains?

A photo of Eric Elliot holding a sign at a vigil for Logan Rocklin on January 6. Photo by Chris Walker

After Two Cyclists Are Killed by Cars, Denver Reaches Another Flashpoint Around Traffic Safety

The recent fatalities of Logan Rocklin and Ainslie O’Neil, who were struck while riding their bikes across busy intersections, has Denver’s cyclist- and pedestrian-advocacy communities demanding change.

Burnout Is Driving Colorado Nurses Out of the Industry

Here’s what Colorado leaders are doing to try to improve working conditions for nurses.

Can CU Denver Become the First Equity-Serving Institution in the Nation?

As the university turns 50 this month, it’s set lofty goals for the decades ahead. Now it needs to figure out how to fully meet them.

A photo of homegrown Psilocybe cubensis (Golden Teacher) mushrooms, the most popular species of 'magic' mushrooms. They contain psilocybin and psilocin, mind altering drugs used recreationally and in psychedelic therapy. Photo by microgen / Getty Images

Big Questions Surround the Rollout of Psychedelics in Colorado

Passing Proposition 122 in November was the easy part. Now it will take years to implement policies, guidelines, and practices for legal psychedelic use. Here’s what we know—and what we don’t.

For Denver’s Bass Music Community, CharlestheFirst Remains an Inspiration

One year after CharlestheFirst’s passing, Denver artists continue to honor the electronic producer’s influence, and his family has launched a foundation in his name.

Jerome Osentowski Is a Permaculture Legend. But Is His Beloved Colorado Institute in Jeopardy?

The founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute is known the world over as a gardening guru. But now the Eagle County resident is facing a challenge from a pest he never anticipated: zoning.

2022 Election Results: How Colorado Voted on Key Races and Ballot Measures

Find the outcomes of Colorado’s statewide races and ballot measures, U.S. congressional contests, and local ballot questions put before voters in the 2022 midterm election below.

Amid Layoffs and Falling Sales, Colorado’s Cannabis Industry Grapples With an Economic Downturn

For years, the cannabis industry flourished through a “green rush.” Now, amid plummeting sales, Colorado’s cannabis entrepreneurs are struggling as never before.

A red-white-and-blue illustration of a ballot box with a white ballot on a light-blue background.

Your Guide to Denver’s 2022 Ballot Measures

Denverites can vote on seven local ballot issues that will affect life in the Mile High City, ranging from recycling requirements to eviction defense to sidewalk fees.

A photo of the musician N3ptune

As a Wave of Musicians Cancel Concerts to Focus on Mental Wellness, Denver’s Music Community Weighs In

Maintaining mental wellness has always been a challenge for working musicians. But now, more artists are willing to talk about it—and take action.

A cluster of psilocybin mushrooms

Colorado Activists Are Divided Over November’s Psychedelics Ballot Measure

Proponents of Proposition 122 say legal access to psychedelic mushrooms can help solve a mental health crisis in Colorado. So why is there so much opposition coming from other psychedelic activists?

A photo of NASA's DART spacecraft launching in the dark.

Meet the University of Colorado Boulder Professor Who Helped NASA Slam a Satellite into an Asteroid

As the DART spacecraft hurtled toward an asteroid at 14,000 mph, Jay McMahon watched from Boulder, hoping the mission might prove a way to defend our planet from killer space rocks.

People visit an unfinished housing facility in Houston

Houston Housed 25,000 People Who’d Experienced Homelessness. Can Denver Do the Same?  

Houston has touted its “housing first” approach to homelessness. Denver-area officials traveled to Texas to see how it works—and what might be replicable in the Mile High City.

A white student consoles a Black student during a performance of re:ACTION, a play written during the pandemic by Denver School of the Arts students.

Denver Theater Kids Travel Internationally to Perform Musical about their Disrupted Lives

This past August, Denver School of the Arts students traveled to Scotland to perform re:ACTION—a musical they wrote during the pandemic—at the world’s largest theater festival.

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