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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 5280.com. 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 chrisallanwalker.com.

Articles By Chris Walker

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.

Escaped Prisoner Causes State to Pause Take TWO Program

Since 2019, roughly two dozen private employers had hailed the work re-entry program, which allowed them to hire low-risk inmates facing pending releases from Colorado’s low-security prisons. Now the state has indefinitely shut down the program, and some employers are asking: Was one unfortunate incident worth upending the program?

An Alternative to a Big Money Psychedelics Ballot Measure Won’t Make November’s Ballot

Since January, two campaigns with different visions about psychedelic reform in Colorado set out to collect enough signatures to qualify for this year’s statewide election. Only one made it, but its critics aren’t going anywhere.

Why a Viral Post of Denver Landlords Raising Rent Is Fueling the Fight for More Renters’ Rights

In July, a tweet showing Denver landlords discussing how much to hike rents on their tenants blew up on social media. For Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, it’s just more evidence of a rental market gone mad.

Denver Has Had an Assault Weapons Ban Since 1989—but Does It Work?

The city of Boulder recently passed new gun control laws, including an assault weapons ban, but most people likely don’t know that Denver has one of the older assault weapons bans in the country.

Kan Jam World League

Take Your Yard Game Skills to Denver’s First Kan Jam World League Tournament

Competitive Kan Jam, aka discflect, is a thing, and you can try your disc-flicking hand at the growing sport at the Kan Jam World League tournament in RiNo on Saturday.

Does Colorado Have a Mega Music Festival Curse?

When Arise Music Festival bit the dust in May, it joined a long list of vanquished predecessors. The grim joke is that Colorado has a music festival curse, but paranormal speculation aside, what’s really going on here?

5 of the Best Social Bike Rides Around Metro Denver

Cycling doesn’t have to mean pedaling grueling stretches of pavement or conquering mountain trails with knobby tires. Organized social ride lets you spin casually on your cruiser while dressed up as a zombie instead.

Skydiving With One of Denver’s Largest Marijuana Smugglers

A new podcast from Denver journalist Chris Walker investigates a multimillion-dollar, Colorado-based marijuana trafficking ring. Before The Syndicate drops this week, Walker recounts skydiving with one of the crew’s key members in order to secure his story.

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