I have a confession to make: Winter is not my favorite season. It’s an unpopular position to take among snow-obsessed Coloradans, who began buying their 2024-’25 ski passes months ago and who, come August, are itching to pull their Mellys out of the closet. Me, I want the Centennial State summer to arrive early and stay late, giving me time to both adventure on its blue-sky days and relish the heat as my pint glass begins to sweat on a Denver patio.

June, of course, marks the beginning of summer—and many of the stories in this issue lean into the happenings, the possibilities, and the glories of the warmer months. There’s the Denver Chalk Art Festival, held early this month in the Golden Triangle (“A Denverite’s 3D Art Will Jump Off the Pavement at This Month’s Denver Chalk Art Festival,”), and Denver PrideFest, celebrating its 50th anniversary in June (“Denver PrideFest Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Inaugural Small Business Market”). A new eatery called Traveling Mercies (“Caroline Glover’s Traveling Mercies Is the Ultimate Getaway Eatery,”) recently opened at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace and, well, it feels like a beach vacation. In “Meet the Farmers Producing Regionally Adapted Seeds in Colorado,” food editor Patricia Kaowthumrong gives home gardeners a reason (hint: tastier tomatoes!) to check out local seed farmers. And in “How Scientists Are Working to Reverse Colorado’s Bug Decline,” assistant editor Barbara O’Neil explains why Coloradans should be happy to host the butterflies, bees, and other bugs we often feel the need to shoo away when the mercury rises.

Editorial director Geoff Van Dyke and I were able to get in on the celebration of summer, too, with “The 5280 Guide to Utah’s Arches National Park,” a piece about Arches National Park, just a 5.5-hour drive from Denver. While temps can soar into the triple digits there in the summer, it’s still peak season for viewing the densest concentration of red-rock arches in the world, and we give you all the tips you’ll need for making the most of your visit whenever you go.

Of course, we also know that camping is essentially the official pastime of summer in this state. Coloradans love to hike into the backcountry, set up their tents, and commune with the trees, lakes, and wildflowers. And for when nature inevitably calls, senior editor Nicholas Hunt made sure we covered one other important rite of summer: pooping outdoors. You’ll find those nuggets of wisdom on the last page of the issue, but I hope you won’t just scroll to the end of the magazine. Instead, I suggest you slow down for an hour, pour yourself a cold beverage, pull up a lounge chair, and read every summery story we have in store for you.