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Best Of 2015

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Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Hike and a Beer
Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Brewing

Boulder is full of good hikes and great beer, but there's one combination that stands above the others. Perhaps one of the most well-known trails in the area, the Mount Sanitas loop is a rugged three-mile hike that will take you to the rocky top of the 6,843-foot peak. From there, you'll have great views of the surrounding area, and you can pretend to make out Sanitas Brewing off in the distance. You'll certainly be thinking about a delicious saison or a black IPA by the time you and your sore knees get to the bottom. And from the patio of the brewery, you'll be able to gaze up at the peak where you just were.

3550 Frontier Ave., Boulder, 80301
MAP
303-442-4130
Best Guess for When the Broncos Will Go Back to the Super Bowl

This is it, folks: the Broncos' last best chance to make it to the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. It's 2016 or bust. Once PFM is gone, it's going to be a while before the team gets close again (can you say "rebuilding?"). So let's leave it all on the field this year.

Readers' choice: 2016

Best Bronco

The list of Broncos who played worse last season than they did in the season before that is long, and there are a lot more names on it than just Peyton Manning's. Running back C.J. Anderson is a clear exception. At the start of the 2014-2015 campaign, the undrafted free agent from 2013 was an afterthought. But when neither Ronnie Hillman nor Montee Ball took control of the position, Anderson showed he belonged with a 51-yard touchdown catch-and-run versus the Raiders that may have been the single best Broncos play of the season, and more solid performances followed. With new coach Gary Kubiak expected to institute his venerated zone-blocking scheme, we can't wait to see Anderson take the next step to stardom.

Readers' choice: Peyton Manning

Best Rockie

Justin Morneau has been around. He made his major-league debut in 2003 and followed up a long and successful stint with the Minnesota Twins with a brief stop in Pittsburgh before inking with Colorado — and in his first season with the Rockies, he batted a brawny .319 by way of 160 hits, seventeen of them home runs. And unlike more vaunted names, he was a relative paragon of health, playing in 135 games. He even earned a couple of MVP votes — evidence that his value to the Rockies shouldn't be underrated.

Readers' choice: Troy Tulowitzki

Best Nugget

The Denver Nuggets have been a team in turmoil this season, losing their coach, several big names and plenty of games. But while other players started to phone it in, Kenneth Faried continued to work hard, which is why he remains a fan favorite. Although he's sometimes asked to do too much, he's also a freakish athlete whose energy and enthusiasm should be infectious for teammates. Under the next regime, we hope they will be.

Readers' choice: Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson (tie)

Best Av

The Avs are loaded with young talents (including Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O'Reilly) who overachieved in 2013-2014 before coming back down to earth this season. But Jarome Iginla, one of the oldsters on the squad, just kept going and going and going. He's had a storied career since the mid-'90s, mostly for the Calgary Flames, and he's not done yet. Throughout the season, he's been among the team leaders in goals, points and plus/minus, all the while offering a steadying influence to a youthful roster in desperate need of one.

Readers' choice: Matt Duchene

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Best Hike and a Beer: Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Brewing

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