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Know the West

See paradise beneath the Colorado peaks

A publishing couple invites you into the process behind their picturesque Vail estate.


What’s next after you’ve conquered the luxury magazine publishing world and managed major philanthropic endeavors? For Bud and Betsy Knapp, publishers of Bon Appétit and Architectural Digest, the answer was clear: Buy a ranch in the Vail Valley, build an exquisitely crafted lodge and cabins, raise organic vegetables — and then, write a book about it.

Living Beneath the Rockies, written by the Knapps with Sarah Chase Shaw, walks readers through the couple’s vision for their mountain property and determination to develop in concert with the landscape. With stunning imagery from the Colorado Rockies and designs based on legendary alpine lodges, the book is something to drool over.

Most of us mere mortals can never dream of owning this kind of land, but Knapp Ranch has done well by the local community, welcoming artists, encouraging research on conservation, ecology and climate change, and hiring a full crew to tend the grounds and gardens. 

Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks
Betsy and Bud Knapp with Sarah Chase Shaw
288 pages, large-format: $70. Knapp Press, 2018.

Carl Segerstrom is a contributing editor at High Country News, covering Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies. Email him at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor