The contingent valuation technique is used to estimate the net economic value of hiking and backpacking in a National Forest in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. The study is based on on-site interviews of 202 hikers, conducted during the summer of 1981. The relationship between dollar value and recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS) class reverses when the unit of measure is switched from trips to recreation visitor days. Trips to the more primitive ROS classes have high consumer surplus, but last a long time, thereby, lowering the consumer surplus per recreation visitor day. Forest Sci. 32:405-415.