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Guides to
Colorado Places
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General Colorado Guide Books
Colorado State Parks & Natural Areas
by Frank Weston. Paperback
Colorado's state parks are such a natural treasure. Photographer Frank Weston takes us all on a visual journey through parks such as Castlewood Canyon (love that place!), the new Cheyenne Mountain State Park (the same mountain as NORAD), and the moose-laden State Forest State Park (yes, it's really named that). In addition, there are chapters on various natural areas, many of them less well known but no less beautiful. Be sure to take a look at Frank's exquisite photos of the Wheeler Geological Area and the Mount Goliath Research Natural Area. Stunning!
Photographing the Southwest: Volume 3--Colorado/New Mexico
by Laurent Martres. Paperback
Whether you're a photographer or simply enjoy seeing beautiful sights, this guide book will lead you right to them. Laurent Martres is that rare combination of a fine writer and fine art photographer. Two of our Colorado photographs appear as well in this volume. Be sure to check out Volume I (Southern Utah) and Volume 2 (Arizona) as well!
The Updated Colorado Guide
by Bruce Caughey, Dean Winstanley. Paperback
We don't like to miss a TV show called Colorado Getaways. It features places that are covered in this comprehensive guide. Let's say that you have a place that you'd like to visit. You will need food, a place to stay, things to do once you get there, as well as directions for how to get there! You'll find it all here. Heck, even if you don't have a place in mind, you can flip to anywhere in the book and get some great ideas. Whether you want to soak in hot springs, go snowshoeing, sleigh-riding, river-rafting, or just relax by a hot fire, the Colorado Guide will help you find the place.
Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer
Paperback
We use this excellent atlas all the time. It shows the back roads in every section of Colorado, and has proven to be a great time-saver. It also enables us to find photogenic spots that are off the main highways.
Colorado's Best: The Essential Guide to Favorite Places
by Bruce Caughey, Doug Whitehead, and Tamra Monahan. Paperback
Find out "city" things to do along the Front Range, like visit the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, or go to Six Flags Amusement Park in Denver. If you're wanting a more outdoorsy experience, how about dogsledding in Aspen or hiking the wildflower basins in Crested Butte? Wrap it all up in the evening with dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse (via snowshoe) or steak at the True Grits in Alamosa. This book will have you trying all sorts of new experiences.
Colorado Year Round Outdoor Guide
by Dave Muller. Paperback.
Why stay indoors when you could be out snowshoeing in winter, enjoying free-flowing waterfalls in spring, hiking through wildflower meadows in summer, and wildlife viewing in fall? This guide gives you 104 ideas for keeping active year-round.
Colorado: A Manual for Newcomers and Residents
by T.J. Walker. Paperback
Fodor's Colorado
Paperback
Frommer's Colorado (8th Ed)
by Don Laine, Barbara Laine. Paperback
Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs, 8th Edition
by Eric Peterson, Don Laine, Barbara Laine. Paperback
Moon Handbooks: Colorado (5th Ed.)
by Stephen Metzger. Paperback
Frommer's Comprehensive Travel Guide
by George McDonald, Don Laine. Hardcover
Hiking Guide Books
Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: Volume 1: The Front Range
Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: Volume 2: The High Country

by Pamela Irwin, David Irwin.
Colorado's wide variety of biomes also results in a wide variety of wildflower species. On what is called a "Century Hike," you can see over a hundred different kinds per hike! Beautiful photographs of each area and its wildflowers are accompanied by maps, directions, and distances. We were glad to see one of our favorite hikes in Castlewood Canyon covered in Volume 1 about the Front Range. And in Volume 2 about the High Country, we can heartily recommend the Judd Falls hike. It's great to own these books if you want to get more ideas for a variety of hikes and of course, wildflowers!

Best Easy Day Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park
by Kent Dannen, Donna Dannen. Paperback.
Donna Dannen was formerly a ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park, and her recommendations for hikes are known winners. So many people visit this popular park from lower altitudes and are overwhelmed at the idea of a longer hike; these easy day hikes are just the ticket. Descriptions of the routes, maps, and total distances are accompanied by tips to enhance your photographs (the Dannens are accomplished photographers as well). Perusing this very readable book, we found tried-and-true trails as well as many hikes that we hadn't yet tried. We're looking forward to finding more hidden jewels in Rocky!

Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, Including Indian Peaks Wilderness
by Kent Dannen, Donna Dannen. Paperback.
A complete guide to both backcountry and easy-to-access destinations, this book is a must-have for anyone wishing to hike in the area of Rocky Mountain National Park. A bonus is that it covers an area to the south called the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Dear to our hearts, many of our favorite photographs have resulted from hikes in the Indian Peaks. You'll want this book for its zoomed-in maps and precise descriptions of the various trailhead systems in the entire area. Interspersed throughout (just as they are in real life) are the lovely drawings of Rocky Mountain critters done by Donna Dannen.
The Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook
by the Colorado Trail Foundation. Paperback.
Some choose to hike the entire Colorado Trail, while others of us are content to hike along shorter sections. In either case, this book will help you in planning your adventure, with beautiful color photos to draw you in. Access points, trail descriptions, appropriate maps to get, and the ever-important supply points aid in strategizing.
Best of Northern Colorado Hiking Trails
by Outdoor Books and Maps. Paperback
This guide covers 77 hikes ranging from 1.3 miles to 10 miles. Most are one-half or one-day hikes, with some overnight backpacking treks. All are in northern Colorado, with 30 of the trails being located within the bounds of Rocky Mountain National Park. One-way distances and times are included, so be sure to allow for double that on a roundtrip hike. You will find access directions, a narrative, topographic maps, and black-and-white photos for each trail.
Best of Western Colorado Hiking Trails
by Outdoor Books and Maps. Paperback
Carrying on with 50 trails in the western portion of the state, this book has the same style as the previous one (see review above).
Best of Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Trails
by Roberta Lowe and Don Lowe. Paperback
This book covers 30 trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. It has the same format as the previous two books (see reviews above).
Colorado's Indian Peaks: Classic Hikes and Climbs
by Gerry Roach. Paperback
The Indian Peaks wilderness area is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the whole state of Colorado (see our Indian Peaks page for photos and commentary). There are waterfalls, wildflowers, alpine lakes; hikes, mountain climbing, 4-wheeling, and more. Be sure to take this guidebook, for it has trail head locations, trail descriptions and lengths, as well as topo maps to help you make your decisions.
Colorado's Fourteeners : From Hikes to Climbs
by Gerry Roach. Paperback
This book has been a constant reference for those of us who like to climb fourteeners in Colorado. We have an earmarked copy on the bedstand and another for the car! Long's Peak, for instance, has a multitude of variations on routes that you can take to the summit. To be prepared for any ascent, be sure to have this book, complete with its maps, photos, and descriptions of each climb.
Colorado's Fourteeners : Companion Map Package
by Gerry Roach. Paperback
Colorado Summit Hikes for Everyone
by Dave Muller. Paperback
.
This full-color book is a pleasant way to find a possible climb from among 105 summits, from easy to expert level. Each has directions to the trailhead, elevation, distance, maps, color photos, and more. This book is not limited to fourteeners; there are many easier hikes to lower mountaintops as well.
Colorado Hut to Hut Volume 1
Colorado Hut to Hut Volume 2
by Brian Litz. Paperback
Colorado's Thirteeners: 13,800 to 13,999 Feet, from Hikes to Climbs
by Gerry Roach, Jennifer Roach. Paperback
Colorado's High Thirteeners: A Climbing and Hiking Guide
by Mike Garratt, Bob Martin. Paperback
Quick Escapes Denver
by Sherry Spitsnaugle. Paperback
 
Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas: A Guide for Hikers, Backpackers, Climbers, Xc Skiers, & Paddlers
by Scott S. Warren. Paperback

100 Classic Hikes in Colorado
by Scott S. Warren. Paperback

Hiking in Colorado is a given; opportunities abound. If you are driven, you can hike the entire length of the Colorado Trail (469 miles). If you've got a little one in tow, or just prefer a less strenuous hike, you can head two miles to Spud Lake. Most will want to hike something in between. This book will help you get the confidence to tackle a new challenge.

Colorado's Continental Divide Trail : The Official Guide
by Tom Lorang Jones, John Fielder (Photographer). Paperback
Best Hikes With Children in Colorado (Best Hikes With Children Series)
by Maureen Keilty. Paperback
We start 'em young in Colorado! And why not? There are plenty of short and easy hikes for the younger kids, and then they can graduate to longer more challenging treks as they get older. The hikes in this guide book are divided into sections by geographic area. Each one has a difficulty level, distance, elevation, directions and a map. Hiking is a great way to spend time with your kids and grandkids, and see neat stuff while you're together!
Best Easy Day Hikes Colorado Springs (Falcon's Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
by Tracy Salcedo. Paperback
A Hiking and Camping Guide to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area
by Al Marlowe. Paperback
 
Hiking Colorado's Geology
by Ralph Lee Hopkins, Lindy Birkel Hopkins. Paperback
Aspen & Central Colorado Trails, A Hiking Guide
by Warren H. Ohlrich, Karen B. Ohlrich (Photographer). Paperback
Aspen Snowmass Trails : A Hiking Trail Guide
by Warren H. Ohlrich. Paperback
Hiking Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness (Hiking Guides)
by Donna Lynn Ikenberry. Paperback
4-Wheeling and Scenic Byway Guide Books
4WD Adventures : Colorado
by Peter Massey, Jeanne Wilson. Paperback
This guide book will take you to over 70 of the four-wheel roads in Colorado. They were chosen because each can be driven in a stock 4WD vehicle (there are also a few trails rated more difficult, which are included because of their scenic rating and popularity). Color photos, exact route directions with mileages from both directions (if applicable), and maps will help you navigate each trail. We enjoyed the sections on animals and wildflowers, as well as the ghost town histories.
 

4WD Trails: North-Central Colorado
4WD Trails: South-Central Colorado
by Peter Massey, Jeanne Wilson. Paperback
This is one of a set of three small books, each covering a geographic area of the state. Covered in these book are 28 trails in north-central Colorado, and 30 trails in south-central Colorado. Its trails are chosen so that anyone with an SUV can navigate them. We particularly find the mileage charts to be valuable, with landmarks and turning points noted. Black-and-white photos and two-toned maps are also available for each trail. If you want a small "take-it-with-you" book, this and the others in the set are the ones for you.

Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails
Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails Vol. 2
by Charles A. Wells. Paperback
The 65 trails in Volume 1 (the central and southern portions of the state) and 40 trails in Volume 2 (the far northern and western reaches of the state) are rated by difficulty, and organized by geographic area. For instance, in planning a trip to Ouray (Area 1) and Crested Butte (Area 2) we used those two sections of the seven in the first book. Each trail description includes black-and-white photos and maps. Those who wish to explore Colorado by 4WD vehicle will want to keep these must-have guides in their vehicle.
Touring Guide to Colorado's Scenic and Historic Byways
by Joe Verrengia, Bill Bonebrake. Paperback.
When I was a kid growing up in Colorado, my parents would take us seven children on wonderful scenic drives. Sometimes I scrunched up in a back seat with a book, but enough of the scenery must have "stuck." Now I just love to explore the byways of this state. All of my favorites are in this concise but nicely illustrated book, complete with maps and other things to do than just drive.

Backroads of Colorado: Your Guide to Colorado's 50 Most Scenic Backroad Tours
by Boyd Norton(Photographer), Barbara Norton. Paperback.
There is no better way to enjoy Colorado than to slow down and get off of the interstates. Here are 50 journeys along the backroads of the state, many of which are officially designated as Scenic Byways. Photographs and maps accompany the text about each. In perusing this book, you're bound to discover a place you haven't been, a road less traveled and waiting to be taken.

Colorado Off the Beaten Path
by Curtis Casewit. Paperback
The Colorado Pass Book: A Guide to Colorado's Backroad Mountain Passes
by Don Koch. Paperback
Jeep Trails to Colorado Ghost Towns
by Robert L. Brown. Paperback
Colorado Byways: 80 Road Adventures West of Denver
by Tony Huegel. Hardcover
  
Backroads of Colorado/Your Guide to Colorado's 50 Most Scenic Backroad Tours.
by Boyd Norton(Photographer), Barbara Norton. Paperback
Southern Colorado 4-Wheeling, The San Juans
by Wayne W. Griffin, Warren H. Ohlrich. Paperback
Specialty Guide Books

Ghost Towns, Colorado Style: Volume One - Northern Region
Ghost Towns, Colorado Style: Volume Two - Central Region
Ghost Towns, Colorado Style: Volume Three - Southern Region

by Kenneth Jessen
Incredibly detailed, these three thick volumes make up a complete reference to the ghost towns of Colorado. Each covers a different region of the state, going from north to south. Then each book is further organized into groups of 8 to ten ghost towns, easily explored within a day or two. Maps and directions are very complete, as are descriptions of various structures or remains at each site. Photos help in identifying the buildings and surroundings. Lovely drawings by Julia McMillan and Kenneth Jessen enhance the books. Any time we set out for a region, we make sure to carry the corresponding volume in our vehicle. Exploring Colorado ghost towns has become quite an absorbing pastime!

Dynamic Wildlife Photography: Techniques for Creating Captivating Image
by Cathy and Gordon Illg
Colorado has incredible diversity in its wildlife species, and you are bound to come across some amazing photo opportunities just about anywhere in the state. The authors of this guide are accomplished award-winning Colorado photographers who are willing to share their techniques for getting that special wildlife image. They cover how to go beyond the usual documentary photo of an animal, what type of lighting to use (including use of flash), positioning of the animal in the environment and your composition, camera settings, how to capture animal behavior, seasonal wildlife images, and even humorous situations. The photos accompanying the text are simply outstanding, both those that demonstrate techniques and those that stand out as fine wildlife images.
Run the Rockies: Classic Trail Runs in Colorado's Front Range
by Steven Bragg. Paperback.
Colorado is one of the best places to run, whether you are training for the Olympics, or just enjoy this healthy pastime. This book has 50 runs, each with route descriptions, how to get there, distances, approximate times, elevations, and more.
Guide to the Colorado Mountains
by Randy Jacobs, Robert M. Ormes. Paperback.
Colorado is really defined by its mountains, and that is what draws us to this state.This guide is geared towards those who wish to climb these mountains. You will find that it is organized by ranges, then sections within those ranges.
Out the Back, Down the Path: Colorado Outhouses
by Kenneth Jessen, Charlie Collins (Contributor), Mary Jane Groves (Contributor)
Outhouses seem to hold a certain fascination for many people and that includes us. Now we take this book whenever we are exploring the state, because we want to see each of the outhouses ourselves. And recently, we happened upon an historic WPA sanitary privy, and were able to recognize it as such. This readable paperback has little-known factoids. Did you know that there are umpteen different words for outhouse? (Loo, privy, dunny, Biffy, Chapel of Ease (!), and Throne Room are just a few.) Photos and in some cases, delightful sketches, accompany the colorful descriptions, history, and location of each outhouse. The book is an entertaining way to while away the day; perhaps you'll want a copy for the loo!
 
Oddball Colorado: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places
by Jerome Pohlen. Paperback
This is a fun book to take along as you travel around the state. It has descriptions and exact locations of crazy, wacky things to see and do in Colorado. Recently we were in Aspen and used the book to find the Pitkin County Courthouse, from which Theodore Bundy escaped. It turns out that the Bennigan's that we frequent in Boulder is where Roseanne Barr used to work. And we have just GOT to go find the Tuff Shed in Nederland where Grandpa Bredo is frozen. Traveling around Colorado is certainly not boring, especially with this book in hand.

Ghost Towns of Colorado: Your Guide to Colorado's Historic Mining Camps and Ghost Towns
by Philip Varney, John Drew (Photographer). Paperback.
Gracing the cover of this book is the historic Crystal Mill, the crown jewel of Colorado's ghost town structures. The book has chapters organized by geographic area, which is helpful when you would like to visit multiple ghost towns in one trip. A favorite chapter covers the ghost towns of the St. Elmo area, with some of the most well-preserved structures in the state. This is definitely a must-have guide for those who plan to visit ghost towns in the state.

Railroads of Colorado: Your Guide to Colorado's Historic Trains and Railway Sites
by Claude Wiatrowski (Photographer). Hardcover.
Covering both the well-known lines and the hidden treasures, this book about Colorado's trains is a treasure itself. There are very well-done photos of the narrow gauge trains like the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec railroads, which still exist and run today. Additionally, the book has chapters about trolleys, the Manitou & Pike's Peak cog rail, and "ghost railways" that no longer exist. There are a surprising number of train lines still running in the state. With the help of this book, you'll be sure to find the one with the ambience and scenery that you're looking for.
Colorado's Sanctuaries, Retreats, and Sacred Places
by Jean Torkelson, Bill Bonebrake (Photographer). Paperback
A book full of descriptions of some of Colorado's most beautiful religious retreats, temples, churches, and spiritual destinations. Each of the more than 100 sections has photos, detailed information, and a directions on how to get there.
Canine Colorado : Where to Go and What to Do With Your Dog
by Cindy Hirschfeld. Paperback
Canine Colorado is a complete guide to travelling, hiking, and participating in sports with your dog. You'll find that each chapter covers a geographic region. It starts with "The Big Scoop," which is an overall anecdotal coverage of the area with regards to your dog. Then you'll read about Tail-Rated Trails, places where you can hike or recreate with your best friend. Creature Comforts will tell you about motels where Fido is allowed and how much they cost. In planning a trip to various Colorado towns with a canine buddy, this book was invaluable!
Colorado Antique Lover's Guide
by Front Range Living On-Line Magazine, Niki Hayden (Editor). Paperback.
My first thought was that this book would just be about antique furniture and similar items. Oh, no! It's got chapters on quilts, photos, jewelry, books, and even botanical prints. There are tips on how and where to find unique antiques. All of it is Colorado-specific!
Colorado Home & Garden Lover's Guide
by Niki Hayden (Editor). Paperback.
How would you cultivate a garden in Colorado's high country? Or furnish a rustic cabin or Victorian house? This small, but delightful book will show you how. Of note is the section on xeriscaping, which will help you select plants for the arid Colorado regions.
Colorado Outdoor Lover's Guide
by Niki Hayden (Editor). Paperback.
Whether you want to tackle the highest peaks (fourteeners) of our state, or take a leisurely soak in Strawberry Hot Springs, this book has something for the outdoor lover in each of us. We really liked the variety of ideas in this book, such as visiting the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program in Ft. Collins, and collecting wild mushrooms. Lots of fun!

Fun With the Family in Colorado: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips With the Kids
by Doris Kennedy. Paperback

Touring Colorado Hot Springs (FalconGuide)
by Carl Wambach. Paperback
 
Roadside Geology of Colorado (Roadside Geology Series)
by Halka Chronic. Paperback
 
Ghost Towns of Colorado : Your Guide to Colorado's Historic Mining Camps and Ghost Towns (Pictorial Discovery Guide)
by Philip Varney, John Drew (Photographer). Paperback
Rockhounding Colorado, 2nd Edition
by William A. Kappele. Paperback
Colorado Scenic Guide : Southern Region
by Lee Gregory. Paperback
 
A River No More : The Colorado River and the West
by Philip L. Fradkin. Paperback
 
Colorado State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide
by Philip Ferranti. Paperback
The Colorado Plateau : A Complete Guide to the National Parks and Monuments of Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Western Colorado, and Northwestern New
by John A. Murray. Paperback
 
Cycling Guide Books
Road Biking Colorado: The Statewide Guide
by Michael Seeberg. Paperback
Mountain Biking Durango (FalconGuide)
by John Peel. Paperback.
Bicycling America's National Parks: Utah and Colorado: The Best Road and Trail Rides from Canyonlands to Rocky Mountain National Park
by Sarah Bennett Alley. Paperback
Mountain Biking Colorado, 2nd Edition: An Atlas of Colorado's Greatest Off-Road Bicycle Rides
by Stephen Hlawaty. Paperback
National Park Guide Books
An Outdoor Family Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park
by Lisa Gollin Rocky Mountain National Park Evans. Paperback.
Who Pooped in the Park? Rocky Mountain National Park
by Gary D. Robson and Elijah Brady Clark. Paperback.
Essential Guide to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
by Charlie and Diane Winger. Paperback.
Colorado's newest national park has lots to offer--wildlife, scenery, camping, hiking, 4-wheeling, and many more activities. This guide will give you detailed information about how to take advantage of all of them.
Essential Guide to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
by John Jenkins. Paperback.
Another relatively new national park is Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Some say it's even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon. Here is a guide to enable you to explore both its North and South Rim. Did you know that you can drive down to the bottom of the canyon and be right next to the Gunnison River, which carved the canyon?
Rocky Mountain: A Visitor's Companion
By George Wuerthner, Douglas W. Moore (Illustrator). Paperback.
Frommer's Rocky Mountain National Park, Fourth Edition
by Don Laine, Barbara Laine. Download.
The Insiders' Guide to Boulder & Rocky Mountain National Park 7th Ed.
by Roz Brown, Linda Cornett. Paperback
Camping Guide Books
Colorado Campgrounds : The 100 Best and All the Rest
by Gil Folsom, et al. Paperback

Don Wright's Guide to Free Campgrounds, Western Edition
by Don Wright

Unbelievably, there are still scads of places where you can camp for free or at very low cost, and many of them are in Colorado! With the vastness of our state, we have many opportunities out there, but most would be very hard to find without such a handy guide as this one. You'll be able to quickly visualize an RV, trailer or tent camping trip to any area of the state, using the map in the book. Each numbered location then ties in to descriptions of the campsites. Many of them even have full hookups; others are "boondocking" locations where you will need to be self-contained. In any case, you'll want to have this book along with you on your explorations.

How to Buy an RV and Save Thousands
by Don Wright

Anyone who is considering the purchase of an RV should read this guide. With gas prices so high, it becomes even more important to carefully consider all the factors. What type of RV should you buy? Should you buy a used RV and what should you look for? Are there bargains to be found? How can you get the best deal from an RV dealer? What should be in your final inspection before you purchase the RV? Don Wright covers all these issues and more in this must-have book.

Foghorn Outdoors Colorado Camping
by Robyn Brewer. Paperback
Complete Colorado Campground Guide
Paperback
The Best in Tent Camping : Colorado
by Johnny Molloy. Paperback
Fishing Guide Books
Fishing Colorado: An Angler's Guide to More Than 140 Top Fishing Spots
by Ron Baird. Paperback
Fly Fishing Colorado: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters
by Jackson Streit, et al. Paperback



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