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Photo Credit: © 2019 James Frank

Great Guidebooks

Here’s a list of  some of the best guidebooks and books about Estes Park to help you plan your activities.  Learn more to enjoy and appreciate this special place!

Many of these books can be found on Amazon and ship for free with Prime, however a local bookstore like Macdonald Book Shop on Elkhorn Avenue in Estes Park is a fun place to visit during your trip.

It will always have some surprises for you as well as the latest selections!

General Guide Books

Outdoor Family Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park

An indispensable, best-selling guide with lots of tips and valuable information for families visiting the Park.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Rocky Mountain States


Hiking RMNP – The Essential Guide

The best hiking book on Rocky Mountain National Park with beautiful photos, topo maps, elevation profiles, and really everything you’ll need to know about hiking in the Park.

Day and Overnight Hikes

Best Easy Day Hikes

Hiking Circuits in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, 10th – a Falcon Guide


Rocky Mountain National Park: High Peaks: The Climber’s Guide Vol 2

Best Climbs Rocky Mountain National Park: Over 100 of the Best Routes on Crags and Peaks 

Mountain Biking

Bicycling America’s National Parks: The Best Road and Trail Rides from Canyonlands to Rocky Mountain National Park


A Fly Fishing Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park


Land Above the Trees

An in-depth view of tundra ecosystems by Bettie Willard and Ann Zwinger.

Alpine Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains

Wildflowers, Flora

Meet the Natives: The Amateur’s Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, Trees and Shrubs

If you’re beginning flower identification and buying only one wildflower book, make it this one. It’ll be encouraging!

Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Pocket Guide


Rocky Mountain Wildlife

Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains

Professional Secrets of Nature Photography: Essential Skills for Photographing the Outdoors




Rocky Mountain National Park; A History

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, by Isabella Bird

Magnificent Mountain Women; Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

A wonderful book! You think you’ve got it bad!  Read about what these early settlers had to endure.

This Blue Hollow; Estes Park, The Early Years, 1859-1915

America’s Switzerland

Isabella Bird

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird.

Her book is a firsthand account of a middle-aged English lady traveling alone by horseback in the autumn and winter of 1873.

Widely travelled, she found Estes Park “surely one of the most entrancing spots on earth” and “no region for tourists or women” — how things have changed!

She made her way to the top of Longs Peak (only 5 years after it had first been climbed) with a one-eyed mountain man named Mountain Jim as her guide.  Visit the contemporary Bird and Jim Restaurant in Estes Park – inspired by their story.

She rode her borrowed horse up and down the St Vrain from Longmont during a ferocious storm and stayed in an Estes Park log cabin without chinking (can you hear the wind howling through those logs?), awakening to a fresh covering of fine snow.

Her keen observations of the people she encountered and the “wild west” Colorado mountain lifestyle of another era make the book a good read for modern day armchair adventurers familiar with Estes Park and the surrounding terrain.

You can find this book on

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