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Suggested References

This handbook may help your understanding and appreciation of Rocky Mountain National Park, but in its limited pages only a superficial treatment can be given. The following publications—nearly all of them available for reference or purchase at the park museum information office or Fall River Pass exhibit room—have been found helpful sources for more detailed interpretation of the story of this park:

General Orientation

Colorado Guide. One of the prewar Federal Writers Project accomplishments, still an indispensable item for the inquisitive tourist.

GREGG, H. RAYMOND. Descriptive Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park. A handy, inexpensive booklet which gives a concise description of the park and the Trail Ridge Road.

Mountain Climbing

HENDERSON, KENNETH. Handbook of American Mountaineering. A pocket-size book, almost encyclopedic in its scope, giving detailed information about mountain climbing and life on the trail.

NESBIT, PAUL. Longs Peak. An excellent story of the highest peak of the park, with information of interest to climbers.

ORMES, ROBERT F. Guide to the Colorado Mountains. A splendid compilation of data on the routes to and ascents of scores of Colorado's peaks.

Human History

CAROTHERS, JUNE. Estes Park, Past and Present. A useful and authoritative summary of the human history of the eastern side of the park.

FOSCUE, EDWIN, and QUAM, LOUIS. Estes Park, Resort in the Rockies. Another compact summary of the geography and human history of the eastern side of the park.


WEGEMANN, CARROLL. A Guide to the Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park. An excellent, inexpensive Government booklet, giving helpful road logs and the general geological story of the park.


CLEMENTS, EDITH. Flowers of Mountain and Plain. A classic on the region's flora, with numerous color plates.

MORE, ROBERT W. Evergreens of Colorado. Admirable guide to the conifers of the region, with choice photographic illustrations.

NELSON, RUTH A. Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park. The basic reference on the flowers of the region, and almost indispensable.

PESMAN, M. WALTER. Meet the Natives. An excellent guide to the flora of the region, useful anywhere in Colorado, with a color key arrangement.

PRESTON, RICHARD. Rocky Mountain Trees. A complete, well-illustrated book, covering all species of trees occurring in the Rocky Mountain region.


CAHALANE, VICTOR H. Meeting the Mammals. A most interesting popular guide to the mammals of all our national parks.

GILLIGAN, JAMES. Wild Animals of the Rockies. A good booklet on park mammals, written by a former ranger naturalist.

RODECK, HUGO G. Guide to the Mammals of Colorado. An excellent, well-illustrated, inexpensive field guide to all the mammals of Colorado.


KLEINSCHNITZ, FERD. Manual of Birds of Rocky Mountain National Park. A good, inexpensive, one-unit guide for the park's birds.

PACKARD, FRED M. Birds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The most recent checklist of the birds, with brief descriptions. Should be used as an inexpensive auxiliary to the Peterson guide, unless one is already well acquainted with birds.

PETERSON, ROGER T. Field Guide to Western Birds. An essential manual for birds of the entire West. Well illustrated, cloth bound.

Parks in General

BUTCHER, DEVEREUX. Exploring Our National Parks and Monuments. Available in cloth or paper covers, this beautifully illustrated book gives succinct background information on all our park areas with natural history significance.

SHANKLAND, ROBERT. Steve Mather of the National Parks. An excellent history of the evolution of our National Park System and the life of Mr. Mather, first director of the National Park Service.

TILDEN, FREEMAN. The National Parks: What They Mean to You and Me. Written With rare good humor, this book contains a wealth of factual material on the parks, their significance, origins, and characteristics.


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Last Modified: Sat, Nov 4 2006 10:00:00 pm PST

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