When it comes to trail riding in Colorado no other collection of books comes close to providing the authority, knowledge, history, and understanding that the Colorado trails series and the Colorado Backroads books offer. Whether you’re an experienced Jeep owner looking to explore Colorado or you’re just renting a Jeep for the day or weekend, the books will help you get the most of your offroad trip.
Colorado trails Series
There are three great books in the Colorado trails series. The southwest region, central region and front range region of the books focus on their respective areas with complete in-depth trail ratings, ghost towns, mining & hiking trails, campsites, and GPS navigation data points and markers.
Buy Online: All Colorado Trails Series online.
Colorado trails Southwest Region
The Colorado trails southwest region book is one of my favorite books about the region since I’m in awe of the history of the area from its mining heritage, the steam engine railroads and beautiful scenery. This book focuses on the towns of Silverton, Ouray, Durango, Telluride, Lake City, Animas forks and Creede and provides full details of the history, roads, trails, and mountains in the southern Colorado areas.
The book is broken down into specific areas of Southwest Colorado and provides full-color photos, maps, contact info for park services and trail updates. I keep a copy of this laying around in my living room to peruse over to plan my next off road trip take a trip back to some of my favorite mountains in the world.
While the Southwest region isn’t an extreme “Rock Crawling” expedition, it is just breathtaking in its history and beauty and along with its breathtaking vistas comes some cliffs, high shelf walls, summit passes, and narrow roads. The book does a great job of helping you understand and navigate such areas and if you’re a beginner sets you out on the best experience.
Buy Online – Colorado Trails Southwest Region
Colorado trails, Central Region
The Colorado trails central region focuses on the cities of Leadville, Breckenridge, Lakewood, Crested Butte, Montrose, Gunnison, Lake City, Salida, Saguache, Canon City in Central Colorado and like the southwest region it includes tons of history, photos, maps and everything you need to know for your next 4×4 trip. The central region has lots of great history and fun areas to explore; a must have if you’re ever up in the Breckenridge area.
Buy Online: Colorado Trails Central Region: Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails
Colorado trails, Front Range region
Often the Colorado front range is the first mountain range people experience as they head into Colorado, especially if you’re coming anywhere from the East. The Front Range region book includes details of off-road trails and routes in Fairplay, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Boulder, Fort Collins, Longmont areas.
This region offers a lot of exploration for those looking to day trip from Colorado’s biggest city and is an excellent option for those renting a Jeep or off-road vehicle for the day. Some good mountains to start on and not quite the hair-raising experience of the southern region and San Juan mountains can be.
Buy Online: Colorado Trails Front Range Region: Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails
Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails
If you’re looking for a single book that covers the entire state with more trail-specific information rather than lots of history and photos, then this book is a great option.
I purchased my original copy of this book back in 2001 when my wife and I honeymooned across America and spent a few days offroading in the San Juan Mountains. It’s here where these books fuel my passion for the trails and the history of the mountains.
This book was also invaluable on my trip to Breckenridge where we used it to plan some routes with friends to open up more people to the experience of offroading. It provides a quality breakdown of all the major regions of Colorado with guides to trails, trail difficulty and route planning for day trips for there and back again routes in each of the zones.
If you have an older edition of this book, you should purchase a newer copy as the trails have changed over the years and paths that were medium rated a decade ago can be easy or hard these days depending on maintenance, weather & objectives of groups/clubs/associations helping to maintain them. I nearly got stuck on a trail that was rated moderate in an old book but over the years have worn down to advanced.
Buy Book: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails – 3rd edition
Buy Book: Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails 3rd Edition
Must-Have Colorado trails & 4×4 trail riding books
If you don’t have these books in your collection yet, you should! If you have some other recommendations or know these books have updates, please let us know by leaving a comment below or a message on our forums!
I’m a 40 something father of two girls who loves the mountains, still plays in the sand and enjoys being in the great outdoors. The mountains are always calling my name.
“Wilderness is a necessity” – John Muir