Colorado State University is ideally located to access a diverse and wide array of public lands and outdoor recreation opportunities.  A lot of great information exists out there – but sometimes you can’t beat the value of a solid guide book.  Here are five of our favorite local outdoor guide books: 


Hikes Around Fort Collins: A Trail Guide to Urban Hikes, Poudre Canyon, North Park, and Loveland  

by Melodie S. Edwards 

Link to book on Amazon 

Melodie Edwards book remains one of the best local hiking guides and is especially nice to get a sense of all the “greatest hits” trails of Northern Colorado.  This is a good book to have to explore all of NoCo’s hiking potential that is not in Rocky Mountain National Park – areas like Horsetooth Reservoir and the Poudre Canyon. 


Poudre Canyon Rock Climbing Guide 3rd Edition 

by Bennett Scott 

Link to book at Fixed Pin Publishing 

The Poudre Canyon’s rock climbing areas are cleanly and neatly detailed in this full-color guidebook by longtime local route developer Bennett Scott.  This is a must have book for anyone wanting to adventure with a rope in the canyon – from bouldering, sport climbing, and trad climbing. 

 Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide by Lisa Foster 

Link to book on Amazon 

Lisa Foster’s extensive detailing of Rocky Mountain National Park’s hiking trails is a must have for anyone seriously interested in hiking in the Park.  Beginner hikes to mountaineering adventures – this book covers the vast amount of mountains, lakes, and streams.  Perfect for day hikers, backpackers, sight-seers, and more. 


Rocky Mountain National Park: A Comprehensive Guide to Scrambles, Rock Routes, and Ice/Mixed Climbs on the High Peaks  

by Richard Rossiter 

Link to book at Fixed Pin Publishing 

The newest, full-color version of the climbing guidebook for Rocky Mountain National Park.  This guidebook covers the technical climbing that can be found in the Park.  Most of the routes covered in this guidebook require specialized training, knowledge, and experience. 


Arapaho Names & Trails: A Report of a 1914 Pack Trip by Oliver Toll 

Link to book on RM Conservancy 

A classic account of the 1914 Arapaho horse-packing expedition through what would become Rocky Mountain National Park.  The author travels with two elder Arapaho tribe members documenting native names for the peaks, valleys, and rivers, as well as stories, legends, customs, and more.  A must read for anyone seriously interested in the history of our local National Park.