Books About Colorado

Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, 2nd Edition by Charles A. Wells

My favorite offroad book

I seldom leave home for an offroading adventure without a backpack full of books on the region I’m visiting (and it’s usually the San Juan Mountains!).

I have had to buy multiple copies of my favorite book, since it loses pages and gets spilled on in the Jeep. But Charles A. Wells’ Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, 2nd Edition is just about the best book out there if you want to go offroad in Colorado. It has great maps, good descriptions and plenty of history on the trail thrown in. I mark the date I drive the trail at the top of the page and most of the San Juan Mountain trails have a column of dates on the page!

I’ve run across many offroaders with this book on the front seat with them. If you buy only one book about traveling the offroads and backroads of Colorado, this is the one to buy!

My Favorite Offroading Book

About the San Juans

Colorado Ghost Towns



  1. Jim  March 7, 2010

    I bought the Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails book and I love it – thanks for the tip.
    It’s fun to be able to read about a trail from the book as I watch your video!

    Now I need the Northern Colorado version too – I live in that area, should be fun.

    I’m looking forward to picking out another from your list of titles as well.

  2. admin  March 8, 2010

    So glad you liked the book. I think it’s the best one out there, as far as covering that area of Colorado. I haven’t done any offroading in Northern Colorado but I’m sure his book on that region is great too! Thanks so much for writing and watching!

  3. Mom ARichardson  May 5, 2010

    I picked up a couple of books at the Good Sam House, and am anxious to read them:
    It Happened in Colorado by James Crutchfield (true people and stories)
    Beyond the Great Divide by Abbott Fay (true stories of unique places and unusual facts about Western Col.

  4. Mike  April 6, 2011

    I too have a couple of Charles Well’s CO books. I followed one of his routes high into the hills about Nederland, CO a few years ago. I was fascinated with his pictures of an old mill, with it’s stamps still in place (think it was the Champion Mill) I found the mill and it was just as it said in the book and pictures – very fascinating !

    I can highly and heartily recommend his books. I live on Southern California and had purchased his books before I left on my CO trip. Think I bought one of his SoCal books too 🙂


  5. Dave  July 10, 2011

    Have you tried the trail book Back Country Adventures Colorado. I is by Peter Massey, Jeanne Wilson, and Angela Titus. It has 143 trails, hisstory about each trail, as well as ghost town info, colorado info, as well as info about plants and animals. They also have them for AZ and CA.

  6. admin  July 14, 2011

    Yes, I do have that one as well! Great book! Thanks for writing and visiting the website!!

  7. Kent Robertson  April 23, 2013

    Beautiful scenery minus the crowds means less chance of other hikers finding you if you need help but it can still be a safe and enjoyable hike. Why? Because you read Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) before you hit the trail. A MUST READ for hikers who love the secret trails! Learn essential day-hiking skills, including items to pack, how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass, and how to get rescued. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. A compass doesn’t need a signal or batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Hike smart with this fast, easy read that could save your life and will definitely make hiking off the beaten path safer and more enjoyable!

  8. Bucky  August 14, 2017

    This is a great web site of southern Colorado. I am planning a trip to mountain bike the San Juan mountains this fall. Recognizing this is for Jeep driving off road, would it be helpful for mountain biking in the area? I am looking for a guide book on the area as well. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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