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The Family Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments
Guidebook Review

The Family Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments,

by Carolyn Sutton

Editor's Recommendation:

This well-written guide will greatly increase your chances of planning a successful vacation in Colorado's National Parks.

Did You Know?

Colorado's first national park, Mesa Verde, was established in 1906.

In 1978, its archaeological significance to humankind was deemed important enough that it was granted the honor of being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photo: An interpretive ranger in Mesa Verde National Park describes the lives of the ancient people who lived there.

Did You Know?

Colorado has four national parks, six national monuments, and two national historic sites.

Photo: A young hiker mulls over the mysteries of ancient architecture at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Best Colorado Guidebooks
Category: National Parks

: The Family Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments
Author: Carolyn Sutton
Publisher: Westcliffe Publishers
Pages: 232

  • bright color photos
  • maps of the parks with family-important features highlighted
  • descriptions of best attractions for families
  • hikes for little legs
  • natural history of each park, monument, and historic site
  • human history of each park, monument, and historic site
  • campgrounds and their facilities
  • picnic areas
  • nearby towns and amenities for families
  • at-a-glance sections
  • easy to use
This guide describes every national park, monument, and historic site in Colorado. It covers the basics and the thrills of visiting these national treasures, and focuses on the special needs of traveling families.

From giant Rocky Mountain National Park, with around three million visitors each year, to tiny Yucca House National Monument, with negligible visitation, this book gives a comprehensive overview. Then it goes into detail about recommended attractions forĀ  families, plus programs and activities especially suited for kids, like the junior ranger programs and the ranger walks.

Parents will find short summaries of the parks' plants, animals, and history. Then they can describe to their children what they are seeing, and make the trip more interesting. When it is time to get out of the car and stretch those legs, the book has recommended trails in "Hikes for Little Legs" in each park.

A huge fraction of national park visitors go there to camp, so campgrounds and picnic are describe in detail.

Nearby towns have their own sections, so parents can reference facilities there from playgrounds to restaurants and hotels. The local clinic is mentioned, in case a youngster suddenly needs stitches.

In short, The Family Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments is a must have book for parents planning trips to some of America's most spectacular national treasures.

Copies are available from and at Barnes and Noble bookstores.