If you would like to have a wonderful primer on Colorado’s colorful geology, order a print copy of the award-winning Messages in Stone: Colorado’s Colorful Geology, it’s a perennial favorite of locals and visitors alike.
On all the broad extent of these United States, certainly no region can be found which presents more facts of interest, more opportunities for investigation, and greater possibilities, than the State of Colorado. — Samuel F. Emmons, geologist on the King Survey of the 40th Parallel from California to Colorado from 1867 to 1872; Director of the Rocky Mountain Division of the United States Geological Survey; and the first president of the Colorado Scientific Society, from his inaugural address.
I do not know of any portion of the West where there is so much variety displayed in the geology as within a space of ten miles square around Colorado City (today’s Colorado Springs). Nearly all the elements of geological study revealed in the Rocky Mountains are shown on a unique scale in this locality. — F. V. Hayden, geological expedition leader to the Colorado region between 1869 to 1876, from the first expedition report.
The geology of Colorado is written in the rocks. From this great book are here presented a few translations of a few paragraphs. The scenery of Colorado is a gallery incomparable. Words lack form and light – the essence and soul of scenery. At best they can but call attention to the elements associated in the picture. They cannot convey the beauty and harmony of the assemblage. — The first director (1908-26) of the Colorado Geological Survey, Russell D. George, in the preface to his 1927 book, Geology and Natural Resources of Colorado.
General geological interest
Chronic, Halka. Roadside Geology of Colorado. Miscellaneous Investigations. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1980.
Foutz, Dell R. Geology of Colorado Illustrated. Grand Junction, CO: Dell R. Foutz, 1994.
Hopkins, Ralph Lee, and Lindy Birkel Hopkins. Hiking Colorado’s Geology. 1st ed. Seattle, WA: Mountaineers, 2000.
Johnson, Kirk R, Robert G. H Raynolds, Jan Vriesen, Donna Braginetz, Gary Staab, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Ancient Denvers: Scenes from the Past 300 Million Years of the Colorado Front Range. Denver, CO: Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2003.
Johnson, Kirk R., and Richard Keith Stucky. Prehistoric Journey: A History of Life on Earth. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2006.
Matthews, Vincent and Colorado Geological Survey. “SP-57 Tourist Guide to Colorado Geology.” Special Publication. Denver, CO: Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, 2009.
Matthews, Vincent, Katie KellerLynn, and Betty Fox, eds. SP-52 Messages in Stone: Colorado’s Colorful Geology. Second. Special Publications, SP-52. Denver, CO: Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, 2009.
Murphy, Jack A. Geology Tour of Denver’s Buildings and Monuments. Historic Denver Guides. Denver, CO: Historic Denver and the Denver Museum of Natural History, 1995.
Murphy, Jack A. Geology Tour of Denver’s Capitol Hill Stone Buildings. Miscellaneous 65. Denver, CO: Historic Denver, Inc, 1997.
Osterwald, Doris B. Rocky Mountain Splendor: A Mile by Mile Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park. 1st ed. Lakewood, CO: Western Guideways, 1989.
Raup, Omer B. Geology along Trail Ridge Road: Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado. Estes Park, CO: Rocky Mountain Nature Association, 2005.
Reed, Jack, and Gene Ellis. MI-87 Rocks Above the Clouds: A Hiker’s and Climber’s Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology. Miscellaneous Investigations. The Colorado Mountain Club, n.d.
Taylor, Andrew M. Guide to the Geology of Colorado. Golden, CO: Cataract Lode Mining Co., 1999.
Igneous geology of Colorado
Sedimentary geology of Colorado