Enos Mills was a sickly boy who grew into a robust, bust man. He was a naturalist, an author, a national park advocate, a public speaker, a photographer, a businessman, a mountaineer and adventurer, a miner, and a conservationalist. While a young man, he bought an inn in Estes Park, Colorado. He could see the splendors of Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountains from his inn. Mill's abiding belief was that appreciation of and exposure to nature were essential to the well being of an individual and a nation. He made protection of public lands the focus of his energetic life. The creation of Rocky Mountain National Park is so identified with Mills's efforts that he is today known as "the father of Rocky Mountain National Park."
Although Mills wrote sixteen books and published hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, he did not write an autobiography. If he had lived beyond age 52, perhaps he would have. The writer-naturalist firmly believed that all living things have their own interesting life stories. As the reader may discover in these pages, Mills was no different.
A quotation by Enos Mills opens each chapter. The Nature of Place section provides background information on the ecology and geography of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Nature activities provide suggestions for exploring nature based on those Mills used at his Trail School at Longs Peak Inn.