These aren’t guidebooks for just anyone. They were created by some crazy folks who live for being out there on the trails every chance they get (hint: it’s us); and they were made for those who share the same passion for getting way, way off the beaten path.
We want more for your off-road adventures because, when it comes to getting down and dirty, we do it with the best of them. Nothing is more exciting to us than learning every nook and cranny of a new trail and taking the time to master it so that you can, too.
And we want to keep her that way. We care a great deal about the environment and believe that our public lands can be enjoyed responsibly. Each of our trail guides is created with this in mind so you can make the most of what this beautiful world has to offer on your terms while still respecting the land you’re exploring.
Chuck with his first Jeep on Engineer Pass in 1994.
From the owner…
There weren’t many 4×4 guidebooks available back in 1994 when I first started four-wheeling. I know because at that time I had purchased every book on the market. I’d just bought my first Jeep Grand Cherokee and was having a ball exploring the Colorado backcountry. As I traveled around using the books, I kept thinking of ways the books could be better. One day, armed with detailed notes and photos from my trips, I sat down and sketched out a few pages of what I thought a guide should be. I had no idea, however, how to turn that idea into a commercial product.
When I was younger, I made my living as a graphic designer, but I’d moved into management and hadn’t designed in years. During that time, the graphic design business had completely changed. T-squares and drawing boards were a thing of the past; now everything was done on computers. Fortunately, I had friends at my company who worked in the graphic design department. They advised me on what equipment to buy and helped me as I struggled to learn how to use the new tools.
Working nights and weekends, it took me two years to complete the first book. It was during that time that FunTreks was conceived. I took my completed 268-page digital file to a local printer and essentially placed a $6,000 bet that the books would sell. After the books were printed, I loaded up my car and headed for mountain towns like Ouray and Silverton, around which many of the trails were located. I simply walked into stores, introduced myself and showed the book. To my surprise, many store owners placed multiple-case orders on the spot. In most situations, I walked out with a check in my pocket. I quickly found myself returning to Colorado Springs for more books.
Within a short time, I had a distributor who sold my books to Barnes & Noble and other big stores. My first printing of 4,000 sold out in a couple of months. I was running home on my lunch hour and packing 20 to 30 cases for the UPS driver. My garage was my warehouse.
It wasn’t long before my day job started getting in the way of my FunTreks job. With great trepidation, I cut the umbilical cord and went on my own. I was fortunate that my wife, Bev, supported me in this risky move. More than twenty years later, FunTreks is still going strong and we’re very excited for the future. We still enjoy what we’re doing and have never looked back.
— Chuck Wells
Chuck’s blue Cherokee on Wheeler Lake, CO. This obstacle is now gone.
Chuck, Bev and dog Bailey on Cumberland Pass, CO in 1995.