"James H. Pickering, who wrote about the early years in Rocky Mountain National Park in a previous book, chronicles Estes from 1903 to 1945 in this fact-filled, nicely written volume. . . . America's Switzerland is the most extensive work to date on the area. If Pickering overlooked a fact, it's probably not worth knowing."
—Sunday Denver Post & Rocky Mountain News
"This book chronicles the dual history of the town of Estes Park and the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. The story begins at the turn of the 20th century, where the author's This Blue Hollow: Estes Park, the Early Years, 1859-1915 (CH, Sep'00, 38-0517) left off, and it closes at the end of WW II. English professor Pickering (Univ. of Houston) is a long-time summer resident of Estes Park, and he brings to his study a familiarity with and love for the area. His primary sources include memoirs, oral histories, correspondence, park archival materials, and newspapers."
"Readers who know Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park will enjoy reading how the area developed."
—Journal of the West
"Anyone interested in the Estes Park area, or in national parks and national park policy, will enjoy America's Switzerland."
—Mark Barringer, University of Texas
"The author has conducted impressive and wide-ranging research in primary and secondary sources at area libraries, archives, and historical societies; he has tapped oral histories, articles and monographs, photographs, theses and dissertations, diaries, government reports, and newspapers."
—John R. Jameson, Kent State University
America's Switzerland, a companion volume to "This Blue Hollow," is the first comprehensive history of Rocky Mountain National Park and its neighboring town, Estes Park, during the decades when travel became a middle-class rite of summer. Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources and extensive archival research, James H. Pickering reveals how the evolution of tourism and America's fascination with the "western experience" shaped the park and town from 1903 to 1945.
America's Switzerland provides extensive information, much of it new to historical literature, on how Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park—the most visited national park west of the Mississippi—developed to welcome ever-growing crowds. Pickering profiles the individuals behind the development and details the challenges park and town confronted during decades that included two world wars and the Great Depression.