Mary Ellen Gilliland, local historian, story-teller and author, and hiking enthusiast has written 17 books and nearly 200 magazine and newspaper articles. She is a popular speaker for convention and community groups, and has presented to over 100 audiences.

The majority of her books were written about Summit County, Colorado’s colorful past. Three of her books earned her awards from the Colorado Independent
Publishers Association. Her books include: SUMMIT, A Gold Rush History of Summit County Colorado, 25th Anniversary Edition; Rascals, Scoundrels and No Goods; Breckenridge, 150 Years of Golden History and The New Summit Hiker. Her books explore ghost towns, narrow-gauge railways, mine camps, history of the local ranches, information on gold discovery, stories of amusing antics of local swindlers, cheats, shady ladies and seducers and adventures of the early days of skiing.

Mary Ellen has also inspired many residents and visitors of Summit County with her books about historic hiking trails in the mountains of Vail and Summit County. Gilliland has lived in the Colorado high country with her husband, Larry for 50 years.

She is a mother and grandmother.