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Longs Peak and Notchtop in the morning light

Celebrate the Women of Estes Park!

As part of the celebration marking the 150th anniversary of Isabella Bird’s visit to Estes Park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy is offering a special program.

This educational experience will venture by bus through the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park, allowing participants to walk in the footsteps of magnificent women in Estes’ history including Bird and others. Read snippets about some of the these women below, and click here to purchase your tickets for this unique, limited-time program!

Isabella Bird

In the fall of 1873, Isabella Bird, an English writer, explorer and naturalist traveled over 800 miles in the Rocky Mountains – including an extended period in and around Estes Park.

She also became one of the first women to summit Longs Peak. She memorialized her travels in letters written to her sister, Henrietta. These letters would eventually comprise her renown book, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains which is still in print today.

You can pick up a copy of the book or read more about this famous and daring adventurer at our local Estes Park book store, MacDonald Book Shop.

Anna Wolfram Dove

Teacher turned homesteader turned entrepreneur! In 1907, Anna Wolfrom Dove, a former teacher from Kansas, moved to a plot of land south of the village of Estes Park and settled under the Homestead Act.

As her location along Aspen Brook was frequented by hikers she turned her home into the Wigwam Tearoom, a place where they could rest and enjoy a cup of tea. The establishment was a hit, and she went on to open the Indian Shop, Beaver Point store and filling station, and the Louise Gift Shop among other endeavors.

Dove is considered one of the first successful female entrepreneurs in the area.

Esther Burnell

As a single woman in her twenties, Esther Burnell left the life of an interior designer in Cleveland to homestead near Estes Park.

In 1917, she and her sister became the first certified nature guides of the National Park Service.

Later she married Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, and after his death she worked to publish his remaining writings and continued to operate his famous Longs Peak Inn.

She is widely regarded as a pioneer woman of Estes Park.

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