Figures including the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Doc Holliday, and Alferd Packer have, for better or for worse, been cemented as some of the most notable in Colorado history.

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However, many would argue that despite not necessarily being prominent in the curriculum of local schools, a lesser-known figure by the name of Isabella Bird deserves a place next to the aforementioned Colorado icons.

Colorado History: Who Was Isabella Bird?

Born in England in 1831, Isabella Bird wore a lot of hats including that of a photographer, naturalist, writer, and explorer.

After climbing two volcanoes in Hawaii, Bird settled in Colorado where she would embark on an adventure that would eventually be documented in what would become her most famous piece of literature.

Colorado History: Isabella Bird's Rocky Mountain Adventure

In 1873, Isabella Bird explored 800 miles of Colorado's Rocky Mountains on horseback, an excursion in which she was accompanied by a notorious outlaw named Jim Nugent, better known as "Rocky Mountain Jim."

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It was on this trek that Bird became the first non-Native American woman to stand atop Long's Peak, a feat that was made possible by the sheer brawn of Nugent.

Bird and Nugent's adventure was documented via letters she wrote to her sister which would later become immortalized in print.

Colorado History: A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

Due to his outlaw nature, Nugent was shot and killed roughly a year after he and Bird's adventure ended, but he certainly wouldn't be forgotten as the letters Bird sent to her sister were published in a magazine known as The Leisure Hour.

However, their story would receive the most notoriety after being published in the form of Bird's fourth book 'A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains' in 1879.

Bird passed away at the age of 72 in 1904, but she is remembered by many for her adventures, most notably her famous book in which she recounts her 800-mile trip across Colorado.

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