Isabella Bird: Adventurer and Travel Writer

When: 1831-1904

(credit: Denver Public Library)
(credit: Denver Public Library)

Where: Estes Park, CO

Why Important: An avid adventurer and best-selling travel writer


Isabella Bird became a great writer. Her books were about the places around the world to which she traveled. She survived some tough situations like bad weather and other harsh conditions, which was unusual for women back in those days. She went up Long’s Peak and wrote a book about this adventure called A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains.1 In this book, readers also learned about her two-room cabin in Estes Park, and her 3,000-mile horseback trip that she took across the Front Range. She spent much of her life as a world traveler. She also wrote other books such as The Englishwoman in America (1856) and Aspects of Religion in the United States (1859). Bird became one of the greatest travel writers of all time.2

isabella bird bk illustration
Illustration from Isabella Bird’s book “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains”
(credit: Denver Public Library)

In addition to her adventures in Colorado and the United States, Bird traveled to Australia, Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, India,3 Tibet, and Turkey, and more.

Content Date: Jan. 1, 1831 to Jan. 1, 1904

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Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame