6 Off – The – Beaten, Rocky Mountain Safe Havens… For the Solitary Female Traveler

 Having explored many of the mountain ranges east of the Mississippi I wanted to savor the best for last…the majestic Rockies! I have found the Rocky Mountains to be the most diverse in its landscape and in its plant life. Here you will find everything from lush pine and aspen forest to desert with a variety of flowering cactus and the highest sand dunes in all America.

The other cause for my excitement for the Rockies was the fact that Colorado is home to 53 fourteeners making it the state with the most peaks above 14,000 feet. This was definitely the place to start my exploration of the Rockies. And much to my delight everywhere I went I found lone female mountain climbers and hikers enjoying the beauty of nature and without … fear.

As a solitary woman traveler, I very much keep in the forefront of my mind what I call M.P.S. … My Personal Safety.

I do often travel with friends and family , however sometimes… a girl just wants to be alone, right? So, I’m always on the lookout for places that I can save… just for me.  

And how do I find these little nuggets of privacy and beauty? Just ask the locals. To be more specific… the female locals. Where are their little pockets of hideaways that they scurry off to when they want to let their hair down and still feel safe?

This not only saves you a lot of time, but you also get to feel the pulse of the women in that town… something you can use later when you want to connect and make new friends in your travels.

So come along with me and I’ll show you 6 off-the-beaten, Rocky Mountain safe havens that mostly only the locals know about.

 

                               Cliff Diving In Paradise

Just on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, hidden from view by towering rock walls and forest lies a deep emerald jewel that the locals call… Paradise Cove. Its towering canyon walls and trails will open up revealing a private world of hiking and sun bathing and for the more daring, its cliffs provide 3 levels of thrills for diving into the cool pool of deep emerald colored water, nurtured by a small and gentle waterfall.

Paradise Cove

                         Hiking The Devil’s Backbone

Should you be on your way to visit Rocky Mt. National Park…be sure to stop once you hit Loveland and ask the locals where to find the Devil’s Backbone. Once you enter the tree laced trails you’ll see his spiny backbone rising above the grassy plains where you just might encounter ravens and red-tailed hawks. A great place for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking… or you can just sit on the Devil’s spine and… contemplate.

The back view of the Devil's Backbone

       Over 180 Feet Of Cascading Ribbons Of Color

I was on my way to explore Pike’s Peak country when I overheard 2 locals gleefully sharing their photos… getting a bit nearer to them at the gas pump… I smiled and asked what was all the excitement about. “Seven Falls!”, the taller of the two blondes squealed. When they took notice of my quizative expression they held their iPhones up to show me photos of a 181 foot , 7 tiered waterfall cascading down jeweled toned granite cliffs.

I decided right then and there…Pike’s Peak was just going to have to wait. And by evening… the color junky in me was sooo glad I did!

The locals have been visiting this hidden gem since 1859 and now, for a small amount of energy, you can climb the 224 iron stairway to the very top or if you are not quite up to the climb there’s always the elevator ready to take you to the Eagle’s nest for panoramic views. The cave’s museum has Native American displays and you’ll also find a dining room and gift shop.

However it’s the evening’s sight you’ll not want to miss. At dusk the lights come on and the falls cascade like multi-colored ribbons dancing over the granite walls.

The Falls at nightStairs to the top of 7 Falls

 

           A Bird Lover’s Paradise Atop The Lava Flows

While passing through the “Gateway to the Rockies”, commonly known as Golden, Colorado … you’ll see two vast mesas. Ask the locals which one is North Table Mesa and plan a day to explore this geological beauty. Formed from ancient lava flows this mesa is enveloped in trails, wildlife, and crystals.  

It has water… and it’s a “hot spot” destination for many species of nesting birds…making it a bird lover’s paradise. Golden eagles and red-tailed hawks live on the mesa as well. And if you enjoy rock climbing these lava flows will provide excitement even for the beginner.

climbers

                 Peaceful Havens In The Flat Irons

You can’t miss it…abruptly rising out of the plains like the jagged teeth of an ancient behemoth, flattened by the celestial gods irons are the… Flat Irons of Boulder. Experienced rock climbers will be rewarded with incredible views. Hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and fantastic photography opportunities are just a few things you can plan on as well as cross country skiing and sled riding in the winter.

Flat Irons

                 A Place For Meditation And Yoga

You’re deep in a wilderness place… it’s just you, the cliffs, and a gentle breeze across your brow. And nature has even provided a bit of shelter with a shallow cave. This is a resting place to let your hair down, do some yoga and meditate. Or bring a picnic basket with wine and cheese and a good book.

You’ll find this little spot of heaven in the less visited side of Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado side. (this park is split between CO and UT border) Take Harper’s Corner Road… right off of Highway 40. Out of all my Colorado travels, this was the place I was the most reluctant to leave.

A place for meditation and yoga (2) the cave

                                 A Word Of Caution:

These 6 safe havens for the solitary female traveler only come with one word of caution… WATER. Colorado is known for its very dry air… so bring more water than you usually do when hiking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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