Colorado Trail Pervert Has Wyoming Outdoorswomen Being Extra Vigilant

Wyoming hikers and trail runners are being extra vigilant after a hit-and-run sexual predator targeting women on some popular Colorado hiking trails remains unidentified.

Mark Heinz

August 01, 20234 min read

Female hikers in Wyoming are alert after reports from nearby Colorado where a pervert has accosted women on trails.
Female hikers in Wyoming are alert after reports from nearby Colorado where a pervert has accosted women on trails. (Getty Images)

An unidentified man’s perverted and predatory behavior toward women on popular Colorado foot trails serves as a reminder that safety can’t be taken for granted in the wild, a Wyoming outdoorswoman said.

“I take bear spray, more for the weirdos than for the bears,” Janie Curtis of Cody told Cowboy State Daily about what she does to protect herself in the outdoors.

An avid hiker and trail runner, Curtis said it’s a sad reality that creepy, disgusting or even dangerous human behavior doesn’t always stop where the pavement ends and the wild country begins.

And people should take that into account when they venture out alone, because two-legged predators like the one stalking women in Colorado can turn up anywhere, she said.  

“Women, or anyone, should have the right to go out alone if they want to,” she said. “But unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

‘A Hike Without Fear’

An as-of-yet unidentified man has since April displayed an escalating pattern of targeting women, according to information shared with Cowboy State Daily by the Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office.

Assaults against women hikers have been reported along trails in the Flying J Ranch Park and Alderfer Three Sisters Park areas.

Those sites are about a couple hours’ drive away from Cheyenne, and Cheyenne resident Kelly Sage has admonished Wyoming women to think twice about going there alone.

“Want to keep my fellow ladies safe. It’s a shame we can’t even enjoy a hike without fear,” she wrote in a warning on social media.

Disturbing Accounts

The sheriff’s office describes the suspect as a white male, 20-30 years old with a fit/athletic build with dark hair. He carried a dark-colored backpack in some cases, and after each incident avoided capture by fleeing into the woods.

The first incident was reported April 3 when the suspect, who was naked, approached a woman and touched her buttocks, according to the sheriff’s office.

Another woman reported that on June 13, a naked man confronted her on a hiking trail and began masturbating.

“Each time, the suspect’s behavior has become more aggressive, contacting three different women in one day on July 18, in which the suspect fondled two victims, masturbated and engaged in sexual conversation,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The man became even more aggressive last week, when he cornered a woman hiker while masturbating, and then grabbed her and tried to rip her clothes off, the sheriff’s office reported.

Not Taking Safety For Granted

Curtis said that other than catching creepy vibes a time or two, she hasn’t had any terrible experiences hiking in the Wyoming backcountry. But safety isn’t something outdoorswomen can take for granted, even in a place as sparsely populated and generally friendly as the Cowboy State.

“Personally, I haven’t heard of anything like that (the Colorado sexual assaults) happening in this area, but the possibility of something like that happening around here is terrifying,” she said. “Every once in a while, I see people who might seem a little sketchy. But I’ve never – knock on wood – had a truly bad experience on the trails.”

Many women simply opt to never go out hiking or running without friends, she said, which is understandable, Curtis said.

“There’s been a lot of local women who don’t feel safe going out alone on the trails,” she said.

Lots of folks carry bear spray as a defense against both human and animal predators, and some have upped the ante to firearms, she added.

“Some women carry firearms. I have a friend who has a little tiny revolver she carries in her hip pack. She started carrying it in response to an assault against a woman in Montana,” Curtis said.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter