Lulu City Site

Estes Park, Colorado 80517

Lulu City Site

Lulu City Site Professional Review and Guide

"Faint remnants of failed dreams of mining fortunes rest along the peaceful headwaters of the Colorado River. Colorado contains many history fanatics eager to explore the state’s mining past. But even this mining multitude finds few structural remnants of the search for silver at the site of Lulu City, which disappointed humans abandoned in the 1880s, about ten years after it was founded.

Very common, however, along the Colorado River Trail through the long-ago hopes of seekers of riches are structures built by even older contributors to American capital: the nation’s largest rodent, the beaver. In the 1830s, when most of the American economy depended on agriculture, bold mountain men of European ancestry ventured into the Rocky Mountains to kill beavers and peel their hides, which had miniscule barbs on their hairs. Thus beaver pelts were particularly suited for felting to make water-repellent hats."

More Lulu City Site Professional Reviews and Guides

"Explore the site of a ghost town in this birthplace of one of the West’s mightiest rivers. Lulu City flourished between 1879 and 1883, until hopes for mining success were dashed. The only platted ghost town within the Park, it was added to it in 1949. The town was named for the daughter of one of its founders. The population never exceeded 200. While at one time, it had nearly 50 cabins and several businesses, now there are three recognizable cabin sites, with lesser remains of six others.

The ruins of some cabins can be found in the flat, grassy meadow on the east side of the nascent Colorado River. Beginning in this high mountain valley, the unimposing stream builds eventually into the mighty Colorado, collecting all the waters on the western slope of the Continental Divide. But here, it is mostly snowmelt from the small, but beautiful Never Summer Range, whose summits are visible to the west."

"Follow traces of an old wagon road to the Shipler Mine, Shipler cabins, and the Lulu City site. Lodgepole pine and spruce-fir trees line this family-friendly trail. Hiking early in the morning or in the evening, you are likely to see elk, deer, moose, chipmunks, and birds (especially camp robbers).

The infant Colorado River winds through the KawuneecheValley on its long journey to Mexico.Lulu City was a lively mining town from 1880 to 1884.The Grand Ditch, which still transports water from the Colorado River watershed to the Cache la Poudre River drainage on the east slope, is visible for much of the hike."

"A ramble along the peaceful headwaters of the Colorado River passes faint ruins of faint mining dreams set in pastoral majesty. Lulu City was never a city, and it was never a lulu. Lulu City was a vain hope that silver deposits in the Never Summer Range would be rich enough to exploit profitably. The streets laid out on paper in 1880 never passed more than the few buildings it took to serve 50 to 200 residents until the community’s complete abandonment by 1884. These buildings are gone, and the few remaining logs and stone foundations and rusting bits of mining machinery are not obvious.

Distracted by the rich scenery, hikers often give no thought to the riches sought by Lulu City founders and residents. Even history enthusiasts usually are more impressed by the unbankable riches of wildflower color and jagged, snow-accented skyline than by the hopes of silver miners."

Lulu City Site Reviews

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10/4/2018
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9/21/2018
One of my favorite trails in the RMNP. This is the second time we’ve done it with the family and it still is great. The last half a mile is a bit demanding, but the first stretch is really enjoyable. The rocky slope around half way is full of small creatures: pikas, marmots and squirrels. Six years ago it was full of mountain goats also
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7/14/2018
This is a beautful trail that winds through the river valley and up to areas where many animals are at play. Well worth the entrance fee to Rocky Mountain National Park. The best hike is in the morning. get started around 9:00 AM and you will be finished around lunchtime.
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Lulu City Site Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
7.4
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
7 hours
Duration
9,010 feet
Trailhead Elevation
9,360 feet
Top Elevation
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www/nps.gov/romo
Local Contacts
USGS Fall River Pass; Trails Illustrated Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018