Lulu City Site

Estes Park, Colorado 80517

Lulu City Site

Lulu City Site Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"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 Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Colorado (Falcon Guides)
Maryann Gaug, Revised by Sandy Heise
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"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."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park (Falcon Guides)
Kent Dannen
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"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 Trip Reports

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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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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.

Lulu City Site Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
7 hours
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/
Local Contacts
USGS Fall River Pass; Trails Illustrated Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Maps

Trail Log