Holzwarth Historic Site Never Summer Ranch Trail

Grand Lake, Colorado 80447

Holzwarth Historic Site Never Summer Ranch Trail

Holzwarth Historic Site: Never Summer Ranch Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The colorful history of this amazing little ranch is enough for any hiker to long for the old days. Whether it’s the rustic tourist complex created in 1920 (Holzwarth Trout Lodge) or the guest and dude ranch that operated into the 1970s (Never Summer Ranch), you’ll wish you would have stayed here. The trail is level and mostly accessible by strollers or wheelchairs. The buildings, however, are not handicap accessible.

Begin from the parking area, which accesses the flat, glacially carved Kawuneeche Valley at the foot of the Never Summer Mountains. The rustic buildings that still exist are the final destination on this hike and offer a glimpse into the history of the pioneers of the turn of the 20th century. One of the cabins is located right at the trailhead and was built by a neighboring homesteader and miner."

More Holzwarth Historic Site: Never Summer Ranch Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"An easy jaunt to a historic tourist ranch preserved by the National Park Service, the hike is located on the less populated west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is an easy hike inside Rocky Mountain National Park, across the flat Kawuneeche Valley to an old “trout lodge” nestled in the trees on the other side. It’s a great little hike for kids or anyone who needs a quick leg-stretcher after a long car ride—a nearly universal condition among tourists moving through this area. History buffs will enjoy the cluster of buildings that make up this establishment, including a number of tourist cabins, an icehouse, and a taxidermy shop. Many nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century tools and other artifacts add interest to the ranch site."

"Holzwarth Historic Site’s landscape and original homestead—the family’s cabins, taxidermy shop, icehouse, and woodshed—tell the story of early dude ranching in Colorado. For kids, a visit here means imagining how they’d set the rusted trap to catch a bear, washing clothes in the hand-cranked wringer machine, and powering a sewing machine with their foot. It’s an encounter with turn-of-the-twentieth century ranch life.

The 0.5-mile guided walk, to the cabins and lodge of Holzwarth Historic Site begins at the parking lot. This level, smooth gravel path is accessible for most wheelchairs. The interpreter describes the natural history of Kawuneeche Valley and the challenges homesteaders faced in this mountain frontier. Interpreters remain on hand to answer questions and prompt kids on how the surrounding farm tools were used."

Holzwarth Historic Site: Never Summer Ranch Trail Reviews

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Holzwarth Historic Site is an easy family-friendly 1-mile roundtrip hike through time in the Kawuneeche Valley area of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The guest ranching and homesteading eras of RMNP are preserved in a dozen or so historic buildings on the site of Never Summer Ranch. (Date Hiked August 15, 2012.) Read the full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2013/08/10/a-short-family-friendly-hike-to-holzwarth-historic-site-in-rocky-mountain-national-park/

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Trail Information

Grand Lake
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
45 minutes
8,900 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,925 feet
Top Elevation
Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018