Walk to the site of an old mining community. A stunning out and back hike along the Colorado River that weaves through meadows and magestic trees.
Walk along the early stages of the Colorado river - just miles from the headwaters - through meadows and forests to the ancient Shipler's Cabin. Continue onward to the riverside meadow that once contained the mining community at Lulu City. Though nothing remains besides a cemetary, you can easily imaginet he location hosting families. The walk is mostly flat and very pleasant.
Get the the trailhead early as parking can be limited.
Bring enough water and food as there are no opportunities for purchasing along the way.
The river water can swell after rain or in the spring from snow run off. Be aware as the water may impact the trail conditions.
Please note that in the early part of the summer, parts of the trail go through habitat that is commonly inhabited by elk during the calving season. Mother elk can become territorial during this time, and it is important never to approach an elk, especially with a calf. The National Park posts cautionary and informational signs during the calving season to help you stay aware of elk habitat.
Tips, hints and links
Points of Interest
A now abandoned site where the mining city was established in the mid 19th-century after silver was discoverd in the valley. Once home to 40+ homes and numerous small businesses, the town went into decline after the silver grade was determined to be low and difficult to transport to the major cities of the region.
A run down cabin on the side of the trail that harkens back to the days of mining in this quiet valley. It was the home of Joe Shipler, the first to discover silver in the valley, for nearly 40 years of his later life.
One of the nation's most powerful, wonderous rivers begins just up the trail from this hike. Though only a small river along this hike, it grows to 1450 miles and deposits in the Gulf of California.
Food & Drink
After leaving Estes Park, there will not be a distinct town until Grand Lake. Make sure to bring plenty of food for the whole day's adventure. However, the Visitor's center does have a café should you need to get food before this hike.
We recommend wearing hiking boots that are well broken-in, plus a rain jacket and waterproof trousers in wet weather, as well as taking sun cream and a hat on nicer days.