by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide
Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Rocky Mountain National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Rocky Mountain National Park Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide Colorado River Hiking Trails NPS PHOTO / ANN SCHONLAU Adams Falls (East Inlet Trailhead) This easy one-third mile hike leads to a small, pleasant waterfall. If you go past the falls, you’ll soon come to a large, glaciated valley with a river and great views where moose are sometimes seen. You can find many types of wildflowers in this area. (79 ft gain) Cascade Falls (North Inlet Trailhead) Photogenic Cascade Falls is 3.4 miles into the North Inlet Trail. This easy hike passes through an open meadow where marmots are often found and by a river that winds through a lodgepole pine forest. Fishing is good for small brook trout and an occasional brown trout. Allow 3–4 hours. (300 ft gain) Continental Divide Trail The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail was established by Congress in 1978 and stretches 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico. Part of this trail crosses through some remote areas of Rocky. For an easy, short hike, traverse the section that crosses Onahu Creek and parallels a beautiful meadow in mixed forest. Coyote Valley Trail (Coyote Valley Trailhead) This 1 mile round trip, level trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible and has many benches for resting. Follow along the Colorado River in Kawuneeche Valley. Elk can often be seen grazing on various sedges and grasses. Picnic at the tables at one end of the trail, or fish along the trail. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for an enjoyable stroll. (level trail) Green Mountain Loop (Green Mountain or Onahu Trailhead) This trail passes along the lush, marshy Big Meadow, and through forests of lodgepole pine, quaking aspen, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce. Watch for moose and elk foraging in the meadow and explore the cabin ruins of early settlers. This hike is 7.6 miles long and should take 3.5–4 hours. (1100 ft gain) Holzwarth Historic Site This is a one-half mile flat walk across the Kawuneeche Valley to the Holzwarth Trout Lodge and Historic Site, a rustic guest ranch created in the 1920s. (level trail, strollers okay) Lake Irene Along Trail Ridge Road just south of the Continental Divide at Milner Pass, this lovely subalpine lake is surrounded by tall pines, firs, and summer wildflowers, and is easily accessed from the picnic area. Strollers are welcome. Lulu City (Colorado River Trailhead) A flowered field is all that remains of this once booming mining town. Pass by the remains of log cabins and look for tailings from the Shipler Mine about 2 miles into the trail. The trail parallels the Colorado River and passes meadows on this easy to moderate 7.4-mile round trip hike. (350 ft gain) Lulu City/Yellowstone Loop (Colorado River Trailhead) After passing Shipler’s cabins, you’ll come to a sign saying Lulu City to the left and Little Yellowstone to the right. Stay right at the Y. Follow the trail all the way to the Grand Ditch. Formed of stark gray volcanic rock, Little Yellowstone is a miniature version of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. At the Grand Ditch take a left and follow the ditch for two miles until you see a sign that says, “Stage Road, Lulu City.” Take the left and follow the trail down. At the bottom of the trail, take a right and head toward Lulu City. The hike is 13.8 miles in length and is a moderate to strenuous hike. (990 ft gain) Shadow Mountain Lookout Trail (East Shore Trailhead) Visit an early fire lookout resting near the summit of Shadow Mountain and see a fantastic view of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby. This hike can be accessed from either the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads for the East Shore Trail. A small fee is required for parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. Allow a minimum of 4–5 hours for this hike. (1,533 ft gain) Timber Lake (Timber Lake Trailhead) This is a 4.8 mile hike to picturesque Timber Lake, which sits at treeline at the foot of the Continental Divide and Mount Ida. There was a landslide two miles beyond the trailhead. Be careful around the slide area. Hike above the point of release, not through the landslide. The hike around the landslide is arduous and exceptionally difficult, as it is steep, muddy, and slippery. It is not recommended for those who have difficulty with off-trail wilderness travel. Allow a minimum of 6–7 hours round-trip for this steep hike. (2060 ft gain) Tonahutu Start from either West Portal Road in Grand Lake or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Leaving from the visitor center, the trailhead is at the south end of the parking lot. The trail parallels the Tonahutu Creek uphill to Big Meadows, 4.2 miles from the trailhead. If you leave from West Portal Road, it is 5.4 miles from the trailhead. (680 ft gain) KV-S 05-2017 Kawuneeche Valley Trails Michigan Lakes Lake Agnes Mummy Pass and Corral Creek Trailhead Lulu Mountain 12228ft 3727m La Poudre Pass Ditc h ow Ri ve r 12489ft 3807m Site of Lulu City e ch Ca Colorado River Trailhead To Estes Park Poudre Lake Lake Irene 0.5mi 0.8km NEVER 12706ft 3873m 3.3mi 5.3km Red Mtn 11605ft 3537m 4.3mi 6.9km Farview Curve 3.1mi 5.0km ch k 0.6mi 1.0km 34 Bowen Baker Trailhead Me 11488ft 3502m Timber Lake ng e Mineral Point 1.5mi 2.4km Lo Gul neech Bak er Tim be rC ree Kawu Parika Lake 11704ft 3567m 3.3mi 5.3km Holzwarth Historic Site to Jackstraw Mountain Timber Lake Trailhead Timber Creek Campground ad COLORADO en DISTANCE mi km Coyote Valley Trailhead 0.3 3.4 0.5 0.5 5.5 0.8 79 300 0 24 91 0 Moderate Big Meadows via Green Mtn TH Big Meadows via Kawuneeche VC Granite Falls Little Yellowstone Lulu City Red Mountain to Grand Ditch 1.8 4.2 5.2 4.5 3.7 3.3 2.9 6.8 8.4 7.2 6.0 5.3 606 680 1046 990 350 1160 185 207 319 302 107 354 Difficult Haynach Lakes Lone Pine Lake Lake Verna Shadow Mountain Lookout Tower Timber Lake 8.2 13.2 4.8 7.7 6.9 11.1 4.8 7.7 4.8 7.7 2286 1494 1809 1533 2060 697 455 551 467 628 Haynach Lakes Nakai Peak Creek 1.5mi 2.4km 12216ft 3723m 1.5mi 2.4km 2.4mi 3.9km Gabletop Mtn 11939ft 3639m u O nah Gulc h Onahu Trailhead North Va l l e 0.6mi 1.0km 1.2mi 1.9km 1.8mi 2.9km 0.8mi 1.3km 1.5mi 2.4km 4.3mi 6.9km 12331ft 3758m Murphy Lake Granite Falls y 12274ft 3741m Mount Patterson 3.4mi 5.5km Harbison Meadows Tonahutu 10313ft 3143m Nisa Mountain 4.1mi 6.6km 10788ft 3288m Wardance Falls 492 Grand Lake Etrance Station Trail (horse/hiker) 491 Kawuneeche Visitor Center Pettingell Lake Trail (hiker only) 0.8mi 1.3km GR AND 3.4mi 5.5km Tonahutu/ North Inlet Trailheads 49 Trail distances Su 0.8mi 1.3km ark dP rlan e mm Cascade Falls rth No Information Gran wM ou 34 nta in L ak e Campground Mount Enentah 10781ft 3286m 1.5mi 2.4km 4.6mi 7.4km 0.3mi 0.5km 4.5mi 7.2km Ea Shadow Mountain Lookout Tower Shadow Mountain Mount Cairns 1.0mi 1.6km Lake Nanita st 10421ft 3176m Creek 11034ft 3363m ek Mount Bryant 1.4mi 2.3km Inle t Mount Wescott Cr e Lone Pine Lake Paradise 1.2mi 2.3mi 3.7km 12565ft 3830m Adams Falls 10155ft 3095m Shadow 1.9km Mountain Dam To Granby and 40 Bench Lake East Inlet Trailhead Restrooms Interpretive trail 12713ft 3875m Ptarmigan Mountain 12324ft 3756m ho Ec Food service Hallett Peak Andrews Peak dL ake East Shore Trailhead 3.3mi 5.3km Shado Picnic area 12324ft 3756m Lake Nokoni LA KE Wheelchair accessible Mtn Inle t Unpaved road 0.7mi 1.1km 12363ft 3768m Crk Snowdrift Lake 11424ft 3482m Green Mtn Continental Divide Trail Ptarmigan Point Flattop Ptarmigan Lake Snowdrift Peak 2 Miles 491 Knobtop Mtn Creek Big Meadows Green Mountain Trailhead 2 Kilometers 0 ELEVATION GAIN ft m Easy Adams Falls Cascade Falls Coyote Valley 2.6mi 4.2km 0 To Estes Park s Bowen Lake Blue Lake Bow 12454ft 3796m All distances are one way from nearest trailhead. ow to 11796ft 3595m DESTINATION 12725ft 3879m 1.9mi 3.1km Mount Chapin 34 Milner Pass Red Mtn Trail Junction Baker Mtn 13069ft 3983m ge Roa d l Rid Trai 11317ft 3449m RIVER Grand Shipler Mountain 2.7mi 4.3km 1.7mi 2.7km 12397ft 3779m Mount Chiquita la igan Ptarm Lake of the Clouds 12810ft 3904m Mount Stratus Medicine Bow Curve Alpine Visitor Center Howard Mtn Mount Nimbus r e ud Po Specimen Mountain 0.9mi 1.4km 1.3mi 2.1km Mount Cumulus ill Creek 1.2mi 1.9km 2.5mi 4.0km SUMMER W n e ci m e Crk 1.1mi 1.8km e n 1.8km 12797ft 3901m Sp Ye L llo itt w s 0.5mi 0.8km Skeleton Gulch 1.1mi le ton 1.9mi 3.1km Desolation Peaks Cre ek 1.6mi 2.6km 1.7mi 2.7km i ap Ch MTNS 12940ft 3944m Mount Cirrus 12335ft 3760m to Thunder Pass Mount Richthofen Hazeline Lake Flatiron Mountain Mount Craig 12007ft 3660m Ten Lake Lake Verna 1.0mi 1.6km Spirit Lake 0.6mi 1.0km Fourth Lake Park Fifth Lake