July is a great month to hike to the old town of Lulu City in Rocky Mountain National Park. It follows the Colorado River to its headwaters and is open year round. The 7.6 mile roundtrip hike has a 350 foot elevation gain and starts at 9010 feet (2746 meters). Meadows, stream crossings and wildlife viewing are abundant. The trail is thickly forested with a few spots to view mountains.
The town of Lulu city was founded in 1879 in response to the gold and silver rush in Colorado. Log cabins, a general store, 2 lumber mills, saloons, a hotel and of course a brothel, comprised it. The Stagecoach arrived three days a week from Fort Collins.
Some of the cabin remains are still visible (if you venture off-trail), but not many. Shipler Cabins part way up are very popular. On my way up I saw a hiker coming down the trail with a large piece of wood he said was part of one of the old cabins.
The town didn’t last much past 1884 as the silver ore extracted was of low quality and the transportation issues in the winter were immense.
You can start the hike just past the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park at the Colorado River Trailhead, see maps below:
Shiplers Cabins are part of the way up. Those who are not adjusted to the altitude often stop here to rest in the nearby meadow or turn back.