Lulu City Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#56 of 178 trails in

Lulu City Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

7.1 miles
826 feet
Out & Back




horseback riding

nature trips






wild flowers




washed out

no dogs

1 month ago

Hiked on Sunday before fully understood how app worked. Unable to post any pix now and have no recording of hike. Fairly easy hike with a couple up and downs but enjoyable. Several views of meadows and streams. Was told the cabin not very far by a family coming down and completely missed the ruins because a young bull (paddle size) crosses trail in front of us right at cabin and was focused on watching him travel away with cabin at our backs. Found ruins on return trip. Did not see any bighorns today. Pretty opening and Colorado river at Lulu City.

1 month ago

Great fun and good challenge. Beautiful scenery and animal viewings

1 month ago

just awesome!

1 month ago

Easy hike, and we saw several deer and other wildlife along the trail.

nature trips
1 month ago

Beautiful and very easy hike up the valley. Left the trailhead at 05:30. Saw mule deer, baby squirrel that ran toward our feet, elk, coyote, and finished with some mountain goats crossing the trail 30 feet in front of us. Plenty of wildlife to see. Not so much of any human habitation that use to be there. If you didn’t look the log structures you would easily miss what’s left of them. Kicked back and enjoyed the river for a while before returning.

2 months ago

Long and what feels like never ending because of the barely noticeable uphill grade the entire way. Not the prettiest hike, pretty standard western forest, BUT did see multiple moose and mt goats on the trail which once we decided to not be scared every time was AMAZING. lulu city site its self is basically a big clearing, its gorgeous because its mountains and blue skys but there are definitely better veiws in RMNP.

2 months ago

The main trail is still under water at places but there are detours so you can still make it to the Lulu City site.

2 months ago

Went up yesterday and began at the parking lot where AllTrails led me to, the app would not allow me to check in kept saying I was too far from the trial head? Any hoo began walking and got about a mile and a half in and the trial was washed out. Another couple a head of us scrambled up the hill and were going to carry on but I was not that brave as I had my hubby in tow and he was feeling his age yesterday. So we turned back. Will try again when the run off is not quite so rapid.

7 months ago

Nice snow covered hike today. Snow was getting deep after Lulu City - time for snowshoes.

9 months ago

The hike is not especially scenic, but it does go through some pretty open areas where you may see moose. Theirs decent views of the Never Summer Mountains most of the time. You go by an old mine site and some remains of some cabins. Their were lots of trees down on the trail when I went, if you hike past the city be advised that their are very large trees down on the trail. A little snow, but nothing to worry about. Overall a decent easy hike, good but not great. Probably good for those not looking for anything too hard.

10 months ago

I started out the morning with a headlamp before dawn and didn't see a single person until I was on my way back from Lulu City. Instead I was treated to aspens, the lovely sound of the river, and met some elk on the trail. I wish I could have gone on to Little Yellowstone, and I think I'll plan to if I can get back out there next year. Trail conditions were good and it wasn't strenuous at all. There were a few muddy areas, but none were at all terrible and it had rained pretty well the few days before I went out.
There were a lot more people on the way back to the trailhead as people were coming in to see the fall colors and it got a bit crowded. I got back around noon or 1pm and the parking lot was exceptionally full for a Monday.
If you start early, this is a pretty serene hike if you just need some quiet.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This trail is relatively easy with little elevation gain. The scenery is average until reaching lulu city, where the views open up to a beautiful meadow next to the Colorado with nice mountain views.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

I went here on June 3, which was the first weekend that Trail Ridge Road was open. I was expecting a ton of tourists since this trail is fairly easy, but it turns out this was a perfect time to go, as I got there at about 9:15 AM. It seems like most of the hikers (families with small kids) were arriving as I was getting in my car to leave at about 2PM.

The first two miles of this hike are very easy. Soft dirt trails with little to no incline at all. I was expecting a lot of mud and water due to runoff but it wasn't too bad. The river came over the trail at one point about 3/4 miles in, but that was the only actual obstacle to overcome. The final two miles before Lulu City were quite difficult due to increasing incline, and complete snow cover. The solidified and melting footprints in the drifts were what made it difficult. Other than that, the trail was very enjoyable and I feel that this is a great time of year to go here. Lots of waterfalls and springs. It might be more scenic in early July though, as most of the vegetation hadn't had a chance to grow yet.

Check out this video for more details on this trail

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hiked the trail on Sunday, 03/19. The weather was beautiful, up in the 50s-60s, but because of the amount of snow that was still blanketing the trail, this was not an ideal time of year to take this trail. Snowshoes were an absolute necessity; and the hike would have been very dangerous without them. There was a stretch of about 1/4 mile by the creek which was very narrow and precarious. I am quite certain that I would have been sliding down into the ravine had I not had the spikes on my snowshoes. The trail was difficult to follow at times because of the snow. On several occasions, I lost the trail and eventually found it again. As far as the structures, I could only see one of the ruins of the Shipler cabins. When I arrived at what I am certain was the town site, all of the structures were completely buried under the snow. I could not even find the sign identifying the location. I was able to get some scenic photos of the snow capped peaks; but overall I was disappointed at having driven and hiked so long to not see and photograph the ruins I was expecting. Had the trail all to myself. With the added time of trudging through the snow, even with the snowshoes, the round trip tops about 7 hours. I did not see one other person the whole time! There were lots of moose tracks and droppings, but no wildlife spotted, with the exception of a few black and gray squirrels.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Did this trail yesterday. Gorgeous scenery and fall colors starting to come out. Very nice as it goes along the river most of the way. Easy with little ups and downs - great for out of town guests not used to altitudes as super easy and hardly any elevation gain at all. The only negative was a fair amount of horse poop - which was gross. Horses should be required to have bags on their bottoms in my opinion. Watch where you step! That was the only reason I didn't give 5 starts.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Nice trail. Lots of elk. Rainy in afternoon.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fairly easy trail. This trail follows along and is at the beginning of the Colorado river. I took this trail to Shiplers cabin, which basically is the wooden remains, and also some old mining carts and materials can be found in the area.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mostly flat and mostly wooded trail. About 2 miles in you'll see some yellow bellied marmots. Also saw a couple deer. Not much at Lulu City except a sign and one cabin ruins.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Main trail was under the river. There is a high trail, but it was very muddy. We turned around because not everyone had waterproof shoes. Enjoyable hike for the time we were on it.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Fairly easy trail that you can take out to Shipler's cabins (2.3 miles) or to Lulu city (3.7 miles) and then back. If you are adventurous you can continue past Lulu City and make it into a loop trail which I'm guessing would be about 10 miles. I suggest you get a trail map from the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. My wife and hiked this trail in the late afternoon and saw a mule deer and a young male elk (not sure what they are called). It was a nice hike along the Colorado River.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Good easy hike for the family. Beautiful meadow and scenic views. Watch out for moose in the meadow.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Short out and back trail. The trail is on the north side. Starting at the Colorado river.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Did not make it to Lulu, trail flooded and bypass trail was too muddy for us beginners. Trail up to the flooded area was very easy.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Great trail for warming up to elevation. Mostly flat with a nice lunch spot at lulu city. Mileage is more like 7.4 from Colorado river trail head.

mountain biking
Monday, December 03, 2012

The Colorado River Trail isn't very exciting on its own. It is an out and back trail, mostly on double track. However, it is criss-crossed by many excellent single track trails of varying difficulty. The trails wind through tight trees, with short climbs and descents. One section, called The Maze, enters the forest and then forks. Each of those trails fork. Only one choice takes you all the way through, and the rest take you back to the start.

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