One of those places in Colorado that has been on my radar since I arrived was Rocky Mountain National Park – and this summer we finally made it! Cory’s family was in town so we headed out for an eight mile hike to the old mining settlement of Lulu City.
The trail took us right by the headwaters of the Colorado River – it was crazy to think that here you could wade through it without even getting the water over your boots – and yet it eventually ends up all the way in the Pacific Ocean.
I love all the different textures of the forest – I was actually surprised at how lush it was, as I’m used to hiking near Colorado Springs where everything is much more arid and not so much green. I even found a tiny wild strawberry!
Another benefit of being in a National Park? We ran across wildlife like you wouldn’t believe! Our group nearly walked over these two moose, that’s how close they got. It was a little nerve-wrecking in the case of the moose since they’re not exactly cuddly, but they were females and it was awesome to see them at such a short distance!
And plenty of big horn sheep to top it off, of course.
When we actually got down to the river valley where the settlement used to be, there really wasn’t much there. Well, aside from lovely views! We found a place to sit and had some food, then made our way back. The trail continued into a loop and various other branches, but we opted for the straight out and back option. We lucked out on the rain here too – definitely thought we would hit a downpour but it managed to stay clear until we got back in the car after our hike was finished.
Funny, seems like every time we cross something off our list of places to see in Colorado, we add at least two more new discoveries. We’ll definitely have to be back up here, as I still need to take photos on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway and spend a day in Estes! I’m sure more Rocky Mountain National Park hiking adventures will be right behind.