Lulu City was founded in 1879 during Colorado’s great silver and gold mining days in the upper Kawuneeche Valley in western Rocky Mountain National Park. Fort Collins merchant Benjamin Burnett grubstaked prospector John Rigdon to search the headwaters of the Colorado River for precious metal. Rigdon found a vein of silver and lead, so Burnet promptly plotted a 100-block town and named it for his daughter Lulu. Hundreds of miners flocked to Lulu City by late 1880, boosting the population to 500, and ten active mines dotted the area in 1881. Low-grade gold and silver ore, however, made most miners pack up and the town was mostly abandoned by 1885, with the post office closing in 1886. Three log cabins, a few foundations, and mine tailings are all that’s left of Lulu City now. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Hikers reach the remote townsite with an easy 6.2-mile roundtrip trek from the Colorado River Trailhead.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green