Rocky Mountain National Park - Lulu City Hike and Elk - June 2016
After our strenuous hike to the Grand Ditch the previous day we planned a more sedate hike to Lulu City this morning.
A flowered meadow is now all that remains of this once booming mining town. On the hike you pass by the remains of log cabins and if interested can search for tailings from the Shipler Mine about 2 miles into the trail. The trail follows the Colorado River and passes meadows on this picturesque moderate 7.5 mile round trip hike.
There were very few people on the trail….as usual we had set off early. There was some elevation gain (500ft) but nowhere near our previous days almost vertical hike to the Grand Ditch. In less than two hours with several stops to take photos we reached the meadows where the mining town had originally stood. Time for a mid morning picnic. Sitting under the shade of two giant Cottonwood trees by the side of the Colorado River, with the sun already glinting off its surface, like so many sparkling diamonds, we sat and took in the scene around us. We spotted what we were told by one local who joined us was Bighorn Sheep up on the side of Red Mountain…I thought they were goats…..and then were joined by two “scientists” from University of Colorado who armed with all sorts of very technical looking apparatus were taking water samples and measuring flow from the river.
After an hour of total mindfulness sitting in this beautiful area, we set off on our return and arrived back at the trailhead car park by lunchtime….very nice hike.
Back at camp we noticed a lot of cars parked on the side of the road by the campground. There were four large bull Elk who had decided to take up residence in the campground itself. Now these guys, early in the season are all good mates….their main focus in life is to feed up ready for the fall rut….come September they would all be in competition with each other for the females who were a little shyer and their temperament would be very different.
They were very passive and despite some extreme provocation by some tourists who insisted on getting just too close to get that memorable holiday snap, this despite the warnings from the volunteer campground hosts, they were pretty happy to pose and wander around the camp.