From the hot desert to the cool alpine

Coming from the dusty heat of Utah’s desert we welcomed the cooler temperatures at 9000 feet in Rocky National Mountain Park. Since we arrived a day later than we had anticipated, we decided to car camp rather than backpack. We took a 7 mile hike to Lulu City, a ghost town near the headwaters of the Colorado river. Lulu City was founded in 1880 after the discovery of silver in the area. The center of town is now a peaceful grass meadow surrounded by the Never Summer Mountains.

We walked along the small stream that is the headwaters of the Colorado River, and tried to imagine what Lulu City looked like in 1881, when the year old town contained multiple grocery stores, a hardware store, a post office, sawmills, a red light district, and two stage lines. Dreams of striking it rich in gold or silver filled every prospectors’ minds as they walked out to their claims every morning. Every person in this town took on a huge expense by moving to this far away place.


The next day we drove past the Continental Divide before hiking to one of the the highest areas of the park (above 12,000 feet). Above the tree line and next to the snow we admired the many small plants and animals that struggled to survive in the harsh environment. We’re looking forward to sleeping in a bed with friends in Denver tonight.