Rocky Mountain History & Museums: Never Summer Ranch / Holzwarth Historic Site

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Never Summer Ranch / Holzwarth Historic Site

When traveling to Rocky Mountain National Park, see a fully restored guest ranch as it was in the 1920s by visiting Holzwarth Historic Site, also known as Never Summer Ranch.

  • When in Rocky Mountain National Park, visit the Holzwarth Historic Site
  • Easy to access via the Trail Ridge Road
  • Take an easy hike to the site through scenic parkland
  • Tour the restored cabins and see ranching life from the 1920s
  • Catch a glimpse of moose in the marshy areas nearby


The Never Summer Ranch or Holzwarth Historic Site offers the visitor an interesting look into an original dude ranch of the Rockies – a place of rest and relaxation for tourists in the 1920s. Within Rocky Mountain National Park, this has become a popular spot to discover how it was in early days before the park was established.


Holzwarth Historic Site is approximately 7 miles north of Grand Lake and 13 miles west of Alpine Visitor Center on US Highway 34/Trail Ridge Road.

Contact information for Rocky Mountain National Park:
1000 Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517-8397
Phone for visitor information: 970-586-1206


Holzwarth Historic Site is accessible year-round and is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.


  • Tour the Historic Site
    An excellent showcase for the history of Rocky Mountain National Park exists here, and you can tour the many buildings that make up the site. A short trail takes you from the parking lot to these amazing cabins, restored to their 1920s glory. The first homestead cabin, known as Mama’s Cabin, was where delicious meals were prepared for the visitors who paid $11 a week to stay here.
  • Hiking
    You can’t help to take a short hike on a level and easy trail, because that is how you reach the Holzwarth Historic Site. The out-and-back trail is just a little bit over a mile, with lovely meadows and the Never Summer Mountains providing the backdrop.
  • Wildlife Watching
    Marshy areas are a natural part of the landscape, and these are the favorites of those mighty creatures - moose. You may catch sight of one drinking or grazing. Keep an eye out for other wildlife that makes this area their home.

Additional Info

John Holzwarth Sr. was a saloonkeeper in Denver, but when prohibition came along, he had to start all over. He became a rancher and started his new homestead in the mountains in 1917. Later he joined with other area residents to serve all the tourists flooding into the region. His ranch, then a trout lodge, became the ideal getaway spot. Later it became a dude ranch. In 1973, when Holzwarth sold his property, everything was restored to how it was in the 1920s.