Kawuneeche Valley, Rocky Mountain National Park

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Kawuneeche Valley

The lush and green Kawuneeche Valley is part of Rocky Mountain National Park, located along the park’s western boundary, with the Never Summer Mountains displaying a subtle beauty.

  • Travel the green Kawuneeche Valley through Rocky Mountain National Park, and marvel at the views of the Never Summer Mountains
  • Visit the Holzwarth Historic Site to see the 1920s ranching lifestyle
  • Hike to Lulu City from the Colorado River Trailhead
  • Have a picnic at Beaver Ponds Picnic Area

Overview

On the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park you will travel through the Kawuneeche Valley to see lush forests and green sweeps of meadows. Popular with visitors of all ages, you’ll discover plenty of outdoor activities in the area.

Location/Directions

To travel through Kawuneeche Valley, simply follow Trail Ridge Road (or US Highway 34) from Grand Lake as it follows the Colorado River northward.

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

Seasons

The Kawuneeche Valley is accessible all year, but sometimes sections of the Trail Ridge Road close due to bad weather conditions in early June or in September or October. You can call 970-586-1222 to get a recorded message on the status of the road.

Activities

  • Holzwarth Ranch
    Only about ½ mile across the valley, you can take an easy trail to the Holzwarth Historic Site. The original buildings showcase the 1920s ranching lifestyle.
  • Hiking
    Several trails crisscross the Kawuneeche Valley. The most popular is the Colorado River Trailhead that takes you to a number of hiking destinations such as Lulu City and LaPoudre Pass. From the Farview Curve you’ll get a tremendous view of the valley and the Never Summer Mountains. East Inlet Trailhead takes you to such grand sights as Adams Falls and Lone Pine Lake. Other trails begin at Green Mountain Trailhead, Onahu Trailhead, Coyote Valley Trailhead and Timber Lake Trailhead.
  • Scenic driving
    Taking the Trail Ridge Road is an excellent way to see the Kawuneeche Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park. Views are spectacular any time of year.
  • Picnicking
    Find picnic tables at many of the trailheads as well as the Beaver Ponds Picnic Area and the Beaver Creek Picnic Area.
  • Camping
    Along the route through the valley there are a number of places to camp, Timber Creek Campground possibly the favorite of those who want to sleep out under the stars within the park.
  • Wildlife watching
    Although there are many wild animals wandering these mountainous forests, it’s a wonderful place to spot some moose. Look along willow thickets to catch a glimpse of one or two.

Additional Info

Although the Kawuneeche Valley has much evidence of an infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle, forest regeneration is being looked into for areas devastated by this harmful beetle.

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