Uncover green meadows, cascading waterfalls and towering peak views. The Kawuneeche Valley offers hiking, snowshoeing, scenic drives and plenty of places to simply sit and take in the soaring Rocky Mountains. Prepare for your adventure by visiting the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, where you'll find information about the park, trails and guided tours.

Kawuneeche Visitor Center

Year-Round Hours: 9:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas day)
Amenities: restrooms, gift shop, educational film, topographical map, campsite reservations, Wi-Fi
Phone Number: 970-627-3471
Location: 16018 US-34, Grand Lake

Check Rocky Mountain National Park’s current reservation requirements and make your reservation at Recreation.gov.

Two hikers with backpacks walking on a forest trail in the Kawuneeche Valley.

Kawuneeche Valley Trails

From the easily accessible Coyote Valley Trail to the 13.8-mile Lulu City/Yellowstone Loop, there's a scenic path for everyone in this corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. Below are just a sample of the options available.

Contact the Kawuneeche Visitor Center for details on seasonal trail closures.

Coyote Valley Trail (Easy, Wheelchair Accessible)

Start Here: Coyote Valley Trailhead

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along this wheelchair-accessible trail that follows the rushing water of the Colorado River. Keep an eye out for elk grazing in the valley and enjoy a picnic at one of the many benches along the way.

Adams Falls (Easy)

Start Here: East Inlet Trailhead

Take an easy, one-mile round-trip hike to Adams Falls, a large, roaring waterfall that serves as a gateway to a larger glaciated valley if you continue down the path. Don’t miss the golden aspens along this trail in fall — and be sure to snap a picture of the kaleidoscope of wildflowers that pop up during the summer months.

Cascade Falls (Moderate)

Start Here: North Inlet Trailhead

Discover the photogenic Cascade Falls on a 3.4-mile hike along the North Inlet Trail. Pass through open meadows where marmots play or settle in for an afternoon of fishing small-brook trout in the nearby river.

Green Mountain Loop (Moderate)

Start Here: Green Mountain Trailhead or Onahu Trailhead

Hike through lush meadows and green forests of lodgepole pines and delicate aspens on this 7.6-mile loop. Keep your camera ready (and keep your distance!) for sightings of massive moose and elk foraging in the meadow. And remember the “rule of thumb” when spotting wildlife: If you can cover the animal with your thumb, you’re at a safe distance.

Holzwarth Historic Site (Easy)

Start Here: Holzwarth Historic Site

Step back in time with a visit to the Holzwarth Historic Site, a rustic guest ranch from the 1920s right in Rocky Mountain National Park. Take a leisurely half-mile walk across the valley to spot the old log cabins, which many historians consider the first dude ranch in Colorado.

Lake Irene (Easy)

Start Here: Lake Irene Picnic Area

Relax by the tranquil waters of Lake Irene, surrounded by tall pines and billowing summer wildflowers. Stop at the Lake Irene Picnic Area for a sandwich break, then wander over to the subalpine lake to sit and watch the sparkling waves.

Lulu City (Moderate – Difficult)

Start Here: Colorado River Trailhead

Explore the remains of the once-booming mining town of Lulu City on this 7.4-mile round-trip hike. Pass by log cabins and sprawling meadows as you follow the pine-scented trail parallel to the Colorado River.

Lulu City/Yellowstone Loop (Difficult)

Start Here: Colorado River Trailhead

Embark on a moderate to strenuous 13.8-mile hike that takes you through the rugged beauty of Little Yellowstone and the Grand Ditch. Marvel at the volcanic-rock formations along the way and find remnants of old buildings from the nineteenth-century mining town.

Shadow Mountain Lookout Trail (Moderate – Difficult)

Start Here: East Shore Trailhead

Hike to an early fire lookout and enjoy panoramic views of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake and Lake Granby. Starting from the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads, this trek offers a unique perspective of the region’s iconic water formations.

Experience Wildlife in Kawuneeche Valley

While you’re driving through the stunning turns of Trail Ridge Road or traversing the park’s trails, keep your eyes peeled for deer, elk, antelope and moose grazing in the valley's meadows. The Colorado River headwaters offer gold-medal waters and tons of fly-fishing opportunities for trout enthusiasts. Remember to view wildlife from a safe distance and never approach or feed any animals.

Want to see the area for yourself? Check out the National Park Service’s Kawuneeche Valley webcam.

Follow the “rule of thumb”. If you can cover the animal with your thumb, you're at a safe distance. Store food, trash and scented items in bear-proof containers to avoid unwanted interactions.
Stay on designated trails, even in less-than-ideal conditions. It protects wildlife, prevents erosion and ensures you remain on the safest terrain. If you're camping, choose a designated campsite.
Ensure campfires are permitted in your area. Once lit, keep them small and monitored, and extinguish fully when finished. Be careful when smoking, discarded butts are common causes of wildfires.
Always pack out your trash, including peels and cores. No restroom? Be ready with a disposable WAG bag or bury your business 8 inches deep, at least 70 steps from all water sources and trails.
Never take plants, rocks or cultural items you find while exploring. Keep gear clean to prevent the spread of invasive species and preserve the landscape. Even minor damage can have a lasting impact.
Respect fellow adventurers in Grand County. Be mindful of noise and yield to uphill hikers and bikers who need the momentum. Always give priority to wheelchair users and equestrians on the trail.
Grand County weather is as varied as our activity options. Be prepared with warm layers, sun protection and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. Explore lesser-traveled sites to avoid the crowds.
More Grand County Trip Inspiration

Looking for more ideas for your Grand County itinerary? Check out these resources:

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Grand Lake is the Western Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Explore all the things you can do in town while you're visiting.

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