Little Yellowstone Canyon – 11mi / 17.7km
The headwaters of the Colorado River pass through a crumbling canyon reminiscent of Yellowstone’s famous canyon.
The trail works its way up through forest and small meadows alongside the Colorado River. Along the way, it passes old mines and dilapidated cabins. Follow the trail down to the site of Lulu City, an old mining town (see Lulu City in 5-10 Miles for description).
Continue past the meadows and into the trees where the trail crosses the Colorado River and begins climbing. Take a right, then cross over the cascading Lulu Creek. The trail continues climbing, eventually popping out along the edge of the canyon. After crossing Lady Creek and wrapping around the drainage, look back at the creek where a delicate waterfall drops down into the canyon. Numerous crazy rock formations are scattered about.
Just ahead, a perfect perch delivers views up and down the canyon showing off the many colors of the rock. Turn around where the trail begins heading away from the canyon. On the way back, stay left after crossing Lulu Creek and follow it down as it joins with the Colorado River. Continue along the trail back to the trailhead.
Trailhead: Turn into the signed Colorado River Trailhead parking area 9.5mi/15.2km north of the Grand Lake Entrance off the Trail Ridge Road.
Elevation Gain: 1,350ft / 405m – Elevation Loss: 1,350ft / 405m