Leaving the Coyote Valley Trailhead we traveled north on Trial Ridge Road to the Holzwarth Historic Site. Sometimes the Holzwarth Site is referred to as the Never Summer Ranch but technically it was one of two businesses in the same area. The cabins and buildings of the Never Summer Ranch have been removed to preserve the historic accuracy of the Holzwarth site.
We parked in the parking area and started our 1.3 mile hike along the trail. The first historic building we came to was an old miner's cabin which belonged to the Never Summer Ranch. The cabin was built by Joseph Fleshuts in 1902. For some unknown reason he abandoned the 160-acre homestead in 1911, and was never heard from again. RMNP rangers were on hand to retell the history of the cabin.
|Historic Site sign|
From the old miner's cabin we hiked the mostly level trail towards the Holzwarth site crossing the Colorado River and enjoying sweeping views of the Kawuneeche Valley.
At just over a half-mile from the trailhead we reached the Holzwarth cabins. The cabins that make up this site were built by German immigrant, John Holzwarth Sr., in 1917. Initially the family moved to the area to start a cattle ranch but with the opening of Rocky Mountain National Park, tourism boomed and the family quickly turned their cattle ranch into a guest ranch called the Holzwarth Trout Lodge. In the day guest could stay at the lodge for $2 a day or $11 a week.
|Fences and corrals are all that remain from the Never Summer Ranch|
|Guest cabin at Holzwarth Trout Lodge|
|Park rangers and volunteers escort you through the property|
|Cold house at the cabin - notice the prairie grass on the roof. That is the original grass the Holzwarth's planted on top of the roof. It has been maintained all these years.|
Again, park rangers and volunteers were on the site to give tours of the cabins and tell the story of how the lodge worked.