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Shipler's CabinPhoto: Chase Marston, Macs Adventure
Bring enough water and food as there are no opportunities for purchasing along the way.
The river water can swell after rain or in the spring from snow run off. Be aware as the water may impact the trail conditions.
Please note that in the early part of the summer, parts of the trail go through habitat that is commonly inhabited by elk during the calving season. Mother elk can become territorial during this time, and it is important never to approach an elk, especially with a calf. The National Park posts cautionary and informational signs during the calving season to help you stay aware of elk habitat.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
A run down cabin on the side of the trail that harkens back to the days of mining in this quiet valley. It was the home of Joe Shipler, the first to discover silver in the valley, for nearly 40 years of his later life.
One of the nation's most powerful, wonderous rivers begins just up the trail from this hike. Though only a small river along this hike, it grows to 1450 miles and deposits in the Gulf of California.
Food & Drink
After leaving Estes Park, there will not be a distinct town until Grand Lake. Make sure to bring plenty of food for the whole day's adventure. However, the Visitor's center does have a café should you need to get food before this hike.
0.00 miles – Begin the walk at the far end of the parking lot next to the informational board and beyond the bathrooms. The trail will hug the right (east) side of the valley. There will be a number of small side trails to your left, but make sure to bear right.
0.20 miles – BEAR RIGHT as a small trail continues to your left.
0.50 miles – TURN RIGHT following signs for Shipler Cabins and Lulu City.
1.10 miles – The trail closely parallels a river. Stay on the right bank and mind your footing, especially if the river is high from recent rain or in spring snow run off.
1.20 miles – BEAR RIGHT as a small trail continues to your left.
1.60 miles - BEAR RIGHT as a small trail continues to your left
2.2 miles – Reach Shipler cabin. It is in a meadow on the right side, tucked into the trees. Note, it can be easy to miss so stay attentive! After enjoying the surroundings, return the way you came.
2.8 miles – BEAR LEFT as a small trail continues to the right.
3.4 miles – BEAR LEFT as a small trail continues to the right.
3.3 miles - The trail closely parallels a river. Stay on the left (east) bank as with on the way out.
3.9 miles – TURN LEFT following signs for the Colorado River Trailhead
4.2 miles – BEAR LEFT to stay on the main trail.
4.4 miles – Arrive back at the trailhead!
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