Another trip across the mountains on Trail Ridge Road took us to the beautiful Kawuneeche Valley. Ute Indians hunted game and gathered plants in the valley for more than 6,000 years, Arapaho were latecomers to the area arriving in the valley in the early 1800’s.
We stopped at the Holzwarth Historic site and took the easy ½ mile trail to the old ranch buildings.
One of the oldest buildings left standing in the valley belonged to Joseph Fleshuts who homesteaded 160 acres in 1902. It must’ve been tough out here as in 1911 he vanished and was never heard of again.
Although the valley is a prime moose habitat, as the wetlands along the Colorado River support aquatic plants, willows and aspens that moose like to eat, as we strolled along the trail we didn’t see hide nor hair of a single one.
Holzwarth Trout Lodge, owned by Sophie and John Holzwarth, was an early ‘dude ranch’ in the 1920’s.
Guests made their way to the valley driving wagons or Model T Fords and at the end of a day’s fishing guests enjoyed home cooked meals.
A freshwater spring behind the cabins, guests stayed in rustic cabins, one of which was used as a taxidermy shop.
The building with no roof was a tent cabin; it had a wooden floor and a tarpaulin for a roof.
In 1925 the Holzwarths built a more modern ‘Never Summer Ranch’ along the river and used the old buildings for overflow.
There were stunning views along the river.
Have fun, we are!