One could consider this the origin of the Grand Canyon. Long Draw Road leads to where the Colorado River begins its magnificent 1450-mile-long journey through the southwest United States and Mexico. Long Draw Road lies along the northern edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park at the continental divide in north central Colorado. Beautiful and rugged mountain views are abundant as you travel near three different wilderness areas, the Comanche Peak, the Never Summer, and the Neota Wilderness. At the road’s end, there is plenty of room to park and then hike about one half mile to the headwaters of the Colorado River and a little further to the ghost mining town of Lulu City. Make sure you have your camera along for this adventure.
Long Draw Road is well marked taking off to the south (left) from Highway 14. On the other side of the highway, across from the Long Draw Road, is the parking lot for the Blue Lake Trailhead, a hiking only trail. A USFS gate dons the entrance to Long Draw Road. Airing down is not necessary for this trail.
Take US Highway 287 north to the start of the Poudre Canyon (Colorado Highway 14). Head west for 53 miles on Highway 14 where you will find the well marked Long Draw Road Road heading to the south (Mile marker 67). If you reach Cameron Pass, you have gone too far.
A large forest fire near Cameron Pass has this trail closed for a while. The fire is called the Cameron Peak fire. You can track information about the fire at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
As of 08-14-2020, the USFS has a closure order in place for much of the upper Poudre Canyon. Here is a map of the closed areas.
Cameron Pass has received over a foot of snow already this year, and more is on the way this week. Although this trail is officially open until November 30 each year, early snow can play havoc on accessibility. When I got to the trailhead, I was surprised to find the road had been plowed. This is not typical. Two large pieces of equipment were setting at the trailhead and appeared to be ready to be picked up and removed for the season. It looks like the road was plowed by the bulldozer as it was moved from the area. I was able to follow the road all the way back to just before the trail's end. Considerable snow is expected over the next week and the road will likely become impassible soon. Today felt like driving through a life-sized snow globe.
I have been on the trail on 07/02/2017 and it was perfect. Id rate it from a 2 to a 5 depending on where you go. This is one of my favorite places because the trail is so long, it passes 2 lakes, lulu ghost town and you can camp anywhere. I passed it today and it is closed because of snow. Hike the red line down the dam to the poudre river, its a little secret spot that me and my dad like. Bring a fishing pole!
Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well.
A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg