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green Caribou Ranch

  4.2 ( 18 ) Favorite


4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 353' 108 m
Descent: -365' -111 m
High: 8,755' 2,669 m
Low: 8,533' 2,601 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by John Scalese

Come to Caribou Ranch to experience beautiful wildflower meadows, the DeLonde Homestead, and the famous Blue Bird Mine.

John Scalese

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids will love exploring the DeLonde Homestead and the Blue Bird Mine along this loop. Informative signs help them imagine what it was like to be a Colorado homesteader during the 19th Century.

This area is closed in spring for elk calving.


This is a pleasant hike for a relatively easy day. Along this hike, you'll be treated to mellow terrain and great scenery as you make your way onto the original Switzerland Trail grade and past the old DeLonde Homestead and Blue Bird Mine.

Need to Know

There are only a few spots that require attention for foot placement.


Park at the Caribou Ranch Trailhead, located on CR 126 a few miles north of Nederland (take a sharp left after reaching the bottom of a steep hill to find the road). From the trailhead, follow DeLonde Trail through a pine forest for about 0.75 miles until reaching the first meadow. Continue on the singletrack to a trail junction with a doubletrack that marks the original narrow-gauge railway grade for the Switzerland Trail. Take a right. At the junction with Blue Bird Loop, you can go either way since the trail creates a nice 2-mile loop of double and singletrack that winds through open meadow and dense aspen-and-coniferous forest on the way to the DeLonde Homestead and Blue Bird Mine Access Trail. Upon reaching the Access Trail, take it north to experience the famous Blue Bird Mine.

After returning to the Blue Bird Loop and reaching the junction with the DeLonde Trail, simply follow it back the way you came to the parking area.

This system can easily be connected with several more miles of trails at the Mud Lake Open Space by using the Caribou Ranch Link.

Flora & Fauna

The trail leads through Ponderosa pine into open meadows that have abundant wildflowers.
The meadows are surrounded with aspen that allow for great fall color.

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Mar 6, 2019
Cheryl Laniewicz
Feb 9, 2019
Kimberly Taylor
w/ kemar 5.1mi
Jan 2, 2019
Jeff Dowdy
Nice easy hike down to DeLonde Homestead. Some snow cover but not enough for snowshoeing. A few cross country skiing groups around though. overall… 2.8mi
Nov 26, 2018
Dan Holdaway
Nov 19, 2018
Tracey Ziniel
Oct 26, 2018
Holly Schnicke
Oct 20, 2018
TheGnat .
Sep 23, 2018
lindsey n.

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 18 votes


in Nederland


  4.2 from 18 votes
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