Hiking Project Logo

green Caribou Ranch

  4.1 ( 17 )

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Easy

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by John Scalese

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Weather

Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Bad / Closed 3 days ago See History
Closed April 1 for elk calving.

Popular hikes nearby

Hiked this trail?

Add details to help others plan their adventure.

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

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.
4.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 17 votes

#2

in Nederland

#1120

Overall
  4.1 from 17 votes
5 Star
24%
4 Star
65%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in Nederland

#196

in Colorado

#1,120

Overall
110 Views Last Month
4,988 Since Oct 23, 2015
Easy Easy

69%
31%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Very gentle, beautiful walk through the woods. Great for folks who are looking for more of a stroll than a hike. Nice historical info on placards along the way, as well. Jul 2, 2017

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking