“Come to Caribou Ranch to experience beautiful wildflower meadows, the DeLonde Homestead, and the famous Blue Bird Mine.
— John Scalese
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a pleasant run for a relatively easy day. Along this run, 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.
This area is closed in spring for elk calving.
Need to Know
There are only a few spots that require attention for foot placement.
This loop is mostly buff singletrack/doubletrack. If you'd like, you can lap the Blue Bird Loop
for more mileage.
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.