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Caribou Ranch



4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer loop
98% Runnable


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

This area is closed in spring for elk calving.


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.

Need to Know

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

Runner Notes

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.


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Oct 13, 2018
Jenny Cole
Easy, beautiful, and feels more remote than most front range trails. Really well maintained and pretty area. The nicest views were on the drive there. 4.4mi — 0h 55m
Sep 16, 2018
Carlos Pullas
Jul 15, 2018
Chase Coale
Well packed out trail for running! The uphill on the loop is a little rocky 10.3mi
Feb 10, 2018
Julian Weisser
XC ski 4.3mi
Sep 23, 2016
Todd Straka
Aug 20, 2016
WookieStick69 Thomas
Linked this up with Mud Lake for a total of 9.15 miles. Dirt was soft, tree sprayed rain drops from the night before whenever the wind blew. Fantastic 9.2mi — 1h 32m

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 22 votes


  4.1 from 22 votes
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in Colorado


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8,068 Since Oct 23, 2015



Fantastic fall colors so close to Boulder.
Sep 24, 2016 near Nederland, CO
Sweeping meadows and aspens along historic grounds.
Sep 24, 2016 near Nederland, CO
The fall brings out nice colors in and around the large meadow.
Oct 23, 2015 near Nederland, CO