You will be surprised when hiking Caribou Ranch Open Space how much history is located within its boundaries. A loop trail takes you past the historic DeLonde Homestead and the famous Blue Bird Mine from the late 1880s. History buffs will love this and if you are just wanting a day out and hike through meadows, trees and take in the views, this is perfect too. Something for everyone.

 

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It’s March and still snowing in Colorado! The trails are packed down and I found most hikers wearing spikes like I was. However, several were cross country skiing and snowshoeing. March is such a great time to do it all, the snow provides everything winter provides but with warm weather and blue skies.

NOTE: Caribou Ranch is closed annually from April 1 through June 30 to protect spring migratory birds and elk calving and rearing.

Having the appropriate gear when hiking on any trail in Colorado is essential! CLICK HERE> for practical gear that we love at Crazy About Colorado and have in our backpacks on every hike.

 

 

Really easy hiking through beautiful lush forests with intermittent views while passing numerous snowmen created from previous hikers and one snow bunny, who had big ears and pinecone eyes. Made me smile.

 

 

Crossing melting meadows and passing a signpost, which stated we were walking on the gentle sloping roadbed, which was part of the once famous Switzerland Trail. Make sure to spot it and read about its journey to Blue Bird Mine.

After hiking about a mile in the Blue Bird loop begins, which is 1.8 miles around.

 

 

 

 

DeLonde HOMESTEAD

The DeLonde Homestead first founded in 1863 then later in 1936 became the first Arabian Horse ranch in Colorado. It’s really quite a sight and beautifully preserved.

 


 

 

BLUE BIRD MINE COMPLEX

Then onto the Blue Bird Mine, which is a side trip off the Blue Bird Trail. You will see a signpost for .01 mile. Definitely worth it, lots to see, a bunkhouse, horse stable, and the mine.

 

 

The Blue Bird Mine buried in snow today but remarkable how much is still here. Looked like the trail continued on but we were unable to go farther.

At the beginning of our day we had planned on hiking Lost Lake in Indian Peak Wilderness but found it crowded and without any where to park so we tried here and was pleasantly surprised. Although not a hard day hike it was rewarding with its surrounding beauty and history. VERY family friendly.

LOCATED:

HOPE THIS INSPIRES YOU TO GET OUT EVEN IN THE SNOW! WHAT A PERFECT BEGINNER HIKE FOR SNOWSHOEING OR CROSS COUNTRY.

Summer – I will be coming back. Would be wildflowers everywhere!

TIDBITS

Caribou Ranch Open Space– about 4 miles of trails.

Rated: easy

Nearest town: Nederland, CO

Day use only

No pets, bikes, camping, open fires

Restroom, picnic tables at trailhead

Closed: the months of April, May, June

A Collection of Trails we loved... Colorado Hikes, 23 Awesome Trails!

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