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Boulder, CO: Caribou Ranch Loop

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 4.3 miles


Nestled between Nederland and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, this 4.26 mile lollipop trail takes you by mountain vistas on your way to a 19th century homestead.
  • A quick peak at the mountains
  • An opening on the trail
  • In and out of the snow
  • Red barn at Caribou Ranch
  • An open field before the homestead
  • Red barn in the distance
  • Aspen along the trail
  • Aspen that's been munched on
  • Sign to the homestead
  • Red barn
  • Walking up to homestead
  • A sign on the history of the homestead
  • Delonde Homestead
  • View overlooking the homestead
  • Heading back

This property was once home to the first Arabian horse ranch in Colorado. It was also the site of a recording studio in the 70s that brought Elton John to town, but had to shut down after a fire in 1985.  Finally the land was bought by Boulder County and the City of Boulder in 1996, making it available for public use.
This flat trail is great for year-round use, including winter hiking and snowshoeing. The hike starts out on the DeLonde trail which is well-marked with blue-blazes.  Follow the trail through a forest of ponderosa pines that's sprinkled with small aspen groves. Dogs aren't allowed on the trail and if you visit during the week, you may have the place to yourself, only hearing  the wind in the trees.

The trail opens up several times offering beautiful views. You’ll come to a fork where you head right and follow the sign down to the Delonde homestead. Once you’ve checked out the house and overlook, turn around and hop on the Blue Bird loop, which is roughly 1.8 miles long. Once the trail meets back up with the Delonde trail, you’re about 1.2 miles from the trailhead.

 

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