Caribou Ranch Loop | Colorado | 07/29/19

Bluebird Loop & DeLonde Trail| Caribou Ranch Open Space

Nederland, CO | 07/29/19 | 4.93 miles | 396′ gain

This is another hike that was on Nicholas’ bucketlist. Ghost towns, ruins, you know he’s interested! I’d actually hiked this exact loop years ago, but it was fun to go back.

When I went to upload my photos to my computer, I couldn’t find my Caribou Ranch pictures. Where did they go!? I checked multiple memory cards, my phone, nothing! Am I going crazy? I remembered taking pictures of at least 6 different species of wildflowers, and I KNEW I had my camera! Well apparently something happened with my memory card and my Caribou Ranch pictures were all deleted. (That particular memory card has since been retired.) Nicholas kindly let me borrow his pictures for this post.

The trails are nice and wide.

We set off on the DeLonde Trail, which took us through forest and meadows to the DeLonde Homestead. Here we turned off on the Bluebird Loop, which offers closer views of the homestead as well as the Bluebird Mine Complex.

The DeLonde Homestead
The DeLonde Homestead
Along a short side trail at the DeLonde Homestead

There are a few short side trails that lead to little overlooks or interpretive areas. We took all of them.

The first was a short spur near the DeLonde Homestead. This led to an overgrown area that used to overlook a wetland. With all of the brush having grown so tall, we couldn’t see anything here.

The next headed down to North Boulder Creek. Some ladies were sitting directly on the steps and wouldn’t move for us, and I slipped and scraped my leg on a sharp branch, trying to go around them. I mumbled some not so nice words under my breath.

North Boulder Creek

The final side trail was the best, this was the one that went to the Bluebird Mine Complex. This is a small complex, as the Bluebird Mine didn’t produce as well as expected. But the remaining buildings have been well preserved and restored.

Restored bunkhouse
When people find things, they set them on the porch of the bunkhouse for others to enjoy!
The mine president lived in this house with his family.

After a while spent exploring, we set out to finish the Bluebird Loop and then took the DeLonde Trail back to the trailhead.

Bluebird Loop views
You can even see the DeLonde Homestead in the distance!

Ghost Town of Caribou | Nederland, CO | 07/29/19

After we finished our hike, we grabbed a delicious lunch in Nederland and drove to the nearby ghost town of Caribou. Stone foundations are all that remains of what once was a bustling mining town!


9 thoughts on “Caribou Ranch Loop | Colorado | 07/29/19

    1. We had a really long winter & wet spring which caused everything to be SO green this year! Finally out of a 10+ year drought!

      America is definitely geared towards hiking, and I’d say Colorado even more so. There are so many trails, you could hike all day every day and still never do them all!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I wish we’d taken more time to visit some of these old mines/towns when we lived in Colorado. But it was all work, work, work then. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So it’s nice to visit them vicariously with you two. ๐Ÿ™‚ “…the Bluebird Mine didn’t produce as well as expected…” just about sums up the story of most Western mines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now you have an excuse to come back and visit! If you guys ever do get back, be sure to let me know and we can go do something together ๐Ÿ™‚

      Your comment about the mines is so true. I’m not sure how much exploring you’ve done in Colorado or similar areas, but there are signs of mining activity EVERYWHERE. Tailings, prospecting holes, etc. etc!

      Liked by 2 people

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