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