Caribou 4WD Route

Total Miles
8.7

Elevation

3,161.32 ft

Duration

3 Hours

Technical Rating

5

Moderate

Best Time

Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

This trail borders Indian Peaks Wilderness and offers fun terrain as it passes by the old Caribou Townsite. You will get a beautiful view of Eldora Ski area. There is camping available, but only in designated sites. Don't leave the trail to go across the meadows. There is a $1,000 fine if you do. Unlicensed vehicles are permitted and can stage at the large parking area at Carabou Townsite. Open June 15 to November 30.

Photos of Caribou 4WD Route

Caribou 4WD Route
Caribou 4WD Route
Caribou 4WD Route

Difficulty

Moderate. Much of route is rocky. The north end has a muddy section after creek crossing that can be impassable. South end, dropping down to Eldora, is rocky, steep and narrow with brush. Switchbacks are the most challenging section. Short wheelbase only.

History

Miners from all over the world flocked to the town of Caribou after a rich silver deposit was discovered in 1869. Development of the town was rapid. Before long there were houses, stores, hotels, dance halls, blacksmith shops, numerous businesses and a weekly newspaper. It is estimated that $8 million was extracted from these hills in little more than a decade. Most of the mining was done on the northeast side of Caribou Hill. There are still privately owned, active mines in the area. Stay off private property or expect to be caught by a diligent caretaker.

Technical Rating

5

Status Reports

Dawn Roesler
Jun 16, 2024
4x4
Temporarily Closed
Samuel Rummel
Nov 21, 2023
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
Snow/Ice
Daniel Leonard
Sep 30, 2023
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
Rough/Deteriorated
Troy Ferguson
Sep 23, 2023
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
Rough/Deteriorated

Access Description

Take Highway 119 from Boulder to Nederland. At the roundabout, follow Highway 72 north about 7 miles to C.R. 116 on left near mile marker 39. After 0.8 mile, stay left following signs to Rainbow Lakes Campground. You'll cross a small bridge before reaching the start of the trail on left 4.2 miles from Highway 72.

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