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Caribou 4x4 Road

Popular, mostly-easy route close to Boulder

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Rating: 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Fun route with a variety of modest challenges. Skirts eastern border of Indian Peaks Wilderness and passes by historic Caribou... more »

Tips:  Trail is supposed to open by June 15, but is sometimes delayed if conditions are too wet. If you go early, call ahead to make sure... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

Follow County Road 116 toward Rainbow Lakes Campground, but turn left here on Forest Road 505 before the campground. Start is well marked.

2. Creek Crossing

Cross Caribou Creek at designated crossing. Section after creek can get quite muddy after rainy periods.

3. Camp Sites

Continue south to stay on main trail as you pass numbered designated campsites. Road on right goes to more numbered campsites. This is a fun side trip but eventually deadends. Camping is permitted only in designated campsites along the entire trail.

4. Caribou Townsite

Arrive at Historic Caribou Townsite. To continue trip, turn hard right downhill staying on 505. Gate should be open between June 15 and November 30, but opening can be delayed if trail is too wet. Check with Forest Service if you go early. The main road on the left is County Road 128 that comes up from Nederland. The small road hard left uphill is... More

5. More Campsites to Right

Main trail continues left. Right goes to more designated campsites and eventually deadends.

6. Continue Straight

Continue straight on 505 and climb a steep hill.

7. Scenic High Point

Main trail continues to left at scenic high point. Right is fun side trip but deadends. As you continue downhill on main trail, stay right where a lesser road immediately goes left. This road is closed and has a $1,000 fine because it passes through Caribou Townsite at the bottom.

8. Begin Narrower Descent

After easy stretch, you reach a switchback where the road begins to narrow and you begin steep descent down to the town of Eldora.

9. Tight Switchback

Tight switchback is tougher for long, over oversized vehicles.

10. End of trail

Seasonal Gate marks south end of trail. After gate, bear right, then left downhill between houses. After house, turn left on Huron Avenue and continue east to paved County Road 130, which connects to Highway 119 into Nederland. As you pass through houses, please do so quietly to avoid disturbing local residents.