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Caribou Creek
Boulder County, Colorado
Roosevelt National Forest
Boulder Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map

Forest Service Road: 505.1
County Road: 116J
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: Nederland, Jamestown, Ward
Nearby Trails: Gillespie Gulch, Coney Flats, Middle St. Vrain, Eldorado Mountain
Trail Length: 2.7 miles
Elevation: 9,713 to 10,033 feet

Recommended by Marla
Recommended by Scott

This trail has changed a lot over the last few years. In 2003 the big hill that went down to the creek crossing was fenced off. In 2005 the short spur near the creek was blocked off, but the biggest change in 2005 was to the "whoopdeedoo" section. There used to be a section of moguls in the dirt that would test the flexibility of your suspension but it has been blocked off and dug up. It is no longer a legal route on the trail.

If you start from the Nederland side you will pass through the gate near the end of the Eldorado Mountain trail. It starts off as a nice drive through a meadow and into the trees. There are a few nice camping areas near here.

When you start to go into the trees you may find some mud or watery puddles. There are rocky sections near here but it should not give you too much trouble.

When you get through the trees you will find yourself next to a fence on your left. This is the section of trail that can either be bumpy and dry or very muddy and wet. Because of this section it is usually a good idea not to run this trail alone. If you must run it alone at least you are pretty close to the residential area near the trailhead so you could walk out if need be.

The section before the creek crossing can be very muddy as well, often with deep ruts where tires have gone. Be careful not to high center here.

Follow the boulder path through the creek to the other side. Do not drive up onto the boulders or past the line created by these boulders.

Just past the creek you will see a section also marked off with boulders. This is where the whoopdeedoos once were. Follow the smooth trail around and up through this area to the other side.

Not far past here you will pass the other end of the trail, marked with signs. When you get to the main dirt road turn right to work your way back to Highway 72.

Information last updated on September 27th, 2012.

Member Reports

Driving Directions

Take Canyon Boulevard from Boulder west to Nederland. Take Highway 72 north from the roundabout in Nederland about 7 miles. Turn left at FSR 298. At one mile bear left, then left again at 3.4 miles.

Meeting Places

Meet at Starbucks at 3033 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder. This is also immediately next to a gas station, Moe's Bagels and King Soopers.

Additional Information

Low-End Rating: 2
High-End Rating: 3
Rock Crawling:
Dirt & Mud:
Water Crossings:
Cliffs & Ledges:
Climbs & Descents:
Other Activities:
What does this mean?

Trail Photographs

Caribou Town Site Rutted Section Before the Creek Crossing Whoopdeedoo Section Now Closed
Trail Sign The Creek in snow and ice The trail in snow

Maps and Coordinates
(Click a map to view full size)

Trail in Red
700 x 800 pixels
292 KB

Caribou Creek (GPS Exchange File)
Caribou Creek Track (Google Earth Track)
Caribou Creek Trailhead (Google Earth Placemark)

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Trail information is only accurate on the date posted. Trails may have changed or closed since that date. Use this information for historical purposes only. Contact the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management for up-to-date trail information.

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