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Caribou Pass Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#49 of 165 trails in

Caribou Pass Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tabernash, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,715 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Note: Road has a seasonal closure - it is open June 15th - November 15th (pending weather).

hiking
2 days ago

Incredible views from the top, awesome mountain meadows with wildflowers. Can be pretty steep in some places but worth it

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail! Can be pretty steep in places. If you keep going towards Lake Dorothy and Arapaho Pass the views get even better (but it does cross a rock field, so proceed with caution, especially with dogs).

hiking
3 months ago

View from the top is quite incredible.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail! Great views from the top! We didn’t go there this time but Caribou Lake is well worth the trek as well!

hiking
3 months ago

My girlfriend and I did this trail in mid August. It was beautiful, challenging at times, and well maintained. The last stretch of the climb is quite intense, consisting of steep inclines above the tree line, which in our case made for a very windy finish. A 4wd vehicle is also recommended as the road to reach the trail had more potholes and uneven patches than I ever thought possible on a road. Still very worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

7/30/19–This was quite a haul up, very steep in places. But the view at the top was amazing. Hardly saw anyone on the trail. A few boggy places with mosquitoes but most of the trail wasn’t buggy.

hiking
4 months ago

Great views once you get to the top. A little wet and muddy but it had rained the night before. Saw 2 sets of momma moose with her baby moose

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

We hiked up to Caribou Pass from Junco Trailhead today. Weather was perfect with a mild breeze at the top. The wildflowers are probably not at their peak yet but were still quite beautiful--columbines, elephant heads, marsh marigolds, chiming bells, and many others. A moose was in the lower meadow. We did not continue to Lake Dorothy as there is still a snowfield blocking the trail and the crossing could be treacherous. The first mile is very gentle with the incline picking up the second mile. The last mile + climb to timberline and up to the pass is continuously steep with a few breaks while crossing lush, green meadows.

hiking
4 months ago

The road to the trailhead has been open for about 2 weeks now. We hiked up to the gorgeous Caribou Pass today. There were a few snow fields but nothing major. You will not lose the trail. The trail over to Lake Dorothy was impassable due to a major snow plug. We hoped to see paintbrushes but they weren’t out yet. Saw fields of other flowers that I don’t know the names of. We only saw 2 other people on the trail until we got back to the junction with the trail to Columbine Lake. Highly recommend this trail. The views on top are spectacular!

hiking
closed
5 months ago

Road is closed 2.3 miles from trailhead. No signs to know this until to reach this point.

Mon Sep 03 2018

Great hike and views. At 55yo, I was surprised it didn’t wear my out. Best adventure of my vacation and a good time with my two teenage daughters.

Sun Jul 01 2018

Beautiful hike! We did this as the first day of a wedding weekend. I have moderate asthma and while I did need a few breaks the hike was a small challenge but doable for me. Very cold wind when you get up to the top but lots of beautiful views.

Thu Jun 28 2018

Great views. The last half mile is pretty steep combined with high altitude makes it pretty slow going. My son and i (from ohio) took about 2 hours up and 1:45 down. Watch for rocks on the trail, they are not ankle friendly. Overall a great afternoon with a great prize at the end. Dont stop at the rock pile at the end, another 75 feet up the trail will get you a great view... Enjoy

Fri May 25 2018

Trail closed until June 15th

Sun Sep 17 2017

not crowded, amazing views.

hiking
Sun Sep 10 2017

This trail was great. I would recommend a vehicle with a high ground clearance as the camp road to the trailhead parking lot is a bit rough. I made it without incident in a Mazda 3 but moving very slowly. I trekked up to Lake Dorothy starting at this trailhead. Once you get to the fork in the trail where left is Caribou Pass and right is Columbine Lake, that's where the real climb begins. I would definitely consider this to be a very lightly trafficked trail. I was joined by only two other people on the way up. And one of those was a National Forest Ranger. I started out at around 8:00am. There were an unbelievable amount of birds around once the Sun was fully in the sky. When you reach the top and are overlooking Caribou Lake I would recommend continuing on and to the right around to Lake Dorothy. The trail is a little sketchy from there on but not impassable on a good clear day. Which it was when I had done this and the views were outstanding! Also when I went this time of year, in early September, there were a lot of hunters in the woods. Not a big deal, as long as gunfire doesn't bother you. Lots of amazing camping available, just need to purchase a backcountry pass at the Ranger station for $5 and I'm pretty sure that covers your parking as well. Not too bad IMO.

hiking
Mon Aug 28 2017

My wife and I did this trail during our visit to Colorado last week and it was amazing. It was the perfect amount of a hiking challenge for two fit-ish people traveling to altitude from FL. Once we passed the Caribou Pass/Columbine Lake split, we didn't see a single person which was very nice. The scenery is was breathtaking and overall experience will never be forgotten. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
Mon Jul 31 2017

One of my favorite views. Have backpacked from monarch lake to this (and looped back to monarch) and just recently did this hike from the junco lake trail head. The last mile got me winded, but man, it was worth it!

Thu Jul 13 2017

Cool trail! Going up the pass is super steep, but near the top there are some beautiful views before you get up to Dorothy Lake. Did this trail with a pack on, great workout.

hiking
Thu Jul 06 2017

We hiked to Junco Lake, which was breathtaking. The trail is a great workout with the most beautiful scenic views and lots of water. The downside? TONS of people. Granted, we did it the Saturday before a holiday weekend, so hopefully we just had terrible luck, but it felt like a Disneyland ride just walking among groups of people. There were a few ranger sightings and they were cleaning up the well maintained trails. This would be a gorgeous trail for a hot day, but definitely go early if you don't want to feel like a sheep being herded in! Overall we enjoyed being able to camp near the trailhead and walk in to a beautiful trail, it is worth it, but just be ready for a lot of people and a lot of leashed dogs!

hiking
Mon Jul 11 2016

Great and strenuous hike for the short distance. Weather was gorgeous and everything in bloom. However pass was covered by some snow towards the end to which my companions wanted to turn back (could have went up and around). I left the party briefly to summit the peak which offered stunning views and was about an additional 600-800 feet up. One you make it to the pass a little after 4 miles near the pass - there are many great connecting hikes in the area if you would like to really add some mileage to this hike most likely making it an overnighter. Trails lead to nearby lakes down about 1,500 ft below, or connect all the way to Lake Dorothy and the Fourth of July trail.

hiking
Tue Jul 28 2015

After Arapaho pass headed on to Caribou pass. Almost made it to the end but got scared at the narrow ledge, sloping with 800 ft drop off which had some parts with scree and another with small patch of snow where you had to either go around over or under. My friend and I are both afraid of heights. If Ur ok with heights would be fine to continue on. We had trouble navigating around the scree and the small snow patch and decided to turn around and go to Lake Dorothy instead. Maybe next time. Pretty view of the lakes before you get to the pass.

Mon Jul 27 2015

Awesome hike. The lake is spectator at the top. Some steep spots for sure. Trail is very narrow with large drop offs about 1/2 mile before lake.

recorded Sara

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Caribou Pass Trail

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1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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