Caribou Pass Trail #11

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Trail Distance: 4.8 miles
Time Estimate: 2 hr 40 min+
Elevation Gain: 1977 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: $5
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

The Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee National Grassland area offers an array of trails and hikes that are perfect for humans and pups to explore the protected area of Colorado. The Caribou Pass Trail is one trail that makes sure not to disappoint. Not only dog-friendly, this trail offers great amenities along with pawrific views that surround the 30 foot wide trail.

Although there is a small fee to park there, the Junco Lake Trailhead offers designated parking spaces surrounded by a fence, with pit toilets, an information kiosk, and benches at the trailhead before starting off with Fido. Views can be seen for miles thanks to the hearty grasslands that surround the trailhead. Be sure to bring any supplies you may need, including clean up bags and water to share.

Heading south, you'll be greeted with shade from the northern alpine forests that eventually cover the trail, and tranquil sounds from Meadow Creek. The trail is made from a crushed sand and soil terrain, making it very even and still to walk on, although there are steep inclines. The trail winds in and out of forests, always with plentiful shade and views of wildflower groves on the grassland, with alpine and fur trees lining the trail's edge. The path follows Meadow Creek closely, which offers access points to dip your feet in or fish.

After two miles, the trail has a fork. To the right is a different trail, but turning left will keep you on the Caribou Pass Trail, which no longer follows the creek. At the fork, the forests open up to beautiful open fields at the base of a ridge, with sharp rocky edges of the nearby mountain poking out. After another two miles of gorgeous green forests and open spaces, the trail eventually comes to an end at a pass at the base of Satanta Peak, with Columbine Lake to the south of the trail. The trail ends here, but connects to the Arapaho Pass Trail where hikers can continue up the ridge for more spectacular views. 

Travelling down past the shaded forests and sunny fields on the way back will be just as rewarding as coming through it the first time, and no matter how many times you pass through, you and Fido will love being able to enjoy this natural excursion.

Trail Features
Grassland, Mountains, Diverse Landscape, Forest, Steep Inclines, Rocky, Ice
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Permits are required for overnight campers. The area is open to dangerous animals like caribou, bears, and mountain lians.
Address
Usfs129
Nederland, CO 80466
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
Usfs129
Nederland, CO 80466
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset