Geologically much of the ground is 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian Boulder Creek Granodiorite. Biotite gneiss is also found here and is even older (1,8 billion years old).
The Canadian Magloire DeLande established the DeLonde Homestead in the area in 1863 and the Switzerland Trail, the former route of Denver, Boulder & Western Railroad run through the area from 1904 to 1919. In the 1870s miners flocked to work at the many mines in the area. Remains of the Blue Bird Mine that was mining blue azurite and silver are still on the property. The ghost town of Caribou is a few miles away and gold is still mined there.
Caribou Ranch was well known also in the entertainment world in 1970s. In 1971 a music producer purchased the property and converted the barn to a recording studio. Celebrities such as John Lennon, Elton John and Rod Steward recorded here. The control room of this studio was destroyed by fire in 1985.
In July-August the Caribou and Caribou ranch area is extremely rich in wild flowers and compared to Crested Butte in abundance. The mixture of wetlands, meadows, streams, forests and woodlands provides excellent habitat to dozens of species of mammals (e.g., Elk, black bear, mule deer, mountain lion, coyote, bobcat, beaver, bat, short-tailed weasel). The property also hosts nearly 90 species of birds.
Today this property belongs to Boulder County Parks and Open Space and is subject for protection and conservation of wildlife habitats and natural resources.
For more pictures from this area, please see the BI-facebook, or click here.
Botanical Art and Illustration Program offers a 3-day Nature Journaling Class (The Art of the Nature Journal) at Caribou Ranch and Mud Lake Open Space with Maria Hodkins on August 5 through August 7. For more information and to register, please click here (There are still few seats left)