Darren & Lynne's USA road trip travel blog

Dirt road to trailhead

The beginings of a large river

Pine trees and snow caps

The air's getting thinner!

Gorgeous views!

A short break while we all catch our breath

The valley below showing the road where we started from.

The old gold mine at 11,784 ft elevation.

Amazing how they got all this cast iron up here!

Alpine views

I wonder if there's gold in that stream??

A hill of tailings and old lumber used to support the mine...

Beauty all around....

yet we still had to navigate through it!!

Lynne was determined to visit Nederland as she had heard so much about it's unique shops, amazing outdoor beauty, and vibrant music scene. Nederland started out as a trading post between the Ute Indians and European Settlers during the 1850s. The first economic boom to the town came when gold, silver, & tungsten ore were discovered near the rich mines of Caribou in 1859 and Eldora in 1875.

Our 2 hour journey from Loveland to the trail took us via the vibrant city of Boulder up a winding mountainous road through the town of Nederland, the ski resort of Eldora and then a 5-7 mile pot-holed track road called Fourth of July Road (our 4 wheel drive came in very handy on this part!)finally ending at the Buckingham Campground which had closed for the winter season. Our elevation when we left Loveland was 4,982 ft with a temperature of 76 degrees and the trailhead campground approx. 10,000feet with a temperature drop to 55 dgrees.

The scenic trail follows the forested Continental Divide at Arapaho Pass with amazing views of the snow-tipped peaks. In the first two miles we passed through spruce forests, crossed several seasonal streams, and finally emerged at a timberline near the site of the Fourth of July Mine marked by several pieces of rusted mining machinery and tailings (elevation 11,942 feet and quite a few degrees cooler!). The top of the Arapaho glacier pass is visible from the mine which leads another two miles along the exposed side of the mountain.

After our long hike we ran out of time (and energy!)to explore Nederland, so we will save that for another day!

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