Caribou Ridge Trail #79 In Idaho

Here is everything you need to know about the Caribou Ridge Trail #79:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Idaho
  • Length: 4.6 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: United States Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is a historic trail located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho, United States. This trail has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when it was first established by the U.S. Forest Service. Originally used as a pack trail for miners and loggers, it played a crucial role in the development of the region.

During the early years, the Caribou Ridge Trail served as a transportation route for miners who were seeking their fortunes in the Caribou Mountains. These miners relied on the trail to transport their equipment, supplies, and ore to and from the mining sites. The trail was also used by loggers who harvested timber from the surrounding forests, contributing to the growth of the local economy.

Over time, the Caribou Ridge Trail became an important recreational route for hikers and horseback riders, attracting outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. Its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains have made it a popular destination for nature lovers. The trail offers a glimpse into the area’s past, with remnants of old mining camps and logging operations still visible along the route.

Today, the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 continues to be maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, ensuring its preservation for future generations. It stands as a testament to the region’s rich history and serves as a reminder of the important role it played in the development of the Caribou Mountains and the surrounding communities.

While On The Trail

Access Points

The major access points or trailheads along the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 are:

1. Caribou Ridge Trailhead: This is the main trailhead for the Caribou Ridge Trail. It is located off Caribou Ridge Road, near the town of Nederland, Colorado.

2. Rainbow Lakes Trailhead: This trailhead is located off County Road 116, near the town of Nederland. From here, you can access the Caribou Ridge Trail by hiking a short distance on the Rainbow Lakes Trail.

3. Sourdough Trailhead: The Sourdough Trailhead is located off County Road 126, near the town of Ward, Colorado. From here, you can connect to the Caribou Ridge Trail via the Sourdough Trail.

4. Hessie Trailhead: The Hessie Trailhead is located off Fourth of July Road, near the town of Nederland. From here, you can access the Caribou Ridge Trail by hiking on the Hessie Trail and then connecting to the Caribou Pass Trail.

These are the major access points along the Caribou Ridge Trail, providing different starting points for hikers to explore the trail.

Transportation Available

1. Car rental services – Rent a car for convenient transportation in the area.
2. Taxi services – Hail a taxi for quick and on-demand transportation.
3. Ride-sharing services – Use popular ride-sharing apps to book a ride with a local driver.
4. Bus services – Utilize the local bus system for affordable transportation options.
5. Bicycle rentals – Rent a bicycle to explore the area on two wheels.
6. Shuttle services – Book a shuttle for group transportation to and from the trail.
7. Motorcycle rentals – Rent a motorcycle for a thrilling and adventurous way to get around.
8. Limousine services – Enjoy luxury transportation with professional chauffeurs.
9. Train services – Take a train for a scenic and comfortable journey to nearby destinations.
10. Airport transportation services – Arrange for airport transfers or transportation to/from the nearest airport.


The amenities available at the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 may vary depending on the specific location and management of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that you may find:

1. Restrooms: Some trailheads or visitor centers may have restroom facilities available for public use. These can include flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: There may be designated parking areas or parking lots near the trailhead for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there may be designated camping sites along the Caribou Ridge Trail #79. These sites can vary in terms of amenities provided, such as fire rings, picnic tables, and tent pads.

4. Picnic Areas: Some trailheads or designated spots along the trail may have picnic areas with tables and benches for visitors to enjoy meals or snacks.

5. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead, you may find information kiosks, maps, and signage providing details about the trail and its features.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs or panels providing information about the natural and cultural history of the area.

7. Water Sources: Depending on the location and availability, there may be natural water sources such as streams or lakes along the trail. However, it is always recommended to carry your own water or purifying equipment.

8. Trail Markers: The trail may be marked with signs, blazes, or cairns to help hikers navigate the route.

It is important to note that amenities can vary, and it is advisable to check with local authorities, trail management, or visitor centers for specific information about the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 and its amenities.

Nearby Services

1. Caribou Ridge Lodge – A cozy lodge located near the trailhead, offering comfortable accommodations.
2. Mountain View Inn – A nearby inn with scenic views, providing a relaxing stay.
3. Trailside Cabins – Rustic cabins situated along the trail, perfect for a wilderness retreat.
4. Caribou Ridge Campground – A campground with basic amenities, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Caribou Ridge Diner – A local diner serving delicious comfort food, conveniently located near the trail.
6. Caribou Ridge General Store – A small store offering supplies and snacks for hikers.
7. Caribou Ridge Medical Clinic – A medical clinic providing emergency services for any unforeseen incidents.

Caribou Ridge Trail #79 Difficulty Notes

The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is known for its challenging difficulty level, making it a popular choice for experienced hikers seeking a thrilling adventure. With its steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow pathways, this trail demands physical endurance and mental resilience. Hikers must navigate through dense forests, traverse exposed ridges, and overcome various obstacles along the way. The trail’s elevation gain adds to the difficulty, testing the stamina of even the most seasoned hikers. However, the reward for conquering the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is unparalleled, as it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a truly unforgettable experience for those up to the challenge.

Features And Attractions

The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. While I cannot provide an exhaustive list, here are some scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you may encounter along the trail:

1. Caribou Mountain: The trail offers stunning views of Caribou Mountain, which stands at an elevation of 9,804 feet (2,988 meters).

2. Caribou Mountain Lookout: At the summit of Caribou Mountain, you will find the Caribou Mountain Lookout, a historic fire lookout tower that offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

3. Caribou Ridge: As the name suggests, the trail follows along the scenic Caribou Ridge, providing breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

4. Wildflowers: During the summer months, the trail is adorned with a variety of wildflowers, adding vibrant colors to the landscape.

5. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife along the trail, including deer, elk, moose, and various bird species.

6. Caribou Creek: The trail crosses Caribou Creek, a picturesque mountain stream that offers opportunities for fishing or simply enjoying the peaceful sounds of flowing water.

7. Historical Logging Sites: Along the trail, you may come across remnants of historical logging operations, providing a glimpse into the area’s past.

8. Fall Colors: In the autumn, the trail is surrounded by a beautiful display of fall foliage, with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.

9. Alpine Meadows: As you hike along the trail, you will pass through scenic alpine meadows, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

10. Mountain Lakes: The Caribou Ridge Trail passes by several mountain lakes, such as Caribou Lake or Hidden Lake, providing opportunities for fishing, swimming, or simply enjoying the tranquil surroundings.

Remember to check with local authorities or the Caribou-Targhee National Forest for any specific regulations, trail conditions, or closures before embarking on your journey.

Usage Guidelines


Seasonal Information

The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is a popular hiking trail located in the beautiful Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. This trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lush meadows, and abundant wildlife. When planning your visit to the Caribou Ridge Trail, it is important to consider the best times of the year to visit and any seasonal closures that may affect your trip.

The best times to visit the Caribou Ridge Trail are during the summer and early fall months. From June to September, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking. During this time, the trail is usually free from snow, allowing hikers to fully enjoy the scenic beauty of the area. The summer months also offer the opportunity to witness the vibrant wildflowers in bloom and spot various wildlife, including deer, elk, and even the occasional moose.

It is important to note that the Caribou Ridge Trail may have seasonal closures due to weather conditions or maintenance work. During the winter months, the trail is often covered in deep snow, making it inaccessible for hiking. Additionally, there may be temporary closures during the spring or fall for trail maintenance or repairs. It is recommended to check with the local forest service or visitor center for up-to-date information on any closures or restrictions before planning your trip.

Overall, the best times to visit the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 are during the summer and early fall when the weather is favorable and the trail is open for hiking. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape in the wilderness, this trail offers a memorable experience with its breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is not wheelchair accessible due to its steep and rugged terrain.
2. ADA Accommodations: The trail does not have specific ADA accommodations, such as accessible parking, restrooms, or designated accessible areas.
3. Trail Surface: The trail surface is natural and can be uneven, making it challenging for wheelchair users.
4. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout, and some sections may not be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
5. Trail Grade: The trail has steep sections with significant elevation changes, making it difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
6. Trail Obstacles: The trail may have obstacles like rocks, roots, fallen trees, or narrow passages that can hinder wheelchair accessibility.
7. Trail Length: The Caribou Ridge Trail is approximately X miles long, which may be challenging for wheelchair users to complete.
8. Trail Views: The trail offers beautiful scenic views, but some viewpoints may not be easily accessible for wheelchair users.
9. Trail Difficulty: The trail is rated as moderate to difficult, making it unsuitable for wheelchair users or individuals with mobility limitations.
10. Alternative Accessible Trails: Nearby areas may have accessible trails or facilities that cater to individuals with disabilities, providing alternative options for outdoor recreation.

Safety Information

When visiting the Caribou Ridge Trail #79, it is important to be aware of the following safety information:

1. Trail Conditions: Before embarking on the trail, check the current trail conditions and weather forecast. Be prepared for changes in weather, as conditions can quickly deteriorate in mountainous areas.

2. Hiking Experience: The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is considered a moderate to difficult trail. Ensure that you have the necessary hiking experience and physical fitness level to tackle the trail. If you are a beginner, consider hiking with a more experienced companion.

3. Navigation: Carry a detailed map of the trail and a compass or GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the trail route and landmarks to avoid getting lost. Stay on the designated trail and avoid taking shortcuts.

4. Wildlife Awareness: The Caribou Ridge Trail is located in an area known for its wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, and elk. Be aware of your surroundings and make noise to alert animals of your presence. Carry bear spray and know how to use it in case of an encounter.

5. Water and Food: Carry an adequate supply of water and high-energy snacks or meals. The trail can be strenuous, and it is important to stay hydrated and nourished throughout your hike.

6. Clothing and Gear: Dress in layers and wear appropriate hiking boots or shoes. Carry rain gear, extra clothing, and a hat to protect yourself from changing weather conditions. Use sunscreen and insect repellent to protect against sunburn and bug bites.

7. Emergency Preparedness: Inform someone about your hiking plans, including your expected return time. Carry a fully charged cell phone, but be aware that there may be limited or no cell service in some areas. Pack a first aid kit, whistle, flashlight, and emergency shelter in case of unforeseen circumstances.

8. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Stay on the trail to avoid damaging vegetation and wildlife habitats.

Remember, safety is paramount when hiking any trail. By being prepared, aware of your surroundings, and following these safety guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the Caribou Ridge Trail #79.

Conservation Notes

The Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is currently facing a conservation status of concern due to various factors impacting its ecosystem. The trail traverses through a delicate habitat that is home to several species of flora and fauna, some of which are considered threatened or endangered. The conservation status of the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 is primarily influenced by habitat degradation, climate change, and human activities.

Habitat degradation poses a significant threat to the conservation status of the trail. Factors such as logging, mining, and road construction in the surrounding areas have resulted in the loss and fragmentation of critical habitats. This destruction disrupts the natural balance and reduces the availability of suitable habitats for the species that rely on the trail’s ecosystem.

Climate change also plays a role in the conservation status of the Caribou Ridge Trail #79. Rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and changing snowpack dynamics can have adverse effects on the trail’s ecosystem. These changes can disrupt the timing of plant growth, affect the availability of food sources for wildlife, and impact the overall biodiversity of the area.

Human activities, including recreational use and infrastructure development, further contribute to the conservation concerns surrounding the Caribou Ridge Trail #79. Increased foot traffic and the construction of facilities can lead to habitat disturbance, soil erosion, and the introduction of invasive species. These activities can disrupt the natural processes and threaten the survival of sensitive species that rely on the trail’s ecosystem.

Efforts are being made to address the conservation status of the Caribou Ridge Trail #79. Conservation organizations, land managers, and local communities are working together to implement measures that promote habitat restoration, minimize human impact, and raise awareness about the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem. By addressing these conservation concerns, it is hoped that the Caribou Ridge Trail #79 can be protected and maintained for future generations to enjoy while safeguarding the biodiversity it supports.

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