Caribou Ranch has a rich history in nature and art. It was the home of a recording studio for classic rock legends. Before that, it was a silver mining town. Caribou Ranch was also home to the first Arabian Horses in Colorado. Today, we’ll take a look at the history of Caribou Ranch and how it became the space it is today.
Caribou ranch was once a recording studio for famous rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Elton John, Chicago, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears, among many, many, more. For a full list of musicians and bands that have visited Caribou Ranch, visit the official Caribou Ranch Website.
The Recording Studio
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s musicians would go to Caribou Ranch to relax and enjoy the solidarity that the ranch provided, to help clear their minds while they wrote or recorded new records. The ranch allowed them to wander free, without bodyguards and without paparazzi following them. This was a place they could go to truly unwind and allow the creative juices to flow.
Jim Guerco, who started the Caribou Ranch Recording Studio, was a legend himself. He produced for Chicago, he’s even responsible for giving the band their name. He worked with many bands over the years, and finally decided to create a retreat where he could help them produce some of the best music of their lives.
In 1985, there was a fire in the recording studio, which was located in a barn. The recording studio was left partially burnt down, and was closed permanently. Since then, Caribou Ranch has become something of legend, a place where classic rock was made by the original rock ‘n’ roll pioneers.
The Trails and Open Space
You can visit Caribou Open Space and hike the trails and walk the paths that rock legends like Billy Joel and Tom Petty did. It’s a beautiful open area that has trails that are family friendly. And from the trails you can see the old barn that once held a recording studio that housed legends.
The DeLonde Homestead
The Delonde Homestead was originally homesteaded by a Canadian, by the name of Magloire De Lande. The spelling of the name changed overtime, however this is the man the homestead was originally named after. De Lande brought his brothers, and they planned on being miners, but soon found themselves as ranchers, working the land.
Years later, a family named the Van Vleets bought the property and began the first Arabian horse farm in Colorado. These horses became very important in driving cattle.
A few others tried to develop the DeLonde Homestead into a golf course once, and another into a ski resort, but none had much luck. That is until Jim Guercio came along and built his legendary recording studio in the barn and renamed his property The Caribou Ranch.
Today, the Delonde Homestead still serves as a place for artists, like painters, illustrators, photographers, and musicians to stay. An artist-in-residence program has been created. There is an application process, but artists that are chosen can stay in the historic barn for seven days from the time ranging from June 1st to October 1st.
Even though no longer a recording studio, Caribou Ranch is still inspiring artists today. The location seems to have always meant to be a place to cultivate creativity. Artists, now and then, have an endless supply of inspiration from forests and waterfalls to bears and moose.
The Bluebird Mine Complex
The Bluebird Mine complex can also be found in the Caribou Ranch Open Space. This was a silvermine from the 1870’s to the 1960’s. Recently, Boulder County has invested in reinforcing the structures so that you can explore the mine shaft and the bunk house. You can even still see an old holding tank that used to be filled with trout.
This silver mining industry created the town of Caribou. However, when the mining ceased, the old town was used for a movie backdrop. A remake of the movie “Stagecoach’ was filmed in the bluebird complex, starring Bing Crosby and Slim Pickens.
The Caribou Ranch Today
Throughout the 1990’s Jim Guerico sold parts of the Caribou Ranch land to Boulder County, and they made it an open public space. There are trails leading to both The Birdblue Mine Complex and the DeLonde Homestead.
Artists can apply to stay at the DeLonde Homestead. And can be inspired just the same as the musicians of the 70’s and 80’s who stayed there.
If you live in Colorado or are planning a visit, Caribou Ranch should be one of your top stops for hiking. You’ll get a mix of history and nature that you’ll never forget.If you would like more information about Jim Guerico’s Caribou Ranch visit the official website today. Don’t forget to take a look at our original Caribou Ranch merchandise!