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Buffalo Mountain Loop

Difficult

Trail

13.4 mile 21.6 kilometer loop
83% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,976' 907 m
Descent: -2,960' -902 m
High: 11,833' 3,607 m
Low: 9,587' 2,922 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)

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Map Key

An amazing run circumnavigating Buffalo Mountain, over Eccles Pass.

Matthew Coye

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

There's a pretty substantial amount of vert on this run, ~3,100ft! Look for the beautiful field of paintbrush flowers in the back that you need to catch in bloom. Such a great run, the Gore Range Trail is simply awesome.

Rocky at parts, rolling singletrack at parts, this route takes you to the back of Buffalo on the Gore Range Trail. Yes, you can expect downed trees, it's the Gores!

Description

Make sure you bring your A-game for the climb to Eccles Pass... From this trail, head down into the open meadow and take a right to continue on the Gore Range Trail (towards Uneva Pass). Left will take you to Lily Pad Lake junction, off of Meadow Creek Trail.

The routes start on Buffalo Cabin Trail is relatively mellow and brings you through a thick forested section of trees. Traverse along an old aqueduct and down onto the South Willow Falls Crossover bringing you up to the waterfalls! Parts of this section can be demanding with some steeper rocky parts that require your full attention. Once you pass the falls and are heading up behind Buffalo on the Gore Range Trail you can expect plenty more vert and eventually some smooth rolling singletrack once you're fully behind Buffalo.

Finally, you'll pass the junction to Red Buffalo Pass at about 5 miles in, but continue on straight following the beautiful singletrack winding around the several small high alpine lakes. Then you'll begin the climb to Eccles Pass which is very steep and rocky, this will slow ya down quite a bit! Take in the views at the top of the Tenmile range, Gore range and Deming Peak before you begin your descent into the meadow creek valley. This downhill section is open and easy singletrack that you can really kick it into high gear with.

Make sure to stay on Meadow Creek Trail once you're down from Eccles ~7 miles into your journey, unless you're feeling up for another big climb on the Gore Range Trail!

You'll cross over the creek a couple of times, then head back into the forest, descending towards the lily pad lake junction. At mile 11.1 you'll follow the well-signed trail split left towards the lake and follow the cruiser trail all the way back to the car.


Buffalo Cabin Trail --> South Willow Falls Crossover --> Gore Range Trail --> Meadow Creek Trail --> Lily Pad Lake and then some and back to the car!

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Check-Ins

Aug 21, 2019
Aaron Stewart
willow creek grinder 14.1mi
Jul 22, 2019
Jake Gutwein
Hard run, some deep snow during the pass. Definitely not runnable at many points, but you can get in a groove on the back half! 14mi — 4h 00m
Aug 19, 2018
Aaron Moos
Started/finished at Meadow Creek Trailhead. 14mi
Jul 14, 2018
Nina McVicker
Gorgeous! Wild flowers in full bloom. 14.3mi
Jul 1, 2017
Lynda Wacht
Jun 16, 2017
Jo B
About 4 miles of snow around Eccles pass- lost the trail several times. Lots of fallen trees. Beautiful but be sure to have a good map/compass. 14mi
Nov 6, 2016
Gabe Joseph
4h 05m
Aug 20, 2016
Kelly Kahler
13.5mi — 4h 42m

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 42 votes

#107

Overall
  4.8 from 42 votes
5 Star
79%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Run Rankings

#34

in Colorado

#107

Overall
122 Views Last Month
34,516 Since Mar 14, 2015
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Photos

One more view of Red before dropping down the other side of Eccles Pass
Mar 14, 2015 near Frisco, CO
From Eccles Pass, enjoy this view looking back at the South Willow Creek drainage.
Jul 5, 2017 near Frisco, CO
SUCH a beautiful run.  One of the ponds up high, and another excellent view of Red Mountain.
Mar 14, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Looking at the NNE side of Buffalo Mountain. Rugged!
Nov 8, 2017 near Silvert…, CO
Red Peak and Buffalo Mountain
Sep 17, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Coming down Eccles Pass, this is the view looking south.
Jul 5, 2017 near Frisco, CO

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