“A mostly forested trail, with stream crossings and beautiful meadows.
— Chelsea Gribbin
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route takes you through grassy meadows overlooking Silverthorne and follows a beautiful creek through the forest, ending with views of Buffalo Mountain up close.
There are many game trails and private property trails, so make sure to stay on the main Mesa Cortina Trail
. It's also very popular in the summer, so if you're looking for solitude this is not the place.
From the trailhead, follow the Mesa Cortina Trail
right down the first split, through meadows and skirting the edge of the forest. To your right, you'll have views of Silverthorne and Ptarmigan Mountain. Eventually, the trail leaves the meadow and takes you into the forest. You'll cross a few small creeks and see private trails off to the right, continue straight until you reach the Gore Range Trail
Turn left, onto the Gore Range Trail
, and follow it west towards Buffalo and Red Mountains. Eventually, you'll cross South Willow Creek, continue following it on your left until you reach a large meadow with Buffalo Mountain's steep face up above to the left. Continue up the hill until you reach the split for South Willow Falls Crossover
. If you choose to continue on, South Willow Falls Crossover
is a cool little waterfall and is only a couple miles further.
Flora & Fauna
Beautiful wildflowers, pine trees and meadows. Watch out for moose!