Backpack the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Loop

Rich Creek Campground - Search Nearby - Added by Adrien Patané

Colorado's Spring & early Summer hiking at its best - this underrated gem traverses the little known Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, forming a loop that spans open meadows, gorgeous forests and rushing creeks. Even better there's a good chance you'll find solitude in whats considered one of the best overnight hikes in the region.

Starting at the Rich Creek Campground this wonderful moderate hike forms a loop by connecting the Rich Creek Trail and the Tumble Creek trail. in the Buffalo Peaks wilderness.

Flanked by the Collegiate Peaks, in Spring and Summer the area is awash with rushing creeks, lush wet lowlands & deep green forests.  The scenery along the hike varies widely & with only moderate traffic you may have much of the view to yourself.

Whilst the loop can certainly be completed in a long day, its best to break it up over 2 days, take your time and enjoy the stunning scenery.

There are various campsites spread along the loop & depending on which way you take the hike, (counter-clockwise is most common) you can generally find one easily enough.  One of the best locales is Buffalo Meadows - pretty much in the middle of the loop, with expansive views over the verdant green landscape.

Access to water generally isn't a problem with many creeks along the route, and there are good water sources near the Buffalo Meadows campsites.

Sunrise and sunsets here are especially gorgeous, the early morning Sun filtering through the low lying mist is exceedingly beautiful and well worth the effort getting up early for.  

Distance

11.7 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

2000 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Forest
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

Buena Vista KOA

Buena Vista, Colorado

From $232/night

Elk Run

Frisco, Colorado

From $125/night

Copper Mountain Inn

Frisco, Colorado

From $235/night

Timber Creek

Frisco, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Hike with no crowds

Hiked the whole trail 6/16/19 and saw more wildlife than people. I saw moose, elk and deer and saw only one group of people. There were some points where i lost the trail due to snowmelt and there is still a fair amount of snow about 6 miles in. I would say another couple of weeks to be snow free but it was very soggy plan for your feet to get completely wet. Think thigh deep river crossings at couple different point.

Find solitude 2 hours from the Front Range

Such a great backpacking loop. The trail is quite short and easy for an overnighter, and the camping spots halfway around the loop in the high alpine meadow are beautiful. Camp 2 nights and summit the Buffalo Peaks 13ers if you want more of a challenge.

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

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