Hike Red Buffalo Pass, Frisco to East Vail



13.2 miles

Elevation Gain

3400 ft

Route Type


Added by Holly Mandarich

Two Mountain passes and a chance to hike from Frisco to Vail with views unforgettable.

Starting at the Meadow Creek trailhead in Frisco, you'll find yourself ending up in East Vail at Gore Lake Trailhead. See all photos here

The trail in Meadow Creek starts to climb at a gradual pace for the 3-4 miles, after a mile or so, take a look back upon the views of Lake Dillion. You'll arrive around mile 4 in a valley of mountains, to your right you'll see Eccless Pass - which you end up climbing, and behind you can you view the peaks of the 10 mountains range and even peek over at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. 

At about 5 miles you'll start the steep climb up Eccles Pass before dropping down into a valley to pass a couple ponds and views unlike you've seen before. This is your halfway point, enjoy being at what seemingly feels like the top of the world.

At mile 6 you'll climb to the top of Red Buffalo Pass, for the best views yet, I won't spoil it with a description, just get there to see for yourself. At the top of this pass you'll be sitting high on the continental divide, pretty cool to think about.

Dropping down into the other side you'll find yourself in the heart of the gore range. The descent is steep, and you'll be glad you went the point to point way you did.

You'll follow the trail down onto the valley floor and make your way out into East Vail.

Bring your camera, its something you'll surely not want to forget. 

See all photos from our adventure here. Also bring your pup!

DISCLAIMER: we went the third weekend in October, I would recommend hitting this hike sometime between July and September, otherwise you'll find more snow that you can ask for.  

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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