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Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike

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  • Buffalo Cabin Trailhead. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Lodgepole pines. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Fork in trail; left takes hikers to Buffalo Mountain. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • A hiker ascends up a boulder field on the northeastern slope of Buffalo Mountain. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Hikers on Buffalo Mountain.- Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • A hiker travels along the ridge. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Mountain goats on the summit of Buffalo Mountain.- Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Mountain goats on the summit of Buffalo Mountain.- Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Mountain goats on the summit of Buffalo Mountain.- Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Looking west from the summit of Buffalo Mountain. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Looking east toward I-70. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • The Town of Frisco from the summit of Buffalo Mountain. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Greys Peak (14,278 ft) and Torreys Peak (14,275 ft). - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
  • Looking west from the summit of Buffalo Mountain. - Buffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy trailhead access. Great scenery.
Cons: 
Traveling I-70 during peak traffic times.
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Region:
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
9,778 ft (2,980 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
3,050 ft (930 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
62°F
30°

Thu

Snow (< 1 in.) overnight.
57°F
34°

Fri

Snow (< 1 in.) in the morning.
38°F
21°

Sat

Partly cloudy overnight.
56°F
24°

Sun

Clear throughout the day.
57°F
32°

Mon

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
50°F
27°

Tue

Partly cloudy in the morning.
61°F
26°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Standing tall at 12,777 feet and centrally located in Summit County, Buffalo Mountain is often overlooked by thousands of travelers driving on Interstate 70. But Colorado Gore Range locals know it as a moderate hike with massive views of the county from the top.

The Buffalo Cabin Trailhead is located at the end of Wildernest Road and shares a trailhead with Lily Pad Lake. The trail to begin the ascent of Buffalo Peak is located on the northern side of the trailhead parking lot, whereas Lily Pad is to the south.

The trail starts by gently climbing through lodgepole pines, many of which have been killed in recent years by the mountain pine beetle.

Continue until there is a fork in the trail; left goes up Buffalo Mountain via the Buffalo Cabin Trail, and right heads toward South Willow Creek. Cross the tree line to reach a boulder field where cairns help mark the somewhat defined trail. The ridge can also be accessed by scrambling up if the trail is lost. The gradient on the ridge becomes easier as hikers reach the summit and enjoy a panoramic view of “Colorado’s Playground,” the apt slogan of Summit County.

While this is a popular hike for people who live in Summit County, you might be sharing the view with another unexpected local -- the mountain goat. There are an estimated 100,000 mountain goats living in alpine environments throughout the Rocky Mountains, the coastal mountain ranges of the northwestern U.S., and southern Alaska. Despite its name, the mountain goats are part of the antelope family and spend most of their time grazing on grasses, herbs, mosses, lichens, and the twigs and leaves from vegetation growing in their high-altitude habitat.

On a clear day you'll have views of Dillon, Silverthorne, and Frisco as well as Lake Dillon in the east and Keystone Resort in the distance. Once you've enjoyed the views and the company of the local wildlife, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(53 within a 30 mile radius)

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