Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,975.00 ft (601.98 m)
Trail type
12.20 mi (19.63 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Completed in 1987, the Colorado Trail stretches 485 magnificent miles from Denver to Durango. Along the way it meanders through high alpine mountains and valleys, offering a glimpse at some of the finest terrain Colorado has to offer. It traverses eight mountain ranges, six wilderness areas and stays above 10,000’ for the majority of the trail. Highlights include the Collegiate Range, where multiple 14ers are just off trail and can easily be climbed, and the San Juans, where the trail remains above tree line for days at a time and climbs to elevations of over 13,000’. There is also abundant wildlife along the Colorado Trail, ranging in size from small pika and marmot, to bear and moose.

The trail is divided into 28 different segments, each beginning at a trailhead accessible by vehicle. This accessibility is what makes the Colorado Trail special. Day hikers and section hikers can easily find their way to new segments of trail, while thru hikers can still enjoy a wild and rugged four to six week journey. Below is a description for Colorado Trail Segment 3.

Segment 3 is a fairly short and straightforward segment of the Colorado Trail. It begins from Little Scraggy Trailhead where you’ll find plenty of parking as well as a vault toilet. This section of trail is quite popular with mountain bikers, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

The trail is very nice and makes for quite easy hiking. You’ll soon pass by some very large and fascinating rock formations. If you have the time I’d certainly recommend going off trail to scramble up a few of them!

The trail continues to meander gently through the woods. Along the way you’ll pass a couple lightly flowing water sources. The trail crosses a dirt/gravel road. To the left is Meadows Group Campground, to the right is Buffalo Trailhead. Continue straight on the Colorado Trail.

You’ll then come to Buffalo Creek, a good size stream. There is also some good camping here. The trail then ascends a bit away from the creek. Further up you’ll see a sign that says “rifle range nearby.” Please stay on the trail during this stretch. There are also some more cool (smaller) boulders in this area.

It’s easy hiking for the rest of the segment, as the nice single track trail continues to contour around some hills. You’ll come to a small seasonal stream, then ascend ever so slightly to where there are some nice campsites along a small hill. The trail then descends to a road and parking area, marking the end of segment 3.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Cool boulder formations. Nice trail and easy hiking.


No epic mountain views. Mountain bikers.

Trailhead Elevation

7,678.00 ft (2,340.25 m)

Highest point

8,298.00 ft (2,529.23 m)


Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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