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blueBlack Buffalo Cabin Trail

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2.4 mile 3.8 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,969' 905 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 12,731' 3,881 m
Low: 9,763' 2,976 m


Avg Grade: 24% (13°)
Max Grade: 70% (35°)


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Trail shared by Matthew Coye

Thick forested trail to get you either to the Summit of Buffalo or towards South Willow Falls.

Matthew Coye

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


Follow the signs at the beginning of this trail for Buffalo Cabin Trail, then branch off to the right for South Willow Falls Crossover, or continue on Buffalo to the summit of Buffalo Mountain.

The trail stays inside the dense trees until you climb closer to treeline. Once above 11,800 you enter the scree field. This will take some maneuvering over many loose rocks, keep your eyes peeled for the cairns leading you to the summit.

Once at the top, take in a great view of the Dillon Reservoir and Summit County! There's some fun scrambling on the summit that will take you to the further point, which is not actually the true summit. You already hit the true summit at 12,777!


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Jan 1, 2019
Mike Taylor
Oct 28, 2018
George Privon
Partway up
Sep 11, 2018
David Janssens
Sep 8, 2018
R Lee
Jul 28, 2018
Leon Camacho
Aug 13, 2017
Amanda Pichler
Jul 28, 2017
Chad Wiegand
Jul 27, 2017
Brittany Richter

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes


  4.5 from 15 votes
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in Colorado


47 Views Last Month
5,096 Since Mar 18, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Matthew Coye
Frisco, Colorado
Matthew Coye   Frisco, Colorado
There certainly is a defined trail up there! People have been building cairns on the scree like its going out of style. The strava segment still covers the true trail if you take some time to look for the best trail, did it again this summer and found the correct one. But I've also been on top of Buff quite a few times.. strava.com/segments/2296910… Nov 4, 2016
Sarah C  
At the top of treeline, you come to a giant cairn. Turn RIGHT to go BEHIND the cairn (do not continue on the dirt trail to the left of the cairn!) to begin navigating the boulder / scree field. After the boulder field, expect about 0.25mi more to the summit, where mountain goats are. Navigating the boulder field is tough -- follow the cairns as best you can. Jul 24, 2017
Keeping in mind that the weather/snow conditions can be drastically different year-to-year, this was a wonderful, easy-access hike in late October 2018. I had micro-spikes on starting around the trail junction with South Willow Falls Crossover, they weren't 100% necessary but definitely nice to have. My one comment about the route description on this page is that, at least based on my own GPS tracking, you might walk closer to 2.6 (or even 2.8?) miles to reach the Buffalo Mountain summit depending on how you navigate the boulder field. My device recorded 2.6 miles from the trailhead to the first rock outcropping / mini-summit below the true summit, and I was following switchbacks marked with cairns up the boulder field the whole way. My guess is that the 2.4 miles indicated on this page is based on a very direct (read: straight uphill) route to the top. My own experience was 2.6 miles to the mini-summit, and what looked like another 0.1-0.2 miles to the true summit. Unfortunately I had to turn around due to time constraints, but I'm looking forward to getting back soon and leaving enough time to go all the way. Oct 23, 2018

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