Hiking Project Logo

A loop leading through secluded, wide open terrain with beautiful scenery.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key






11,575' 3,528 m


9,968' 3,038 m


1,921' 585 m


1,917' 584 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

This is almost entirely within the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness so please observe wilderness restrictions posted on the parking lot sign.


The greatest thing about this hike is its variety. It has evergreen forest, creeks, waterfalls, and meadows. And with the absence of any fourteeners, Buffalo Peaks Wilderness tends to be more secluded that other nearby wilderness areas. Overall if you're looking for a weekend backpacking trip this is an excellent choice. It would also be great for a long day hike.

Need to Know

  • Depending on the time of year there can be multiple creek crossings along the trail, mostly in the meadows after the Tumble Creek fork. These can be a little tricky to cross without getting wet so just be creative.
  • Parking is somewhat limited at the trailhead but there may be more space along the road.


This hike can be done going either clockwise or counter-clockwise (as mapped). It really doesn't matter which way you go since both directions are pretty similar in terms of grade and trail conditions.

Going counter-clockwise, the trail starts by following the Rich Creek Trail #616 for about half the hike. Along Rich Creek, you'll mostly be going through evergreen forests until you get to the top of the gorge and reach the meadows. The meadows tend to have mellower elevation gain but are still fairly steady until you reach the Tumble Creek fork.

After the fork you'll now be on the Tumble Creek Trail #617 and it will mostly be downhill from there. Right before the end of the loop there is one last ridge to climb, but it's through a nicely shaded aspen forests and it isn't too steep.

There is ample water along most of the hike, though it does appear to contain a lot of iron. So bring a filter and don't be freaked out by the redness of the water.

History & Background

The Buffalo Peaks are different from other nearby peaks because they are the remnant of an old, extinct volcano. If you're observant, you'll notice that the geology tends to be different in this wilderness area as well.


Shared By:

Joshua Wells with improvements by David Powell

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 32 votes


  4.6 from 32 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Colorado


37 Views Last Month
24,007 Since Jun 28, 2016



A beautiful day makes our trek along Rich Creek all the better.
Feb 18, 2017 near Buena V…, CO
Wonderful canopy of trees over the trail through more than half of the hike.
Oct 23, 2023 near Buena V…, CO
Accessible trail for horseback.
Oct 23, 2023 near Buena V…, CO
Beautiful aspen meadows along the trail.
Oct 23, 2023 near Buena V…, CO
Access to water on most of the east-side of the trail.
Oct 23, 2023 near Buena V…, CO
The trail marker carved into trees along the path.
Oct 23, 2023 near Buena V…, CO


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 59 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Jun 19, 2022
Elizabeth Johnson
Three day casual backpack. We racked on a bushwhack to West and East Buffalo Peaks. So beautiful. Lovely meadows, aspen groves and a roaring creeks. 12.3mi
Jul 12, 2021
Bryce Ball
Did over 2 days/one night with 10 and 8 year old kids. Had a great time.. 12.5mi
Jun 5, 2021
Private User
Sep 25, 2020
Mark BearClaws
Jul 24, 2020
The climb is a butt burner! Beautiful country and diverse landscape. Did it in 2.5 days with 2 nights camping. Nice, leisurely pace. Sat and watche…
Jun 20, 2020
Genady Shagal
Jun 20, 2020
Max Swearingen
Jun 13, 2020
Logan Shaver