Buffalo Creek Big Loop - IMBA Epic

Consensus:    (details)
  4.6 from 86 votes
blue  Intermediate from 33 votes
Rank: #1 in the Buffalo Creek Trail System area
#5 in CO, #21 Overall
Views: 33,444. Last 30 days: 1,570
Yellow
Condition Details | Update
May 10 Yellow - Mostly Dry Some Mud
Featured Ride in the area near Pine,
“A nice tour of some of the best of Buffalo Creek - mostly smooth singletrack with some climbing.”
Michael Ahnemann on May 23, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
23.638.0 milesKilometers 2,704’824 m Ascent 8,054’2,455 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
85% Singletrack -2,704’-824 m Descent 6,675’2,034 m Low 20% Max Grade (12°)
Family Friendly - Great for kids!
Overview
3:22 average time for 26.3 miles. Details

If you're looking for an overview of what Buffalo Creek riding is about, this might be your ride. The trails in this area definitely have a local character, with little variation from trail to trail. Nothing is ever very technical, but there are many long climbs and descents, and lots of sandy, dry trail surface to keep things interesting.

Many riders come to Buffalo Creek early in the season, as these trails are often dry when every other option is muddy!
Need To Know
There are tons of ways to ride Buffalo Creek, and this ride is just one of them. You can make your loop as short or long as you want - just bring the MTB Project mobile app with you, and have at it!
Description
This ride starts out on the newer Nice Kitty trail, which starts out just a short distance up S Buffalo Creek Road from trailhead 543. It starts climbing immediately and fairly steeply, with switchbacks through heavy forest.

After a pretty good grind, it starts to open up a bit, crosses over some fun slickrock-type features, then the climb mellows out about halfway up, as you start to cross into the wide open, heavily burned zone at higher elevation. Up there, the trail gets a bit sandier, and winds around on itself as it works southeast towards the Colorado Trail.

The last 1/4 of the trail climbs fairly steeply again, eventually topping out with expansive views of the now barren landscape, with burned stick remnants of trees dotting the landscape.

The trail intersects with the Colorado Trail, where you'll turn right. Most of this section of the Colorado Trail flows nicely with minimal elevation gain. A mile or so in you'll come to a dirt road (Redskin creek Rd.) cross the road and continue on the CT. The trail then winds underneath Little Scraggy Dome - some of the Platte's best slab climbing is found here.

Keep rolling up and down a bit, then enjoy a fun fast descent over uncharacteristically rocky terrain until you come to a sign pointing towards Tramway or the Colorado Trail. You'll stay on the Colorado Trail past this intersection and all the way to Redskin Creek Trail, but there are a few more landmarks to look out for.

In the last 1/2 mile before Redskin Creek Trail, you'll cross Buffalo Creek Road, go through a gate, then left after the gate (right goes to the Buffalo Creek Trailhead), cross Redskin Creek Road, up a short hill and finally you'll see the sign for Redskin Creek Trail, where you'll take a right and follow this short little connector north to Gashouse.

Generally Gashouse is ridden in the opposite direction, but you'll come in halfway through the trail, so you won't feel too upset that you're climbing a sweet downhill. Climb up a bit and back into thick green forest, eventually topping out at Miller Gulch trail - a dirt road / two track.

You'll take a right onto Miller Gulch, but just ride this a very short distance. Keep an eye out for a major left turn in a few hundred yards (Strawberry Jack) then look for a sign in another 100 yards or less for Charlie's Cutoff. This is the trail you want next - and you won't want to miss it!

This short trail is fun from top to bottom, and I only wish it were longer. You'll definitely be heading in the preferred direction on this one - downhill!

There are several rock features along the way - everything is rideable, and expert riders will barely slow down. The features consist of 5 to 15 foot sections of smooth rock. Some have additional technical features with small drops or short downhill moves, but nothing crazy. You can ride this trail as fast as you're comfortable riding - there are no big surprises, just fun!

Before you know it, you'll pop out on the Homestead trail, and take a right. You'll just be on a small portion of this trail, as you trend downhill towards Sandy Wash. From this point, you don't have much more work to do - just fun!

Homestead will lead right into Sandy Wash - this trail is considered to be one of the must-do trails in the Buffalo Creek area. It's a steady descent the entire way.

There are no hugely technical sections, and the trail surface is mostly smooth dirt/sand the entire way down. You can really let it roll on this trail without worrying much about tight blind corners or technical sections.

This trail is a nice way to finish a longer cruise at Buffalo Creek - it drops you right down onto Buffalo Creek road. Make a left and cruise back to your car!
View in 3D
COMMENTS
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
4.9 (7)
A life-changing 485 mile ride on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.
near Roxborough Park, CO
4.6 (7)
Beautiful bench cut singletrack with hearty climbs and fast flowy descents
near Pine, CO
4.4 (37)
A nice tour of popular Buffalo Creek trails on the NW side of the area - from...
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PHOTOS of Buffalo Creek Big Loop - IMBA Epic
  4.6 from 5 votes
Heart Rock Corner (Pine, CO)
  4.5 from 4 votes
Late spring is the best time to ride the Colorado Trail in Buffalo Creek... (Pine, CO)
  4.5 from 4 votes
Climbing up Nice Kitty in early summer in Colorado... doesn't get much b... (Pine, CO)
  4.3 from 4 votes
It's like an alien landscape on the Buffalo Creek trails thanks to a few... (Pine, CO)
  4.3 from 4 votes
Riding on Buffalo Burn, just before meeting up with the Colorado Trail. (Pine, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Gashouse Trail (Pine, CO)
  3.5 from 4 votes
After gaining some serious elevation on Nice Kitty, riders are rewarded ... (Pine, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Short descent on a rock outcropping on the Homestead Trail. Watch out fo... (Pine, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Homestead trails' Granite Slab Riding (Pine, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Getting close to the final stretch of a grand tour of Buffalo Creek. (Pine, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Don't Brake - Granite shreds tires (Pine, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Easy, flat meadow on the start of Gashouse (Pine, CO)
  3.3 from 4 votes
The expansive views can keep you smiling even after 1000 vertical feet o... (Pine, CO)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Charlies Cutoff - the best trail in Buffalo Creek is unfortunately one o... (Pine, CO)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Little kicker at speed (Pine, CO)
  3.3 from 4 votes
A quick stop in Buffalo Creek. The views are tough to beat! (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
This section of the Colorado Trail is fun as it works its way towards Re... (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
A short but steep and loose grind before a bit of a respite. (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Grinding it out on Nice Kitty. (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Let 'er rip on the bottom section of Charlie's Cutoff. It's smooth and ... (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Back into unburned forest for a bit before popping out at the Colorado T... (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Gashouse starts out mellow and flat through the forest. (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
He still has some energy after all the climbing it took to get here! (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
The Colorado Trail is mostly unburned medium-density forest. Trail surf... (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Charlie's Cutoff is very entertaining, with lots of little rock features... (Pine, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Some good play rocks on Gashouse (Pine, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
On the Colorado Trail in the SW part of Buffalo Creek area - heading tow... (Pine, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Turn right here to cruise along S Buffalo Creek Rd and get back to TH 54... (Pine, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Blasting through the Aspens. The Gashouse descent is excellent. (Pine, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Fun features along the way keep the moderate climb interesting. (Pine, CO)
  2.0 from 3 votes
At the bottom of a fantastic descent, decide whether to continue along t... (Pine, CO)