“A brutal climb up skinny singletrack along a nice creek, aspens, and meadows.”
— Nick Wilder
From the parking area, the first quarter mile is an unpleasant hike-a-bike that crosses the creek three times and goes under the road repeatedly. Once you are free of the road, the scenery improves greatly and the trail is possibly rideable by very strong riders with huge lung capacity. The rest of us will walk most of the next half mile.
You enter a beautiful meadow and see a sign that indicates that the Avon forest ranger station was located here from 1907 to 1930. Imagine how remote and peaceful this area was back then...
After about 3/4 mile, the trail gets noticeably less steep and is rideable by mortals, though it's still very tough and you'll need to stop and breathe and enjoy the scenery. Great views of Beaver Creek and the mountains across the valley.
After a mile of nice riding, the angle kicks way up again. The trail is smooth, but so skinny and steep that it's not rideable by most people, and not even that easy to walk. This goes on for 1/2 a mile or so until you come to a beautiful meadow and the intersection of the Nottingham Trail.
If you're pooped, turn around here. It doesn't get much easier and there's still almost 1,000 feet of climbing left.
But if you're continuing, jog right (east) on the Nottingham Trail for 100 yards. This trail then turns left and resumes the climb up the same creek. This portion is popular with motorbikes, so it is wider, generally easier, and much more eroded.
Grind up and up, with occasional hike-a-bike sections, but also some easy rideable sections.
Eventually you'll end at Red and White dirt road, where you can turn around or make a huge loop with Red and White, to Nottingham, and back to the lower section of this trail.
The ride down Buck Creek is rideable all the way even by average intermediate riders, but it is a serious brake cooker! Stop, enjoy the scenery, and let your brakes cool once in a while.
I give this two stars - it's only a 1 star ride due to all the uphill hiking, but the scenery, forest, and creek are super nice.