Steamboat Springs to Rabbit Ears to Buffalo Pass Loop

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Featured Ride
Trail

53.2 Miles 85.5 Kilometers


40%

Singletrack

5,272' 1,607 m

Ascent

-5,271' -1,607 m

Descent

10,594' 3,229 m

High

6,709' 2,045 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Unknown

Update

A big loop from Steamboat Springs up Highway 40 to Rabbit Ears Pass over to Buffalo Pass and back.

Mel Stewart

Overview

The high country need to be DRY to enjoy this loop, which typically means from late July until early September (or whenever the snow starts flying).
A 50-mile loop that includes a steady climb up US Highway 40 toward Rabbit Ears. At the top, the singletrack starts near Dumont Lake and follows the Divide Trail to Buffalo Pass. Then it is mostly downhill to the Spring Creek Trail which finishes back in Steamboat Springs.

Need to Know

This loop traverses some very remote areas without cell phone coverage and with few trail users so be prepared to be self-sufficient.

Description

This is a great loop, but start early. Strong riders should plan to be out for 6 to 7 hours. Start anywhere in Steamboat Springs; an early morning pre-ride coffee shop is a good place to start. Head east on US Highway 40 (there is a 3-4 ft shoulder all along the highway up Rabbit Ears Pass), and it is a nice consistent climb up to the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass.

After the west summit and at about mile 20, turn left onto the old US Hwy 40 and ride about a mile to the Dumont Lake Campground. Turn left into the campground and follow the road to the right where just past the toilets, the doubletrack trail will start on the right. This is the start of The Divide Trail Epic which will become singletrack in about 1/2 mile. This trail will have a couple of steep climbs in the first mile or so.

The trail then pops out (ends) on a Forest Service road; turn left and follow the road to the end (about 3/4 mile) and the Base Camp TrailHead. The singletrack starts again here and heads north; at about 5 miles there will be a 4-way intersection, and continue straight (north) onto the bike/ATV trail which is now the Wyoming Trail.

After about 7 miles, this trail ends at Buffalo Pass. At the pass, bear left (west) down the Forest Service Rd #38. Follow this (mostly) down about 10 miles to Spring Creek Trail , and turn left at Dry Lake Campground to the start of Spring Creek Trail which will lead back to Steamboat Springs (note: be careful descending Spring Creek Trail as there may be many types of trail users both hikers and bikers).

NOTE: It's advisable that you download the MTB Project mobile app or download this route to a GPS device (GPX or TCX) as there are a couple of interesting sections that you may miss otherwise.

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#2803

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#320

in Colorado

#2,803

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