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North Buffalo Creek Buck-Skipper-Strawberry Loop

Intermediate
 3.6 (20) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An 8.4-mile loop keeping to the north end of Buffalo Creek.


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.1

KM

90%

Singletrack

7,908' 2,410 m

High

6,852' 2,088 m

Low

1,213' 370 m

Up

1,213' 370 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

This loop starts from the Pine Valley Ranch Park trailhead, climbs Buck Gulch, heads across Skipper and descends along a section of Strawberry Jack back to the parking lot.

Need to Know

No cell phone service through much of the lower sections and remote areas of the route.

Description

Start at the Pine Valley Ranch Park trailhead, which can get somewhat crowded on the weekends. There are three lots staggered up the hill, with a picnic area and bathrooms at the bottom. Rangers request you do not ride down the wooden steps.

Follow the trail along the river a short distance before you cross a large bridge. Soon the trail divides, keep to the right and start climbing Buck Gulch. The trail can be very sandy in places especially in the ruts, and has a few sections of steep climbs. You climb out of the forest to the old burn area, which can be fairly exposed for long sections.

Near the top of Buck Gulch there is a Choose Your Own Adventure option for a black-diamond marked section. Taken slowly, this is totally rideable. There is some solid granite pockmarked with washtub-size divots that you can pick your way through, with a steep drop at the end. This rejoins the blue-square rated trail, and you can actually ride this as a 200-yard loop a few times for fun.

Buck Gulch ends at an intersection with a fire road and remote parking lot, where you turn left onto Skipper. This is a short 1.3-mile descent with a minor stream crossing followed by a very abrupt climb.

After a short climb and descent, you intersect with Strawberry Jack. Turn left and head north for a long flowing descent back to the intersection with Buck Gulch. Strawberry Jack has a good share of loose sand on the trail and some rock features. There is one solid rock face that is not exposed but could be a surprise if you come on it quickly.

Turn right at the intersection with Buck Gulch, return over the bridge to the Narrow Gauge Trail back to the parking lot. You can soak your feet in the creek and enjoy lunch at the picnic area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jacob Ezzell with improvements by s platte

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 20 votes

#1829

Overall
  3.6 from 20 votes
5 Star
15%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
30%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
5%
Recommended Route Rankings

#270

in Colorado

#1,829

Overall
198 Views Last Month
4,507 Since Jul 16, 2018
Intermediate

0%
0%
94%
6%
0%
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Photos

At the top!
Jun 6, 2014 near Pine, CO
The burn allows you to see for a long way, giving this an eerily peaceful feeling.
Mar 18, 2016 near Pine, CO
Rock, sand and burned sticks.
May 25, 2013 near Pine, CO
The upside to the devastation of big forest fires - expansive views at the top of Strawberry Jack.
May 25, 2013 near Pine, CO
Looking toward Crossons from near trail intersection
Jul 7, 2015 near Pine, CO
Climbing Buck Gulch from Pine Valley OS
Jul 7, 2015 near Pine, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 30 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 8, 2020
Kline
Counter clockwise wins
Aug 12, 2020
Johnny Carew
Jul 22, 2020
Kline
Sandy loose gravel on climb adds a challenge. Beautiful views. Thank you Jeffco Open Space for providing access.
Jun 4, 2020
Private User
Jun 29, 2019
Nicholas Sidikovich
It is very steep in either direction. It is more fun to ride counterclockwise by taking the Buck Gulch trail first. Sand at many spots. 8.5mi
Jun 1, 2019
Tim Brunetto
tough climb for me but the decent was so much fun!! 8.4mi — 1h 30m
May 6, 2019
Becky White
The place to be for the deep kitty litter! 8.1mi
Apr 27, 2019
Carrie McConnell
Awesome ride, expect a long never ending climb for the first 3.5 miles. Great ride for advanced beginners. 9.8mi