Buffalo Creek Big Loop, Colorado
If you're looking for an overview of what Buffalo Creek riding is all about, this is your ride. The trails in this area have a distinct local character, and this one is the epitome of riding the area.
Many riders come to Buffalo Creek early in the season, as these trails are often dry when every other option is muddy!
Family Friendly: If your kids can handle a slightly longer ride, this is a great one to try to get them out on more intermediate level trails.
Nothing on this trail is overly technical, but there are many long climbs and descents, and lots of sandy, dry trail surfaces to keep things interesting.
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!
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 dense 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 here, 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.). Here, 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 take a left after the gate (right goes to the Buffalo Creek Trailhead), cross Redskin Creek Road, head 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 (Homestead) 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 you'll 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 or touch the brakes. 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 lower section of the Homestead trail, and take a right. You'll only ride a short section 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!
Some of the information on this page has been sourced from:
33.945 km / 21.092 mi
854 m / 2,800 ft
853 m / 2,799 ft
2,458 m / 8,063 ft