Backpack the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Loop

Rich Creek Campground

Colorado's Spring & early Summer hiking at its best - this underrated gem traverses the little known Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, forming a loop that spans open meadows, gorgeous forests and rushing creeks. Even better there's a good chance you'll find solitude in whats considered one of the best overnight hikes in the region.

Starting at the Rich Creek Campground this wonderful moderate hike forms a loop by connecting the Rich Creek Trail and the Tumble Creek trail. in the Buffalo Peaks wilderness.

Flanked by the Collegiate Peaks, in Spring and Summer the area is awash with rushing creeks, lush wet lowlands & deep green forests.  The scenery along the hike varies widely & with only moderate traffic you may have much of the view to yourself.

Whilst the loop can certainly be completed in a long day, its best to break it up over 2 days, take your time and enjoy the stunning scenery.

There are various campsites spread along the loop & depending on which way you take the hike, (counter-clockwise is most common) you can generally find one easily enough.  One of the best locales is Buffalo Meadows - pretty much in the middle of the loop, with expansive views over the verdant green landscape.

Access to water generally isn't a problem with many creeks along the route, and there are good water sources near the Buffalo Meadows campsites.

Sunrise and sunsets here are especially gorgeous, the early morning Sun filtering through the low lying mist is exceedingly beautiful and well worth the effort getting up early for.  

Pack List

  • Study Hiking Boots
  • 3 Season Tent
  • Layered clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellent
  • Camera & Tripod
  • Water Filter
Show More
RT Distance 11.7 Miles
Elevation Gain 2000 Feet
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Find solitude 2 hours from the Front Range

Such a great backpacking loop. The trail is quite short and easy for an overnighter, and the camping spots halfway around the loop in the high alpine meadow are beautiful. Camp 2 nights and summit the Buffalo Peaks 13ers if you want more of a challenge.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to the Historical Interlaken Resort

149 Saves

Hike Mount Sherman

152 Saves

Ski or Snowshoe to the Weston Pass Hut

75 Saves