Easy hike into the valley from a fairly busy 4wheel rec area. Some nice panoramic views of collegiate peaks. Not the most scenic area, particularly in early spring before the aspens have bloomed, but once you get into the wilderness area it is very isolated and we weren't sharing the valley with anyone overnight.
E E. on Tumble Creek Trail
Backpacking trip. Rich Creek TH, Rich Creek Trail with a bushwhack to Buffalo Peak West and bushwhack back down to Tumble Creek Trail.
Very nice hikes. Long views of the Collegiate and Sawatch ranges to the west and south. Long views of South Park to the east. Open meadows and evergreen forests. Interesting geology and minerals can be found.
Strenuous hikes higher up with bushwhacking, but Rich Creek and Tumble Creek are moderate. Light crowds down low on a holiday weekend, no one up high.
A light trail that is great for beginners and light SUV's, Not as much dispersed camping as I expected but some below the pass. There are great views on both sides of the past as well as at the pass. at one point just past the pass on the west side there is a 4x4 trail that goes up to an old gold mine, this is a bit more challenging trail that requires a little more expertise and high clearance.
We drove this trail in a Toyota FJ. As the guidebook says, the east side did not require 4 wheel drive but the west side was a little rougher although easy by off-road standards. We really enjoyed this drive as the road follows water most of the way. There were numerous beaver damns and some great mountain views. The primitive campground toward the beginning of trail looked very nice right along the river. We would definitely drive this road again and consider camping somewhere along the way.