Explore To Do-Buena Vista/Salida - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

To Do-Buena Vista/Salida Map
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hiking
22 days ago

Great trail, whether you start at the top and head down to the dunes, or start from the dunes and head up. Includes canyon, alpine aspen forest, and open meadow. The earlier or later you get there, the more wildlife you'll see. Bears and mule deer are usually gone by 10am, and don't get back out until later in the evening. Evening shadows on the dunes are incredible photo ops, from 1/4 to halfway up the trail. Take in the history, knowing that this was a pass used by the Native Ute, cattle drivers and stagecoaches. There's even an old Model T rusting down by the creek. Best hiked in the spring or fall, but even during the summer there's shade here and there. But bring plenty of water. Mosca Creek may have water running, but it's not safe to drink, and if you have a filter, it's not easy to get to for a majority of the trail.

A nice hike with great views.

hiking
3 months ago

When you reach the end of the trail, don't stop. The view east is a bit further along. Follow the dirt road and stay to the right up the hill, maybe 1/4 mile further. You will be rewarded with a view of the valley beyond. Enjoyed the hike very much.

little water this time of year. late August.

I didn't hike the full trail, but it is somewhat shielded from elements, has a beautiful view of the dunes, and was overall very enjoyable

hiking
4 months ago

Lovely trail that follows rushing water up a canyon with nice aspen stands. There were a few mountain bikers on the trail when we were hiking it, but it seems a little dicey to hike if there are dirt bikers riding it. The listing has since been updated, but it used to say it was under 4 miles out and back. The trail actually goes almost 8 miles until it hits the continental divide/monarch pass trail. Wrote All Trails support after bumping into a lady at the trail head who looked concerned and said her kids were hiking on it way longer than she had expected. All trails quickly updated it to the full 13.5mi total out and back that it should be if you take it all the way to the CDT. Thanks AllTrails support! :)

mountain biking
4 months ago

The rating system on this app is so insanely off it is ridiculous. This trail is rated the intermediate. When you get there it is a black diamond or double black diamond Trail depending on the direction you choose. We averaged about 6 miles an hour for the total loop. I typically can average around 14 on our normal single track at home. Very treacherous trail! Absolutely would recommend full
suspension! Do not go to this trail if you are not a very technical rider.

mountain biking
4 months ago

MTB review- this is hard. Definitely mod-hard with tough climbs and super sketchy descents! Fun but not for the average rider. Cool views overlooking the city.

4 months ago

Attempted today. I'm forever recovering from breaking my leg. The 4wd road to the Boss Lake trailhead (there is no signage for Hunt Lake) was fine to just walk on. It was very lush. Lots of wild flowers and sounds of water. As others have said this road is uphill and very rocky.... so my foot was getting a workout. I made it to the trailhead GO LEFT. Right is road 230. I love those tree made bridges! I started on the true trail. Lush. Flowers. Water. Mosquitoes. So I turned around. I'll bring spray the next time, which will give my leg more healing time.

hiking
4 months ago

This was an easy hike and very well marked, taking me about 3 hours, 20 minutes. It's easy to access from the main road in Salida.

hiking
4 months ago

From what I can discern there are two trail heads for this trail. We started from the western side which is the parking lot marked with a “P” mentioned in an earlier post. The western leg of the trail is strictly a hiking trail and lasts for about 3/4 of a mile. You hike through a great Aspen forest before you merge with the eastern leg which is an ATV trail. After the two trails merge the trail is not so great. Lots of rocks including two long stretches across rock fields. You have to watch every step and concentrate. The lake is very nice and the views of the mountains at either end of the valley are great.

off road driving
4 months ago

Trail closed to motor vehicles so no star would be better

hiking
5 months ago

I'd rate it as moderate for anyone in moderate shape. I'm 61 years old and didn't find it too stressful. There is a path and a separate parallel dirt road. If you stay off the road, you won't be bothered by ATVs/Jeeps. Footing is a bit challenging over the rock field sections. The lake is beautiful and I am told offers great fishing.

Very nice but a bit busy, the hike itself it’s not a piece of cake but it’s not crazy hard either, you have to consider that it’s a steep hike up, just take your time.
We saw solo hikers, families, definitively dog friendly.
Took us about 1 hour and 40 min to go up, gorgeous views, we stop by the waterfall to have some lunch and then continue our way down the loop. About one hour down for us.
Totally worth it !

on Greens Creek Trail

hiking
5 months ago

only the interference with motorized bikes and mtn bikes - they FLY down - forces this hiker to give the trail a less-than-5-star rating. it's gorgeous. and it goes and goes - the 3.6 mile length posted here seems arbitrary. we went to the point where the trail crosses the creek (5 miles?) and saw no marker along the way. did see plenty of beaver ponds, aspen stands and wildflowers. in this season of extreme drought, this trail feels like Eden.

Backpacker and stayed two nights. So secluded and quiet! Somewhat strenuous, but nothing too crazy. Can't wait to come back!

GREAT hike. Trail marked well. What makes hiking worth it: getting to top, all to feel so small in this HUGE world.

Did this trail on 6/13/18 tool my wife and I around 1 hr and 50 minutes to get to the top and another hour to get back down. I would say the difficulty is accurate. This has been one of our favorite hikes, the scenery is beautiful with a good payoff. We met a few groups of people along the way and a little bit of snow towards the top but nothing extreme. I recommend having some lunch and coffee overlooking the lakes.

This was a beautiful trail. It was a little bit challenging coming from Florida. I mapped 6.2 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. The view of the lakes was incredible. I would definitely do this again and bring lunch and eat it overlooking the lake.

Definitely marshy and snowy in parts, I found myself losing the trail a couple of times on the way down. But beautiful hike as a whole - I’ll be returning with my camera soon!

hiking
6 months ago

My wife and I, daughter and son-in-law and two grand kids 9 and 14 arrived at the gravel road off hwy 50 at about 2:30 pm. There is private property on the right as you enter so be sure to pull into the road past that and park along the side. There were two other cars there when we arrived. Another gravel road off to the right goes up to the trail head for Boss Lake Res. This is kind of a rough unmaintained road which most people go by foot - 1 mile up to trail head, we did too. We only hiked to Boss Lake. Our elevation gain from where we parked our car was close to 1,100 ft. The trail has some segments of steep climb. Weather was cloudy and in the 50"s quite windy at times. Nice hike, out and back was about 4hrs. June 3, 2018

hiking
6 months ago

First off, I’d just like to state that there is a sticker in the St. Elmo General Store that says “I survived the Grizzly Lake Trail!”, so if that doesn’t tell you something about this hike, I’m not sure what will.

I am young and mildly out of shape, but the first mile of this trail was absolutely hellish. I took about 2 hours (with 2 older women) to reach the lake, including plenty of rest breaks in the shade. Keep in mind, about a year ago I had an ACL replacement, and my knee was swollen up a half mile into this hike. The view at the end was definitely beautiful, but I wouldn’t attempt this trail again till I was much more physically fit.

The majority of the trail is a loose boulder field in the open, so wear plenty of sunscreen and bring lots of water, because it was very hot around midday. However, it was very interesting because there are lots of open mining pits (careful!) and old cabins to explore.

My main take away was this: this trail requires a physically fit person who is prepared to walk the majority uphill and who can carry lots of food/water. Do not attempt this if you think you might be unprepared, there is no cell reception and it is very lightly traveled.

Great hike for a moderate trail. Quite a few large sections of snow on parts of the trail in the upper half. Lost trail a couple of times. Trail also muddy in spots from melting snow. These issues created more of a workout. But it's all about the adventure - great hike with fantastic photo opportunities.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail head is hard to find because the GPS directions in this app don’t take you all the way there and because there isn’t a sign. We asked in the St Elmo general store for directions and found out we had been at both trailheads without actually knowing where the TH was. You can start at the bathrooms just before the town of St Elmo (before the fork in the road) and follow the creek up which we didn’t do because the guy at the general store said it’s hard to find and follow the trail. So we took the local TH which you can find by following the directions in this app (left at the fork in the road towards Hancock) and then just keep driving a little further until you see a very small pull out on your left (room for about 5 cars) that is marked with a small P brown sign. From the lot the trail is very rocky to the left and follows parallel to the road you just drove. Then there is a sign after about 50 yards to go left to Grizzly. Then not much further you see a spray painted old metal container that says Grizzly. Shortly thereafter you pass an old house. The trail eventually spits you out on an ATV rough rocky road that you stay on to the lake. The whole hike took us an hour and 15 minutes up and about the same down. We did this today and there was almost no snow to be seen but there were lots of
Mud and water pools you could mostly avoid by either finding bigger rocks to walk on or walking around the trail. Was very windy at the lake. Beautiful hike and lake. Loved it. Pretty steep overall and a couple areas near the end that are rock fields to cross. Just be sure to pay attention where to get back on the trail from the road if you hike from the trail off the Hancock road.

Fantastic hike with gorgeous views. Worth it to climb the last stretch to Ptarmigan above the lower lakes. The road from Buena is open. Cottonwood Pass is closed. Still snow on the trail- a little postholing is required.

Great hike, we spent two nights up at the lower lake. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring snow shoes so we didn’t get up to ptarmigan. There was a few day hikers, fishermen and on our second night three other small groups of backpackers. We’ll be back in late summer/early fall.

hiking
6 months ago

I love this hike - and I return to it often - whether I have time to do the whole trail or not. It is moderate - but has consistently great views across the valley to the mountains.

I love this hike. it can also be done as a shuttle hike, leaving one car in town.

So I attempted this as if I were not a native of CO. Surely others were shaking their heads. You need waterproof hiking footwear!

Can't wait to go back with hiking boots and poles!

Gorgeous!

Great views of collegiate peaks and the town of Salida. As a hiker, the mountain bike traffic was enough to be pretty distracting. Trail was in great shape and very rewarding overall.

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