Buffalo Mountain Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,011 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

hiking
22 days ago

This hike beat us. It was tough and steep, but very beautiful. We are from sea level. The altitude also got us. The views are worth it, even though we didn't make it to the top. The scree/talus field did us in. We climbed it for a bit and had .8 of a mile and 1,000 ft of elevation gain left. That was our first encounter with rock like that and we gave it our best shot. On our climb down from the field, we got way off the path. Thank goodness for the GPS tracker in this app!

hiking
30 days ago

Recently ranked hardest hike in Summit County and top 5 hardest hikes in Colorado -- and, after hiking just about everything else in the area, I would have to agree. My roommate and I literally decided to do this hike on a whim after staring at this mountain for 2 solid years. Middle section of the hike is brutal and most of the 3000 ft of elevation gain happens in little more than a mile and a half. The trail is relentless going up and down and the skree field in the middle is tough. Warning, I brought my lab (like I do on all hikes) and she barely made it through the middle (and she is probably one of the most capable hikers you will ever meet). I would recommend you not bring your dog past tree line unless you know he/she can handle it. View at the top was amazing, and incredibly silent. Bring lots of water, nothing past a small creek very early into the hike. Would I do it again -- probably not -- but it was worth it. FYI, it took us about 5 hours out and back, and we are pretty solid hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

I am a Summit County resident and have hiked many of the surrounding peaks. I think Buffalo offers some of the most stunning views. I completed the hike in just under 4 hours round trip. The Boulder field was not that bad and the carins were pretty easy to follow. Over all, this was a very nice hike.

hiking
1 month ago

I would give 5 stars but the enormous, uphill boulder field brought it down for me. We ended going straight up the boulders because we lost sight of the cairns. I would suggest wearing gloves, I beat up my hands climbing up and down the rough boulders. This was more challenging then the 14rs I've climbed so don't be decieved into thinking it's easier due to only being13,000 feet. Watch for the cairns they're easy to miss. We were disappointed that there weren't any mountain goats visible, since it seemed as if most people would see them that have climb this mountain.We did see some medium sized birds running around that looked like large mourning doves. The views at the top made navigating the boulder field worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Really enjoyed this hike! It took us just over three hours to summit Buffalo with a few stops on the way. It was pretty blazing hot most of the time, with a few strong wind gusts near the top. We spent some time on the top to eat lunch and enjoy those amazing views of the front and backside.

It took about 2.5 hours to descend which surprised me a little. I thought it would go much quicker! That boulder field is brutal (being honest- the hardest one I’ve done yet!) and was easier to hike up than down.

I had heard before I did this hike that it’s harder than many 14’ers so be prepared. Just cause she’s shorter, Buffalo still packs quite the punch! The hike and views are 100% worth it though!!!!! Really enjoyed finally conquering this one!

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous views and tough terrain!

hiking
1 month ago

This was definitely one of the most difficult and rewarding hikes that I've ever done. I live in Summit county and hike regularly, but this one was a challenge for sure. My advice would be: bring gloves for the descent. I fell a couple of times coming down, scraped up my palms, and would have loved to have had gloves. The boulder field is quite difficult to follow. We followed the rock cairns, but still got off track coming back down. Using my All Trails app was awesome, and I was able to get myself back on track using the map. Otherwise, amazing hiking and beautiful views. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

Great, but challenging hike. We found another way up to escape majority of boulders by staying left of the trail next to bushes. Close to the top lonely goat joined us for a picture. It took us total 6h.

2 months ago

Hiked this in July by myself. On a weekday I only saw 2 other people. Challenging boulderfield...especially if you get off trail. Start the field to the RIGHT of the large cairyn....if you start to the left you will be climbing straight up til you find the trail. Lots of goats and stunning views from the top. Summited in 2.5 hours...and I’m from Minnesota...so it’s doable...but challenging.

hiking
2 months ago

Buffalo is a little bit of everything. A walk through the trees - the burn area right now is amazing to experience - a scramble through a challenging boulder field and a slow steady ascent to the summit. The views and the goats at the top are amazing. The journey down is rough on the knees and toes. Always a great hike.

2 months ago

So far so good, on this trail now and it’s stunning even with the recent wild fires that raged through.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike basically right out of Silverthorne. This was early June, and we hit some snow about halfway up to the boulder field and ended up post-holing for a bit; we had skis on our back though (headed up to ski Silver Couloir) so didn't phase us. Beautiful views up top and a few mountain goats curiously greeted us near the top of the couloir. If you aren't used to boulder fields this hike can be difficult, though I wouldn't say it's especially so when compared to other similar trails. You also get a bit of a respite from the larger rocks and it mellows a bit once "cresting" the main steep section of the east face of the mountain. Ski down was terrific!

hiking
3 months ago

I’m not sure how these mountains are rated by difficulty, but I’d definitely consider it moderate. If you continue over the saddle to the other side, it gets a little more technical in terms of scrambling. Overall, really nice and calm hike. We started at 6am and had the entire mountain to ourselves until around 9:30. Still not a ton of people for such a prominent mountain in Summit County. Was expecting more hikers for sure. You get to walk through the eerie burn area, and can get a bird’s eye view of it from higher up. It’s insane how much burned and how quickly it was put out!

hiking
3 months ago

HARD. One of these says "moderate." Straight up the whole time. Very pretty. Bring poles and bug spray.
Enjoyed it but won't be a regular hike. I hike a lot up here. Took us 3:20 to the top (20 min feeding and caring for dogs which, is a gamble to bring but we were prepared to turn around, if needed). 1:30 min to get back. Mountain goats and killer views.

hiking
3 months ago

The beginning is a nice "warm-up" through the burn area and then alpine trees for about a mile. Start early and finish your coffee while you can catch your breath. It gets increasingly steeper and challenging up to the boulder field. From there the hike is challenging. Try to follow the cairns as this makes the path more defined. Thanks for all those that help to keep these visible. After a tough stretch of boulder hopping there is a false peak and then one of my favorite stretches. A short hike on trail through short pines is a real relief. I was joined by one of the friendly mountain goats at this point who paced me up from there. The incline remains steep to the summit. The views at the top are well worth the pain in your legs. For an extra adventure, scramble over the narrow ledge to the true summit marked with a large rock cairn. Very few hikers seem to do this. The view is basically the same but you will have the place to yourself and the satisfaction of crossing the entire top of Buffalo mountain. From here I hiked all the way down to Frisco to the Highside Brewery on Main Street (via Lily Pad Lake trail #50...great easy hike down). My phone died and I had no choice but the beers were good and they recharged my phone so I could call for a ride!

3 months ago

So happy to have made this hike! Not sure how it is considered “moderate” though. That boulder field is pretty intense going up and really intense going down! Great views at top and a friendly curious goat to keep you company.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, I would suggest this would be hard and not moderate due to the bolder field. Would not suggest bringing a dog, towards the top you must traverse around 1,200 ft of boulder field where there is no define trail. My Husky and I were able to complete it but very challenging! Also great to see mountain goats!

hiking
4 months ago

We started hiking on Tuesday morning shortly before the fire broke out. We did not realize how close it was to us until we came down and were about a half a mile from our car. We were surrounded by fire with nowhere to go. Luckily this area has good cell reception and we called 911. Summit County had to send two forest expert police officers in to guide us out because all the paths out were blocked by fire. It was scary to say the least. Amazing hike,we got pretty close to the summit when we saw the fire and started heading down. Still some snow is spots.
Grateful for the firefighters and police officers who saved us and hoping this fire gets contained soon.

4 months ago

Made it to the Summit Sunday June 10th. There was a little snow at tree line however it was tracked out and made finding your way easy. There was no snow through the boulder field. The mosquitos were biting so be aware. This is a tough hike especially when you hit the boulder field; coming down the field is also a PITA. However the summit is awesome providing incredible views! Out and back took me 3:40 and an in decent shape for this early in the hiking season.

4 months ago

Snow has melted enough to get to the boulder field. Pieced our way up slowly. Mountain goats at the top and fantastic 360 degree view. Seemed tougher than Mount Royal (likely because of altitude) we had a ten year old get to the summit with us.

hiking
4 months ago

Was able to make the summit. Lots of lingering snow patches obscuring the trail in the trees near treeline. Hard to pop out of treeline at the right point. I certainly did not follow the trail up. Was able to link up with the trail on the way down. Probably would not have been doable if I didn't know the mountain well.

4 months ago

Great views, decent hills without being overwhelming, and got a good 1.8 miles in before the boot tracks stopped. Still pretty snowy about 1.5 miles in. Can’t wait to Summit in the summer!

hiking
4 months ago

Tried to Summit Buffalo this morning but just too much snow and we completely lost the trail in the snow-the tracks just ended about 1/2 way up where Trail takes sharp left turn. Will try again!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike this past weekend! Incredibly snowy, a few feet on and right next to the trail. Everyone else was skiing so I stayed in their ski tracks on the way up. Trail was packed due to the early time of day (and ski tracks), but as I got higher and the sun got more intense I started postholing a lot. I made it above treeline with only spikes. I would say trekking poles and snow shoes are a must. Wish I had made it to the summit but I'll be back to bag it this summer! This is definitely very strenuous so be ready to work up a sweat.

Happy hiking!

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this two days ago and managed to get about 300 feet away from the summit. The snow was very deep and after a point it became hard to see the trail and even with snow shoes i was going about 2 1/2 feet down into the snow. Still if you keep going it’s very worth the views at the top. Only thing that kept me from reaching the top was the extremely high winds.

hiking
9 months ago

Difficult to hike in the snow. Very steep the higher up you go and twisty. The views were beautiful but we were also told there was a cabin at the peak...yea, we couldn’t make it to the peak bc of how steep it was and there was no sight of any cabin anywhere. There were 2 other people that had snow shoes and got up a bit higher than we did and they found no cabin either.

hiking
10 months ago

snow covered, and it's pretty good until you get to tree line. then, the trail disappears and the snow gets very deep. It looked like we were close to the top, but I think we had a long way to go yet. We turned around after trying to wade through knee deep snow. Startled a ptarmigin on the way down.

hiking
Sunday, October 08, 2017

Great views of silverthorne and the Dillon reservoir. I went up with snow on the trail from 10,500 feet on up which made it especially difficult!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Trail can be very difficult to follow at times but the view down to the Vail Valley is worth it

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

Killer hike! The wooded beginning is soothing, smells great, and a peaceful easy start.

After hanging a left at the next sign you come across, the trail starts gaining elevation steadily until tree line and then you're smack dab in the boulder field that other reviews mention.

Keep an eye out everywhere for cairns, they start to stick out the more you look if you happen to loose track of the trail. The boulder field is filled with switchbacks and multiple variations of trails to navigate to the first false summit (near a very large boulder).

The trek to the summit after the false is a breeze after this point, unless you're mid-westerner like us and are eating the locals dust!

Obviously worth the incredible 360 views with both city and nature eye candy. We even got hitched at the peak! She's a real winner and loved every minute of it. Beers all around. Cheers and have fun!

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