Buffalo Mountain Trail

HARD 168 reviews
#7 of 26 trails in

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
3 days 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
4 days 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
9 days 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
11 days 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!

12 days 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
13 days 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
30 days 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
3 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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!

hiking
10 months ago

Challenging, but fun! Took me ~4:20 total. I did sit at the top for about 20min though.

hiking
10 months ago

Way tougher than expected. I know that it is very subjective, but I would consider this hike even more challenging than Notch mountain or hiking Greys and Torreys peaks in one day.
Like previous reviewers said, the first mile or so through the forest is a walk in the park, but once the incline starts it doesn't stop.
I personally didn't mind the boulder field, it is kinda fun to look for cairns and trying to figure out the route. Once you get over the boulder field and you think you're on the top, you are not, ha! It is kinda false summit and you still have to go further to reach those sweeping views and friendly goat herd on top. So worth it!!!

hiking
10 months ago

Incredible view at the top makes it all worth it. Those DAMN boulders though....

hiking
10 months ago

First mile rolls through the woods, so most of the 3,000' in elevation gain is in just 1.5 miles which is a bit like the Manitou Incline...but with boulders not stairs. Fun hike, views are the payoff. Took my 16 and 14 year olds with me, glad my 10 year old sat this one out. Pay attention to the cairns on the way up...they'll keep you on a well thought out "trail" that picks its way through the boulder field.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a great hike! Strenuous and breathtaking at the summit. Start off and it's relatively flat while you follow the path alongside a stream to the left. You'll cross some bridges and the trail comes to a sign with 3 paths to chose from. Stick to the very left trail and follow it up, this is when the trail starts getting difficult and will lead into the rocky above tree line patch led with cairns. On the way up the were easy to locate, the way down, I had trouble finding them in sequences. They do switchback and you will be going up the right side/east side. Once through the rocks you follow a dirt path back across to the west side and the path starts climbing steeply up again. Then you will hit the rocky summit! Pretty great trail but I did have trouble getting back down due to having difficulty locating the cairns.

hiking
10 months ago

Loved this! Definitely challenging, esp the rocky portion past the tree line. Had to take a lot of breaks. But so worth it for the incredible views at the top. We had a blast on this hike.

10 months ago

It was beautiful!! The rocky areas are quite challenging but Thor ( my dog) and I made it to the top. Things move a little slow at that altitude.

Highlights from the trip:
-the view from the top!!!
-the mountain goats
-the challenge

hiking
11 months ago

Pure torture as we took the trail to the left which avoided the boulders but goes straight up. Fortunately the view from the top was Worth the effort. Start early so that you can have time to enjoy the views and get down before the afternoon rains. Descended the mountain by way of the boulders. There are beautiful wildflowers at the trailhead. The Mountain goats were very friendly and wanted to check us out but we didn't let them come much closer than 10 feet. Their little horns are pretty sharp.

hiking
11 months ago

Challenging trail but fun! Took me a while but mostly due to altitude. The talus field is tough. Pay attention to trail markers. They really help. The goats at the top and the incredible view make the effort worth every step!

11 months ago

Not technical at all. No gear needed, it was cool to see American flags flying on the summit on the 4th of July

hiking
11 months ago

Hard hike. We turned back about halfway up the boulder field because of mountain goats! We were sort of precariously placed on rocks and two goats came down to us quickly. They chased us all the way back to the trees. Maybe they thought we would feed them. Who knows. There were two kids (and two more adults), so we were worried they were being protective. So our down climb was very quick and not on trail.

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