Red Buffalo Pass via Gore Creek Trail

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Eagles Nest Wilderness

Red Buffalo Pass via Gore Creek Trail is a 12.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and horses and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length12.8 miElevation gain3,172 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingHorseback ridingBird watchingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail enters the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Wilderness regulations exist and are posted at the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (178)
Photos (350)
Recordings (159)
Completed (435)
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Jenna Martin
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Hiking

Great trail....I would rate it moderate. We went with my two ten year olds, 12 and 14 year old. We only did 2 miles though....so much to do in that short of miles.

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David Miller
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Hiking
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zach mayo
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Hiking
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Matthew Rise
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Hiking
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Sarah Welch
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Hiking

Nice hike, the most beautiful part is at the end. We logged 14.5 miles and closer to 4000' elevation. The campsite closest to the pass is definitely the best, but we didn't make it that far with our packs. We camped 4.5 miles in, where the turn off for Gore Lake is. After setting up camp I was walking around taking photos when I spotted a bear and her 2 cubs. The incline is gradual until the last ~1 mile. The trail is close to water almost the entire hike.

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Samantha Lohmann
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HikingRocky

AMAZING TRAIL! A little steep at the beginning but it gets to a slower and steadier climb on the way in. Amazing views!

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Jenny Bolch
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Hiking

We did an overnight backpacking here. Hiked up the the higher camp site listed on the map (already at 6.4 miles) and then my phone died so I didn’t track the rest of the way to the pass but it’s definitely they much further than the distance listed. Fairly steep the whole way. The bottom 3/4 of the hike are mediocre scenery. Once you get up near the top, it’s absolutely beautiful! Lots of mud on the trail and deadfall to step over (especially after the creek crossing.) definitely worth going all the way up to the pass.

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Erin Walker
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Hiking

Just wanted to add something to the posts here. Very steady incline the whole way and steep slick grade as you approach red buffalo. Recommend hiking poles. Also there is a large creek crossing and there is not a bridge or stones to cross. The creek water is not running fast there and is about calf deep. Definitely passable. But the water is cold and the rocks hurt bare feet. Would recommend water shoes or at least extra socks to walk across.

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Stephanie Georgiou
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Hiking

Saw two moose on the trail and highly recommend!!

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Tracy Wilson
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Hiking

Great hike. Nice varied terrain along Gore creek. The wildflowers were beautiful. Some muddy spots along the way. We made it about 3 miles but turned around due to time. Not at all crowded between 10 and 1.

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Erin Abdelnour
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Hiking

Don't be scared off by the overall length of this hike! We hiked it today with our 10 and 13 year olds and my bad knee. We just hiked in for about an hour and hit a series of things that made it feel like we were on a destination hike. About one hour in, the rushing river was close and split into multiple parts on our right, a tiny bit further up, the trail is covered with water and you have to cross with fun easy stepping stones, and then another tiny bit past that, you see a small water fall of the powerful river. Great fun! It was quite sunny that first mile in and a steady incline for a bit, but it was very enjoyable.

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Jessica Smith
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Hiking

only went about a mile in, but still a great hike! about .8mi in you do get to a marshy/muddy area, and while there are large rocks lining the trail, these can be hard to navigate if trying to keep your shoes dry (I would recommend waterproof shoes for this hike as there's also stream crossings as well). About a mile is some stream crossings, and a section of the trail is still under water, but shallow that again, waterproof shoes will just just fine. I'd recommend going just a bit farther as the trail finally gets your right beside the currently raging Gore creek!

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Sherry Zander
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Hiking

Beautiful walk along the drainage. Will be even better in a few weeks...more flowers and less snow. 2mi in snowshoes were a huge benefit for about 1/4 mi. Try this on Mem Day weekend. Should be great.

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Eric Birchfield
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FloodedSnowWashed out

Tried on May 16th, got about 3 miles in before the snow got too deep.

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Jenna Preston
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Hiking

Can’t wait to do this hike again. The foliage is breathtaking!

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Patricia Wood
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Hiking

I adored this hike. I would recommend backpacking and staying near the pass or in the meadow just below, as 12.8 miles was painful. The very beginning and last mile is difficult- the rest is a gradual incline. Stunning!

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Michael Black
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HikingRocky
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debbie devall
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Hiking

This is a super trail. 85 percent hiking is in the trees, so plenty of shade. You are hiking near Gore Creek and will cross. There is a tree bridge to get across river, very safe. There are wonderful photo spots along the river. We were not able to complete the hike because we had an event to attend but will be back to do this again. The hike can be difficult in a few areas but overall moderate hiking. We stopped at the place referred to as the gravesite. It was a great hike.

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Kayla Lorentz
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HikingMuddyOff trailSnow

Hiked Friday/Saturday over Buffalo Pass to Eccles Pass. Truly gorgeous hike, and worth the effort of te snow/avy debris. First few miles are fairly clear. Creek is running higher with runoff, so we crossed a bit downstream using a downed log for support (too small to walk across). Avalanche debris a bit past crossing took some climbing/ducking but was passable. Snow just past this debris made it hard to follow actual trail, so we tried to find the best way through the snow while keeping creek on the correct side. Higher up with less tree coverage meant less snow and an easier crossing of Buffalo Pass. Back side of Pass (east side) still has quite a bit of snow. If you're backpacking, try getting to this stuff and up Eccles early to minimize postholing, and watch for runoff patterns underneath the snow!

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Cari Dietz
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Hiking

Fairly clear of snow until avalanche at 3.44 miles. Turned around there so not sure if rest of hike is clear. Amazing red columbines and views the entire way. Keep dogs on leash- saw several deer with fawns.

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Daryl Kobesky
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Hiking

lots of great views. the rapids made a great sound as we walked alongside. we went only about 2 miles in. the trail was clear and only saw a few other groups on the trail.

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Bob Schneider
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HikingMuddyRockySnow

Snow at bridge

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Jeff Malehorn
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HikingSnow
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Shilo Cavalcanti
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we only got about 1 mile in before seeing a moose, so turned around swiftly. bit of a climb for the first mile.

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