Explore the most popular forest trails near Fairplay with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

scenic driving
2 days ago

even though this is a road i would rate it moderate, just based on how rough the rocks are in the road on one side of the pass.

if you go up the leadville side its a nice and windy dirt road with great views and some neat camping spots.

however... once you approach the top and on the east section after the pass its a rocky road from hell. i was aired down to 18lbs on 33's and it was still miserable. unavoidable softball sized rocks jutting out of the road everywhere and the occasional sneaky series of potholes and washboards. just the perfect amount of bumpy to force you to go slow on what would otherwise be a 10/15 mph road.

hiking
28 days ago

Really nice little trail! You’re next to the stream most of the time, which is great. Some really nice open sections with beautiful wildflowers and sagebrush.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the stream crossing marked with an orange flag. We missed it, as did the hikers right behind us. No big deal, but if you feel like you suddenly lost the trail in the forest about a mile in, you probably missed the log ‘bridge’ to the other side of the stream.

Beautiful! My fiancé and our 3 children hiked to the ridge line at about 13,200 in the early afternoon and turned around...the hike is wonderfully scenic, without a ton of traffic.

hiking
1 month ago

So nice to climb a peak on a Saturday, see three other people the entire day, and have the summit to yourself.. while no definitive trail, the route is mostly visible and instinctual.. far better than the crowds and traffic in and out of nearby 14ers.

Made it to just over 13,000 feet. The winds were about 40 mph, so had to turn back. Would love to try to make it to summit when winds aren’t so rough.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I did this hike yesterday, 6,28,18. We did Democrat a few weeks back and wanted to do Lincoln from the trail posted below, but when we arrived at that location to scope it out a few weeks back, it was posted as private, no trespassing, and you'd be towed if you parked there!! So we went back to the Kite Lake trail head. The mileages on the map to the right don't agree with my Garmin though. Here's what I recorded. From the parking lot to the first saddle between Democrat and Cameron is 1.4. From there to Cameron is just under a mile. And from Cameron to Lincoln is just over a half mile for a total of 2.85 one way. Some steep stretches going up Cameron, and then the top is almost level. The trail goes right over the top so you summit this one whether you want to or not on your way to Lincoln. We opted not to do the Bross segment and just went back down the way we came. Most everyone was going back the Bross way though, and a few told us back at the parking lot what we had read about how steep and nasty the descent is on Bross. Steep enough the other way. For us anyway. Great views as you'd expect, and we had a really clear day with little to no wind thankfully. We encountered some gusts on the way down Cameron to the first saddle, but that was it. Popular trails, lots of people!! We took one of the last parking places when we arrived just after 7 on a Thursday. Most of the snow that was present when we were there 3 weeks ago was now melted too.

hiking
2 months ago

Just a side note to agree with the other posts that say this is NOT the trail head to Silverheels. Hence one star for this. I just did a nice walk along this side of the pass, and there is no trail that breaks off in the direction of Silverheels. Anyone walking this way to get to Silverheels, is going cross country. If this is a route, that someone has done, then they need to chime in about it. I will write a separate post about where I went today.

This isn’t a hike for those looking to find epic views. Beautiful meadows, mountain creeks, diverse terrain- woods, meadows, rock formations. Packed in and camped two nights. Enjoyed the solitude.

Great hike by stream.

backpacking
2 months ago

Not the most spectacular views, but an awesome hike overall! I used this as a good first backpack of the season. There was water along most of the hike and there were some ups and downs, but nothing too crazy. The first and last 3rd of the hike was shrouded in trees and the in between is spent mostly in an exposed valley. I was perfectly happy with my decision to take the loop counterclockwise, but I was more out there to get some exercise and fresh air. I also had two dogs with me and they had a great time, it’s a great space for dogs.

hiking
10 months ago

I listened to the advice and went counter clockwise on 9/30/17. It was the tail end of aspen season and the landscape was pretty boring for 10 miles. We were very disappointed in the hike. At 10 miles we hit “the view” which was 2 miles from the trailhead and only looking back. I recommend just going left from the Rich Creek Trailhead and walking out 3 miles so you get to stare at the pretty view the whole time and turning this into a nice 6 mile hike. It has TONS of aspens so go during high season here to avoid the Kenosha crowd.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Outstanding hike. Beautiful scenery, including flaming aspens. Highly recommend.

off road driving
11 months ago

Easy trail and a good views

A great trail, nice stream along most of the walk, lots of beautiful wildflowers, good views, and a nice spot to stop and have lunch by a little waterfall. smelled the dead horse mentioned in another review but never saw it. all in all very nice trail.

backpacking
11 months ago

We just went for a one nighter on the 19th and 20th. The trail was awesome and we still got to see a good amount of wildflowers. I had a newbie backpacker with us and I'd say the hiking was a bit harder for him than expected. We went counterclockwise and the last bit of major ups and downs were tough. There was a lot of access to water, dead and down firewood to use, and the trail remained obvious throughout the loop. I'd say we ran into a max of 8-10 people on the trail too. All in all, beautiful country and an awesome hike!

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Great trail to hike and we saw lots of people camping. There are beaver dams along the river and tons of picturesque views. Definitely take a camera, water and maybe a snack if you are not camping. Took us about 5 hours with stopping to take a lot of pictures.

hiking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

I summited this mountain today and I still don't know where the trailhead is. I know for a fact that it isn't where this app is telling you to go. I drove into Fairplay, turned on 4th st, followed national forrest access signs along Beaver lane, you'll come to a cattle gate that isn't locked, open it and make sure to close it behind you, up FS 659 until it ends. Now the tricky part is that there is no trail here. I walked off trail up to the ridgeline then to the summit. Wasn't too bad. I definitely saw a trail at points but nothing that was marked or even well defined. Took 2-3ish hours up. Wouldn't really recommend for the average individual. One pro is that you'll be by yourself out there cause the trailhead is so hard to find. I did have a great time, just feel like this isn't what most people are looking for. Maybe someone else knows exactly where the trailhead is?

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

There's no trail head here. Parked on Hwy 9 and walked across. The trail is barely marked u til it fades away. Abandoned shed with blankets, cans, flashlights about .25 miles in. Generally creepy. I'm sure there's another silverheels trailhead but the one on the AllTrails app is not it.

backpacking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

This was an awesome first backpacking trip for my wife and our friends! Beautiful views and great camping. Lots of access to water too.

off road driving
Sunday, July 23, 2017

An amazing day, with amazing views. Dropping down into Leadville for lunch was a huge bonus.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nice trail. Lots of water access. Crossings were easy late July. Dogs got a bit muddy but well defined trail. A few steeps, but not tough. I only did 3.5 miles in and back.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Amazing historical site!

backpacking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Did this trail this past weekend and LOVED it. Started on Rich Creek trail and hiked the loop counter clockwise (as recommended) and it was perfect. beautiful scenery, easy to follow trail, woods, meadows, and wild flowers galore. Camped around mile 6-7 out on a hill overlooking the meadows, but with plenty of shelter from the trees. Was lucky enough to see Elk and deer in the early evening and Moose romping through the ponds in the morning. Saw a few people early on Rich Creek Trail but after mile 3 we had the trail and any camp site of our choosing all to ourselves. Continue to have the trail to ourself until a few miles in the next morning. Plenty of Water flowing through the creek so bring a water filter and enjoy clean cold water to drink throughout the whole trail.

backpacking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Really nice trail, some hard spots to go up with 40lbs on your back, but also some easy spots in between. Great camp spots along the way make it easy to break up into 4 mile hikes. Did 2 nights, one in a valley in the open and the other in a rocky area along a stream under coverage.

backpacking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Seems like the area has dried out a bit, since last reviewer. I was able to make all water crossings without getting my feet wet at all. Spring flowers are out at the moment too.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Fantastic hike. Beautiful and doable. Unfortunately we found a dead, jet black horse in the creek 1.5 miles into our hike.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

backpacking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Did the loop this weekend. It is a good trail with lots of nice views. A couple of things though; when you get to the trail head there are no signs that say Buffalo Peaks Loop. The west half of the trail is Rich Creek trail 616. The east half is Tumble Creek Trail 617. It took me going back and forth on the map and the signs a couple of times to figure this out. So if you go counter clockwise like I did, you will be starting on Rich Creek Trail 616. Also the trail head and where Tumble Creek Trail 617 meets Lynch Creek are flooded out. I would suggest waterproof boots and being prepared to get a little muddy. There is a part on the south side of the loop along Tumble Creek Trail 617 that you have to cross the creek. There is a SINGLE log about 6 inches in diameter that has been flattened on the top to cross. The log is starting to rot and was pretty sketchy to cross. Plus the creek at that point is flowing pretty fast and there are a ton of boulders. If you were to go in the water here with a pack on it would not be a good day for you. My roommate had his dog and she refused to cross that SINGLE log. He had to pick her up and carry her across. If that 70lbs dog had started to wiggle they would have fallen the 5 or 6 feet into the creek on those boulders. I would say when the snow is melting and the creek is really flowing find another place to cross. I am not a big backpacker but even with a fully loaded pack I could have easily have done the loop in a day. Overall, would love to do it again later in the season so hopefully those parts mentioned would not be flooded out.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

We are from Texas, and have acclimated to the altitude for two days. It wasn't a difficult hike as far as elevation or footing, but the trail was covered with snow within probably a mile of meeting the trail it makes a loop with. Unfortunately, since we didn't have any show shoes, we tried to go deeper into the Forrest ,but after half an hour decided to quit and turn back around. Overall it was a nice trail but next time I would definitely consider a trail with a more climactic goal.

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