Explore the best hiking 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.

Remote and desolate. Went on a weekday and had the entire mountain to myself. It's an 11mile dirt-road trip to get to the trailhead. Not strictly a 4x4 road, but you'll go a lot faster if you have one.

The trail is along a series of abandoned mine trails, so it's easy to follow. Some mining debris along the way keeps things interesting. Other than that, the trail doesn't hold much beauty, except the sheer size of the surrounding mountains and the feeling of being completely by yourself.

The views upon reaching the ridge and looking west are staggering. Not simply the vision of the Sawatch in the distance (both Elbert and Massive can be seen), but because of the enormity of the valley that opens up in front of you. It literally took my breath away.

On the way down, do yourself a favor. Sit by the lake and just look up at the "horseshoe", and reconcile just how small and temporal you are compared to immensity of the piece of earth in front of you. You'll thank me.

hiking
5 days ago

My fiancé and I decided to hike this trail 6/19/17. The trail itself looks like a creek bed, lots of rocks of all sizes and streaming water. Some spots you have to go around and I would recommend wearing pants bc the bushes you walk through will scratch you up. About half way up the road turns to deep snow. It's doable to continue hiking. We did it without snow shoes but I'm guessing snow shoes would make it a little easier. The last part of the hike before the lake was very steep and you have to cross some water/snow. I felt like I was climbing a 14er! The lake when we went was still frozen but I can imagine once thawed it will be so beautiful and clear! We didn't see too many hikers but did run into a group of ATVs trying to make it up. Overall it was a beautiful hike and probably one of the tougher hikes I've done just because of all the different terrain.

backpacking
13 days ago

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
13 days ago

Not a soul around. Midweek hike.

hiking
20 days ago

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.

off road driving
20 days ago

Went out yesterday Saturday 6-3-17. Got about half way up still snow packed. But you can still play on the rocks a little.

Great day overall!! Can't wait to go back.

off road driving
26 days ago

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Hiked and camped this in 2004. Was able grab the west peak as well. Highly recommend.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike-- wouldn't quite rate it as hard though. I was the only one up there on Saturday. Probably the last day before you need snow shoes. Worth it!

hiking
7 months ago

off road driving
8 months ago

Amazing views.

hiking
8 months ago

We did this as a day trip. It took us five hours to hike the loop counter clockwise. Counter clockwise allows for a more gradual elevation gain. There were great fall colors particularly between miles 7 and 10 (if done counter clockwise), where you can look up the valley at the Mosquito range and there are a lot of aspens. When done as a day trip, 11.6 miles can be a bit long, although the trail is quite flat for long sections, particularly on the backside of the loop. Overall this is a great hike with minimal crowds and great views particularly in the fall. Would make a great trail run!

Came into the middle of the trail and really enjoyed the forest especially with the fall colors