Explore the most popular walking 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.

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
11 days 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
19 days 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
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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
9 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
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

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

backpacking
10 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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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

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.

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.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

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!

hiking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

I came down this trail after hitting the four 14er peaks, it was scramble and rocky, definitely not easy. $12 to camp and $3 to park, go explore here for a weekend if you don't live close by.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Did this yesterday and hit Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross!!! Hiked in from Crest Drive in Quartsville and made a loop. Was about 13 miles but amazing!!! Up to Mt. Lincoln from this way we saw nobody and there were only three cars in the lot! Not well know trail head but we found it! We didn't see anyone on the way down either!!! Amazing back road way to hit this popular 14er trail!

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Road to trail is rocky but made it fine in a car, took it slow. People were camping along different spots of the trail. I went counterclockwise and it took me less than 4:30 hours to hike the entire loop with my breaks included. Perfect half day hike after a 2 hour drive with minimal crowds. The trail is next to creeks most of the way with lots of great views. The sun or storms will get you when in the top meadow, in between the two creeks.

backpacking
Monday, August 01, 2016

You definitely want to do this loop counter clockwise! 12miles in 2 days can be long if you carry gear. We pitched our tent at 5.8 miles but you have better spots coming up if you keep going for another half mile to a mile.

hiking
Friday, April 08, 2016

Kite Lake is a awesome place to hang out for the day, or do some great hiking. Lake Emma is a wonderful place to hike to also. The trail not very noticeable but if you can find it I recommend it. Yes the road is kinda ripped up. Some people reviewing it might be exaggerating on how bad it is. 2 ft is a little over board yes it is ripped. I have a stock Nissan Xterra and it has no problem even in 2 wheel. I see cars up at the top. Granted they have no care in the world for there car at that point but they make it. I have camped on the base of the trail head with minimal wind. Its all about the time of the year you go. The wind I did experience was not bad, but I parked my vehicle in front of my tent and it solved all my problems. There are other great camping spots around the area with no wind if you like the wooded areas.

camping
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I don't think I've ever camped in such horrible wind. Thought our tent was going to up stake and fly away with us in it. I literally didn't sleep at all. We went in mid October so I'm not sure if the wind situation is better earlier in the year but the bathrooms and signs do say it's a high wind area. I will never camp here again. It's also $3 to park a car and another $12 to stay overnight (although I didn't see anyone checking). If you don't have a few feet of clearance for you vehicle you will not be able to make it all the way to the campground. The last bit of road after the switchback is swiss-cheese with each hole being around 1.5-2 feet deep. A lot of cars parked on the side of the road before this part and walked the rest of the way.

It is beautiful in the early morning when the sun is rising. But I can't recommend camping to anyone. Just drive up the morning before your hike.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

We did an out-and-back day hike from the Lynch Creek trailhead at the end of Buffalo Peaks Road (431) clockwise around the loop to Buffalo Meadows. It was a moderate / easy hike that started in the woods and opened up into a meadow with beautiful, expansive views. Love the wildflowers! Few tips: Start early and be aware of thunderstorms -- one rolled in fast a little after noon and we had to rush to clear the meadow in time. There's not a clear place to do the stream crossing, but the trail runs on both sides of the banks for a while so just find a comfortable place - I attached a picture of where we crossed. There's also a good amount of dispersed camping in the area, if you're interested.

hiking
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This is the trail to the start of hiking Mt Sherman. Parking can be crowded since it is a 14er. Still very cool to see the mine ruins and nice views. Good and easy for kids but all up hill.

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