Buffalo Mountain is a hike that I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now, but today was the day I finally went for it! Why did I want to climb Buffalo Mountain? Well, I’ve looked up at Buffalo Mountain countless times when I’ve headed up to Summit County skiing, hiking, or driving for many years and it is a cool looking mountain. The unique rounded summit serves as a beautiful backdrop for Lake Dillon and I’ve been curious about the hike for years. There was nothing really preventing me from hiking up Buffalo Mountain all these years, but I somehow kept selecting other peaks. Well, I really enjoyed this hike so I’m glad I finally checked it out!
Before we jump into the hike here are a few pictures of Buffalo Mountain for context:
Alright, let’s get back on track now…My initial plan for the day was to hike up Buffalo Mountain from Ryan Gulch which is right out of town (see the red pin below). The hike from this trailhead is very steep gaining almost 3,000ft over 2.8 miles (Just under 6 miles roundtrip). However, as I was driving up I-70, I felt the need to increase the ratio of hiking miles to drive time! So, I decided to start from the Meadow Creek Trailhead (see middle of map). This trailhead start is accessed via the Frisco exit…just go straight at the roundabout (or use a map app, you know). This trail is a much longer approach to Buffalo Mountain via Eccles Pass, but it was a great trail and a lot of fun. I ended up with 15.6 miles and 5,308 ft of gain roundtrip, which was more than I bargained for!
The route up to Eccles Pass is fairly straight forward, so let’s just cruise through with some pictures.
Buffalo Mountain (12,777′)
If you have a second car, you can head back down to Ryan Gulch. I did not, so it was a long way back down. Great day though!