Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Trails
Buffalo Peaks offers an enjoyable alternative to nearby areas thronged by crowds pursuing fourteener summits. East and West Buffalo peaks are two high-domed mountains plainly visible from throughout South Park and the Arkansas Valley. Twenty-five to thirty million years ago, volcanic ash and lava flows filled a valley here, and the subsequent uplifting and erosion shaped the summits we see today. The peaks mark the southern terminus of the Mosquito Range, a large faulted anticline. At its lowest elevations, Buffalo Peaks supports forests of pinyon and juniper amid the dry, rocky soils of the Arkansas Valley. One of the joys of hiking in Buffalo Peaks is the opportunity to ascend through many ecozones and note the changes in vegetative and animal communities. Unlike the dramatic, sculpted landscape of the Collegiate Peaks immediately west across the Arkansas Valley, Buffalo Peaks contains no deep glaciated valleys and no lakes other than impressive beaver ponds. Gentle forests, extensive meadows, and fewer visitors reward hikers who venture here. Several fine stands of bristlecone pine grace the area’s southerly slopes. The Buffalo Peaks support one of the state’s most populous bighorn sheep herds, numbering about 150 individuals. Visitors frequently spot elk and mule deer as well, and evening hikers along Fourmile Creek often glimpse beavers tending their elaborate dams and lodges. This trail guide includes descriptions of west buffalo peak, and Rich Creek/Buffalo Meadows.
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Directions to: Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Buena Vista|
|Skill Level||Easy to Moderate|
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||9,200 ft|
|Top Elevation||13,300 ft|
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